Thursday 25 September 2014
Despite first IVF babies being born over 30 years ago, IVF treatments have only become mainstream in the last few years. Many UK couples seeking fertility treatment usually try the NHS but a considerable percentage is now looking to go abroad for the treatment. UK couples traditionally prefer Spain for fertility treatments but a significant number have started travelling to a less known destination for IVF treatments: North Cyprus.
The island of Cyprus long known to UK tourists as the ex-colonial sunny holiday destination is now becoming a hot spot for medical fertility tourism. But why do so many British couples travel to North Cyprus to undergo fertility treatment and join it with a holiday?
Yes, Cyprus does offer sandy beaches and year-round sunshine which already make it an attractive destination but people come to North Cyprus for things that are better than or not available in the UK fertility treatment system. The biggest reason is the regulations in the IVF industry. North Cyprus has more liberal IVF regulations compared to the rest of Europe making the industry thrive in this small island.
UK couples choose North Cyprus mainly for egg donation and gender selection procedures. For egg donation, North Cyprus offers a no-wait list, anonymous egg donation program with very reasonable treatment prices. It is a very difficult process for UK couples to go through egg donation in the UK due to the difficulty of finding an egg donor and hence the wait list associated with it. This further delay the couples wish to become parents, motivating them to travel abroad.
Couples willing to travel to North Cyprus can rapidly be matched with a donor and go through the treatment immediately after choosing to come to the island. Therefore instead of going through the long and frustrating process in the UK, the couple can literally achieve pregnancy within a few weeks after choosing the right clinic for them. Also, gender selection is not allowed anywhere in Europe except North Cyprus making the destination attractive for UK patients wishing to do family balancing.
Most UK couples wishing to undergo fertility treatment in North Cyprus spend the preparation phase, called the controlled ovarian hyper-stimulation in the UK, which lasts for 10-14 days. They then travel to North Cyprus and spend only 5-7 days there, which couples see as the perfect opportunity to join a holiday. The nature of IVF treatment is such that very few visits are required to the IVF clinic for a successful treatment procedure.
The highly specialized IVF clinics offer high pregnancy rates, but as with any medical treatment, the patients advised to do their homework before choosing the right clinic for them. With the right clinic, North Cyprus offers excellent value for money for couples seeking fertility treatment abroad.
Monday 22 September 2014
Couples who have not achieved pregnancy by natural means proceed with IVF treatment. Usually it is recommended that if the couple has been trying to conceive for over a year and failed to do should consider IVF treatment. Choosing to proceed with this treatment greatly enhances the probability of pregnancy. The reason for this is that the female goes through a treatment helping to produce as many eggs as possible for fertilization with the partner’s sperm. In addition, the sperm collected from the male are chosen under the microscope for their suitability. Only the most active sperm with the correct morphology are chosen. The fertilized eggs are then observed for several days before transferring only the embryos that have the best progression on those days back to the female uterus. This delicate process is the reason for greatly enhanced chance for pregnancy.
Couples going though Ivf treatment are not considered infertile as the couple’s own eggs and sperm are used. Some older couples that decide to have a baby and do not want further delay their pregnancy also choose to proceed with in vitro fertilization. There are some couples who proceed with IVF treatment that wish to have twins as 2 embryos can be transferred back to the female making it possible to have a twin pregnancy.
There could be several other reasons where the female cannot become pregnant by natural means due to reasons like vaginismus, blocked fallopian tubes, chocolate cyst, polycystic ovary syndrome and poor responder ovary syndrome. This treatment enables women with such conditions to become pregnant. Some couples may also choose to proceed with IVF treatment where they are concerned about passing genetic disorders to their babies. In such cases pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is performed on the embryos to make sure they are free of genetic diseases like Trisomy and Down’s syndrome. It is now also possible to determine the gender of the embryo prior to the embryo transfer back to the female.
There are other sub categories of in vitro fertilization in cases where the female, the male or both cannot use their own eggs or sperm to become pregnant. In such cases donation from other fertile donors has to be used. Those subcategories of IVF treatment are called egg donation, sperm donation and embryo donation.
It is believed that fertility issues affect 1 out of 6 people making IVF treatment a great hope for couples having problems to conceive.