Fertility Treatment Options Around the World

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Artificial Insemination (AI) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI); just a few of the many fertility assisted treatments and techniques available to most of us in the US, Canada and Australia. It is amazing to think about really…

Many women in and around Europe however do not have as many options available to them.  In fact, there are many countries that are very rigid in their rules for how women can and cannot start a family.

Did you know…..

  • In Austria, the courts have ruled that neither egg nor sperm can legally be donated for an IVF procedure.
  • In France, women who are single are not allowed to use IVF or Artificial Insemination to become pregnant.  In addition, they are also not allowed to use a surrogate to carry their baby.  If a baby is born from a surrogate, he/she is not issued a French passport.
  • Germany has also banned the use of donated eggs, but they do however allow sperm donations. In line with France, Germany has restricted the use of IVF and AI to single women.
  • The Italian courts are clear in their message regarding IVF.  They state that, "IVF is only an option for stable heterosexual couples who live together and are of child bearing age."  They have also banned the use of donated eggs and sperm to couples who do in fact qualify for IVF.
  • Norway is similar to Germany because you can use donated sperm, but not eggs when trying to become pregnant.
  • In Sweden, couples have to prove that they have been in a stable relationship for over a year before qualifying for any type of fertility assistance.
  • And in Switzerland, law states that you have to be married before you can elect to use any assisted fertility procedures/techniques/medication protocol.
  • Interestingly, it isn't just France that doesn't allow surrogacy as a family building option.  It is true for all of the European countries, other than the Ukraine.

Because of all these rules, many women are travelling overseas to receive medical assistance for starting or adding to their family.  It seems that when you struggle with fertility, there is always a journey to be taken.  The journey most likely has many bumps in the road.  And for the women above, their journey may take them many miles away from home as well.

What do you think about the strict rules that many of the European countries have regarding fertility treatment options?


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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.