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Why British Couples are Being Forced to Go Abroad for Fertility Treatment

by Monica Caffeky,  Mirror U.K.,  June 5, 2010

Thousands of couples are desperate to be parents but face being left childless because of a drastic shortage of egg and sperm donors in this country.

There are only around 384 sperm donors and 1,084 egg donors for the whole of the UK, according to the latest figures from the Human Fertilisation And Embryology Authority (HFEA).

So with fertility clinics unable to meet the demand, more people are looking abroad for help.

Thinking of treatment abroad?

The top five countries visited for fertility treatment abroad are Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, US and India.

Spain is the most popular due to short waiting times for egg and sperm donors and English-speaking staff.

Success rates abroad can be as high as 60% or more. IVI Barcelona has a success rate of 63% for egg donation.

Clare Lewis-Jones, chief executive of Infertility Network UK, says: "Although many British couples have had very positive experiences abroad, there are some potential problems you do need to be aware of such as regulations and costs of treatment."

If you're thinking about treatment abroad using donated sperm, eggs or embryos, ask the clinic: What is the clinic's recruitment and screening process?

What screening processes do they carry out on donated sperm to ensure it is free from any infections?

How do they recruit egg donors?

What information will you be given about the donor?

For information on egg and sperm donation abroad, and a fact sheet, contact Infertility Network UK on 0800 008 7464 or go to

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