Lies, damned lies, and statistics – IVF abroad

Categories Misc

This week former Emmerdale star, Lisa Riley, spoke out about people buying into ‘false hope’ by overseas fertility clinics that claim exceptionally high success rates.

According to Riley, who admitted to struggling with fertility issues, some IVF clinics abroad are claiming 98% success rates. This compares with 32.5% in the UK, which she says is setting up many couples wanting children for bitter disappointment.

I recently travelled abroad for IVF, so I understand what it’s like to undergo treatment in another country. I’d actually love to know how many women shun the UK for IVF elsewhere. With the lull of high success rates, and the much cheaper prices, it’s no wonder people choose this attractive-looking route. It’s shocking how much clinics charge in the UK.

Personally, I’ve not come across any clinic that offers such unrealistic success rates, and I’d obviously be wary of any that did. Reprofit, the clinic I went to in the Czech Republic, claims a 50% success rate per treatment cycle for women using their own eggs, which is – again – above the UK average. Sadly we fell on wrong side of that lovely statistic…

Reprofit seemed surprised I was having my first IVF cycle with them. I guess most women in the UK get a free round or two on the NHS before looking for such alternative options, so are veterans by the time they get to that stage. Funnily enough, we’re thinking of doing it all the other way round.

After unsuccessful IVF round one abroad, we feel we’d benefit from the closer monitoring of a clinic in the UK that will offer blood tests as well scans during the stimming stage. But that’s not to say we wouldn’t try Reprofit again. Going abroad is a good option, especially if you’re financially at your wits end and are playing a numbers game. But the stress of travelling abroad is worth researching before making such a big decision.

I guess the important thing is going in with your eyes open, and not getting sucked into unrealistic claims, as highlighted by Lisa Riley. If it sounds too good to be true, she’s right: it probably is.

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