July 2, 2022

Why do British go overseas for fertility treatments?

Most women travelling from the UK to other
countries for infertility treatment do so because of long waiting lists and
shortage of donor gametes at home, according to a recent study. UK authorities
have recently been considering
the introduction of a market for sperm and eggs
, and this study
appears to support the move.

Researchers interviewed 51 women for the
project, finding that over 70% were seeking donor treatment, most of them with
donor eggs or embryos but some with donated sperm.

The interviewees were aged between 29 and
46, with an average age of 39. They were mainly of the managerial and
professional class, and 96% were white, but included were six single women and
one lesbian couple. They went to 14 countries, of which the most popular were
Spain, the US and the Czech Republic. The shortage of donor gametes at home was
not the only reason. Other factors included an overseas holiday or the hope of
better success rates. ~ BMJ 2010; 341:c6874

fertility tourism