Is it wise to have fertility treatment overseas in Europe, Asia or South America?

Although IVF treatment is available for free on the NHS, most couples in the UK are forced to pay for the procedure at a private clinic. There simply isn't enough money in the NHS system to offer universal IVF care.

If you're lucky, your local hospital will offer fertility treatment, and the waiting list won't be too long. But for the majority of couples, private treatment is the only option.

However, IVF treatment in the UK isn't cheap. The lowest prices are approximately ?3,000 per cycle including medicines and consultations. This is more than many couples can afford.

Fortunately, the cost of infertility treatment abroad can be significantly less. Savings of over 40% are not uncommon, and countries as far and wide as Brazil, India, Malaysia and Turkey all offer excellent fertility services.

However, as with all medical treatment overseas, you must take real care to choose a reputable fertility clinic with a strong track record of successful treatment. Unless you're lucky enough to be very well off, you may only be able to afford one try at IVF. Don't waste it by using an inferior clinic.

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