Receiving treatment abroad

The experience of receiving treatment in Barcelona, Spain

What the patient should know

Guest post by Arina Rogozina, International Health Manager Fertty International

The process of decision making where to perform fertility treatment is hugely stressful, especially if you are considering treatment abroad. The patients must consider many aspects, and unfortunately, often the information is of poor access, scarce and contradictory. 

In case you are considering Spain as the destiny of your fertility journey, what information should you know and take into account? 

It’s essential to make sure you understand the country’s legal situation before having treatment (legal regulation on allowed procedures, age limits, who can receive treatments, etc.). 

Spain was a pioneer in having an Assisted Reproduction Law National Law 35/1988, in force since 1988. At present, Law 14/2006 provides the primary legislative framework. Additionally, the Royal Decree-Law 9/2014 and the Royal Decree-Law RD 9/2017 establishes standards of quality and safety for the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of tissues and human cells, as well as coordination and operating standards for working with patients. All these regulations make Spain a very secure destination for the realisation of this type of treatment. 

The legal framework in Spain is one of the most comprehensive and flexible in the UE, allowing to perform all fertility treatments (IUI, IVF, egg and sperm donation, ROPA, PGT among others) except surrogacy and gender selection. The law establishes that woman can access the treatments over the age of 18, despite marital status or sexual orientation. It means that it’s allowed to perform procedures to solo-mums, heterodox couples and females couples. 

The donation of gametes is anonymous and altruistic, which ensure the availability of them to offer egg or/and sperm donation programs practically immediately, without waiting lists. Spain performs around 60% of all IVF-Egg donation programs in Europe, which makes the country the leader in a donation at the EU. At the global level, Spain revalidates its leadership one more year and increases its worldwide participation in organ donation. 

Fertility preservation, in Spain, is allowed for reproductive purposes before exceeding the woman’s physiologically fertile age. Putting it in advantage in comparison with the countries that limit the years of cryopreservation, f.eg., in the UK it remains in storage for up to a maximum of 10 years. 

Regarding the women age limit for assisted reproduction treatments, there is no legal guide that advises or discourages it. However, private clinics advice against performing treatments for women over 50 years, to protect the health of women and ensure a healthy pregnancy. 

Other information the patients should require is about the standards of quality in techniques, laboratories and training of the specialists; the price-quality relationship, high success rates and of course complementary offer of the destination. 

From 1988 until now, more than 30 years have passed, making Spain preferred destination by the international patients to undergo the reproductive procedures, exactly the third in the world in quality and activity in assisted reproduction treatments. Today, Catalonia is the leader in Spain, performing 23.3% of these treatments, offering the highest standards in quality, state-of-the-art technologies, very qualified specialists, the highest success rates and affordable prices. 

Barcelona is an easily accessible destination with direct and frequent flights from anywhere in the world. We always welcome our patients to combine their treatment with a relaxing vacation experience in sunny Barcelona. Rich in history, culture and architecture, with cosmopolitan life, Mediterranean Sea and delicious food, Barcelona is an excellent place to enjoy the stay. 

Another essential aspect to take into account is how the clinics support the patients throughout the process? 

Here each centre acts following its patient care policy. In Fertty International, we want to avoid that patients feel lost, insecure, frustrated and lonely during their fertility journey. For this reason, we put the most significant focus on patient care service. We want to stand out among other centres for this practice. We offer personalised care model: “One patient – One team”, ensure our patients the end-to-end experience, being attended by the same team: the same patient / medical assistant and the same doctor. 

There is no linguistic barrier; all our team speaks different languages (Spanish, Catalan, English, French, Italian, German, Russian, etc.) and the documents provided to the patients are in their tongue. 

To reduce the number of visits to the centre and shorten the length of stay in Barcelona, we offer the possibility of free online consultations with both the assistants and the doctor by Skype, WhatsApp call, Viber, etc. 

For the same reason, Fertty International collaborates with clinics and physicians all over the world. We can recommend the patient a referral centre at their origin where necessary studies for the start of treatment and controls can be performed. All this information is shared directly between the centres, though highly secure channels, avoiding patients have unnecessary worries. 

Likewise, we work with experts in psychology, fertility coaching, nutrition, acupuncture, reflexology, among others. These professionals contribute to making the process easier, comfortable, emotional and physically healthy and consequently more positive. Also, these specialists can assist you in your country of origin, the UK. 

All treatment programs are personalized and tailored to the needs of each patient. We guarantee pregnancy with our refunding programs. 

The WhatsApp support line is available for 365 days. 

And finally, for patients who want support in travel and stay logistics, we work with the travel agency that may organise a trip according to the needs and preferences of patients. 

The patient experience is a fundamental concept for us because every detail of this experience will contribute to success. 

By Arina Rogozina, International Health Manager Fertty International 

Fertty International is a modern and reliable assisted reproduction clinic based in Barcelona, Spain, entirely focused on foreign patients, attending couples and solo-mums from all over the world.