To date, more than two million children are born via IVF, and it has become a recognized medical procedure globally.
It is considered as a safe, efficient, relatively affordable and readily accessible method.
In vitro fertilization or IVF captured public attention since it was introduced in 1978.
It is also known as Assisted Reproductive Technology or ART which is available in most civilized countries worldwide.
It took almost three decades before IVF gain full acceptance.
In fact, it developed to become a mainstream medical procedure as seen in the last few years. Fertility treatment in the UK as well as in other European countries is currently managed and funded by the Department of Health.
Declining birth rate is one of the major concerns of the UK and other European countries.
As a matter of fact, other developed nations also encounter this similar problem.
The UK tends to have a lower fertility rate because of lifestyle choices.
Younger adults want to be economically stable first before they decide to settle down. A College graduate aims to pursue further studies, to get a better job opportunity in the future.
Others enter the workforce to earn and save and delay any marriage plans.
This scenario had led many UK couples to seek for fertility treatment in the country and abroad.
Studies have shown that a considerable number of couples in the UK seek treatment abroad because of affordability and lesser waiting time.
UK couples prefer Spain for fertility treatment, but a significant number of couples opted to travel to a not so popular destination like North Cyprus for IVF Treatment abroad.
Why the UK have Lower Fertility Rate?
The United Kingdom has a lower fertility rate because of lifestyle choices, as mentioned above.
Birth control methods are easily accessible, so unwanted pregnancy is prevented.
In developed countries like the UK, children are equated with economic drain because of higher education cost, housing expenses and other costs that are associated with bringing up children.
Younger adults seek higher education and a better professional career. This simply means that women prefer to have children later in life. This cycle results in a demographic and economic paradox.
Fertility rates are already low or falling which drives rapid population ageing in most countries of the world.
48% of people live in countries where the TFR or Total Fertility Rate is below average which is around 2.1 births per woman for the year 2005 to 2010.
In Europe, the TFR is 1.5 births per woman and around 1.4 births per woman in Japan.
This is considered a very low fertility rate that may lead to population ageing and rapid population decline.
For example, in the Southern European population, the median age is projected to reach 50 years by 2040 as compared with the median age of 41 in 2010 and 27 in 1950. Last 2013, the government in almost 102 countries reported a rapid decline in population.
Hence fertility and ageing is now a primary concern in developed countries. 54 countries have already enacted to raise the fertility.
Why UK Couples Choose IVF Treatment?
Women in their late 30’s to 40’s have difficulty in conceiving a child.
There are many risk factors associated with an older woman getting pregnant than their younger age group.
The International Journal of Reproductive Medicine reported that advanced maternal age is a risk factor for having complications in pregnancy.
Older women have increased the risk for spontaneous abortion and risk of having a child with chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome.
Couples in the United Kingdom considered IVF as an option when they have difficulty having a child.
In Vitro Fertilization is a form of assisted reproductive technology or ART it is popularly known as IVF.
The fertilization process involves extracting the eggs and retrieving a sperm sample and then combining the egg and sperm sample manually using a laboratory dish. The embryo will then be transferred to a uterus.
A medical practitioner may recommend IVF if there are:
- Unexplained infertility
- A family history of a genetic disorder
- Women who have their fallopian tubes removed
- A woman who is diagnosed with uterine fibroids, premature ovarian failure, and disorders in ovulation
- Infertility of the male partner such as decreased sperm motility and or sperm count
- Damaged or block fallopian tubes
Why Travel to North Cyprus?
Cyprus is an island country in the East of Mediterranean and considered as the third most populous and largest island in the Mediterranean. This island is located North of Egypt, West of Lebanon and Syria, Northwest of Israel, Southeast of Greece and South of Turkey.
This small island has a rich culture and long history that spans 10,000 years. In fact, it has one of the oldest civilizations in the Mediterranean.
Apart from its attractive and alluring sunshine island, Cyprus showcases its top of the line healthcare facilities and reasonable fees.
No doubt, it has become one of the favoured options for medical fertility tourism. Aside from the added fact, that the environment offers a relaxing surrounding that is perfect for recuperating and healing.
Along the well-known medical treatments that are offered by modern clinics and hospital, Cyprus Island is home for a rural lifestyle, luxurious spa experience and home for high-end resort amenities. The island provides health and wellness experience at its finest.
This is one of the reasons why UK tourists choose Cyprus for beauty treatment, holistic therapies, pampering experience and fertility treatment. Tourists enjoy a sense of focusing on oneself, strengthening their relationships as a couple, and relieving daily stresses in life.
Why Choose IVF Treatment abroad in North Cyprus?
There are 11 reasons why UK couples choose North Cyprus for their fertility treatment.
1. Low cost
IVF Treatment in Cyprus is more economical than other treatments offered in more developed countries.
It cost only about €3,000 to €5,000 in Cyprus than €5,000 to €10,000 in the UK.
This is a significant saving, particularly for middle-income couples.
Instead of spending all their savings for IVF, they can allow it for other expenses like for the child education, and other expenses related to raising a child. They can also use the extra money in having an enjoyable and relaxing vacation in Cyprus.
2. Anonymous Egg Donation Program
Children born via IVF in UK have the right to seek for their birth parents if they wish too when they are old enough.
For some donors, it may compromise their desire to keep their identity private.
In Cypus, however, the Anonymous Egg Donation Program prevents the children to seek for their birth parents when they grow up.
Donors who prefer to keep their identity private will have their privacy for the rest of their life.
The IVF Treatment in UK is funded by the NHS or National Health Service in England. Couples eligible for funding usually wait for few months and or up to three years before receiving a grant for fertility treatment.
This primarily depends on the area they live in and the difficulty finding an egg donor, hence longer waiting list.
These are some of the reasons why couples who wish to become parents are motivated to travel abroad.
More so, NHS has limited resources and funding that is why there is a long waiting list.
Moreover, patients need to follow a strict and specific process for the treatment.
IVF have different steps to complete, and the process varies for every couple depending on their current health status, age and other health-related concerns.
Couples need to undergo this process before they are referred to an Assisted Conception Unit where the treatment begins. All these and more delay the process of IVF treatment.
This is the reason why studies have shown that six out of ten IVF cycles are funded privately. This means some couples opted for a private IVF treatment.
However, in Cyprus, there is no waitlist. For a private clinic, the waiting list is mainly created to staff resources and managing workload.
Nevertheless, a woman can get pregnant immediately without waiting for too long.
Private IVF clinics offer high stimulation and conventional IVF that involves a down-regulation mechanism.
This means that the process temporarily stops the ovaries function to control egg maturation and ovulation.
With the high stimulation drugs and down-regulation, ovaries go into overdrive which means it releases more egg which increases the chance of fertility.
Instead of releasing a single or naturally selected eggs, that may lessen the chance of pregnancy. This is particularly helpful for women on the late 30’s and 40’s.
Couples who are willing to travel to North Cyprus are matched immediately with a donor.
They go through the treatment process rapidly when they choose to come to the island. So instead of waiting for months or years of becoming a parent, the couple can achieve pregnancy within a few weeks after they choose the right clinic for them.
4. Gender selection available
The freedom to select your child’s gender is not allowed in many countries in Europe except in North Cyprus.
This makes the destination more attractive for UK couples who wants to have family balancing.
If a couple wants to have a male child, they have the opportunity to do so particularly if they already have two girls in the family.
5. Higher success rates even above the European average
The Global Clinic Rating or GCR is the most extensive accreditation and medical clinic standard body worldwide.
They monitored more than 500, 000 medical facilities worldwide for over 2000 medical clinics in 126 countries.
The respected accrediting body reported the Top 10 English Speaking Fertility Clinics in 2018 (read the detailed article) and
Dunya IVF in North Cyprus ranks among them.
This just shows the higher success rate of fertility treatment in North Cyprus.
6. Large donor pool
UK couples may choose from a number of criteria for your egg or sperm donors, including multiracial donors.
Couples have the freedom to choose things like hair colour, eye colour, height or the race of the donor as they want to.
7. Advanced aged and single women treated
In some countries, single woman or woman of advanced age are not considered for IVF treatment.
Older women, for example, have a lesser chance of success fertility rate as compared with the younger age group.
Biologically, female fertility declines as the age advance.
This trend is seen from large IVF registries in UK and US. The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology reported that in the USA for example, a 2012 CDC data reported that having IVF or an assisted reproduction at the age of 35 or under may achieve a live birth of 40%. But the rate falls to 22% by the age of 41 and about 4% by the age of 43.
In North Cyprus, even if you are single or an advanced aged woman you can have the treatment.
As compared with the rest of Europe, North Cyprus has liberal IVF regulation making the fertility treatment industry thrives in this small island.
8. ISO 9001
DunyaIVF has an ISO 9001 standard making it globally competitive worldwide.
North Cyprus offers highly specialized clinic facilities those results in higher pregnancy rates at a reasonable price.
9. Free assisted hatching and embryo glue on all treatments
Our Clinic offers an assisted hatching and embryo glue free of charge.
This added service is performed to ensure higher success rates without an additional cost to the couple.
10. Reachability. How to Reach North Cyprus? How Far is it from the UK?
Take note that Cyprus is one island, but it has two countries. It is divided into North and South Cyprus. North Cyprus was isolated from the rest of Europe until recently, so this side of the country is more Mediterranean.
Couples who want to experience a less tourist-oriented, less developed and quieter environment may opt for North Cyprus.
It has un-congested roads, virgin mountains and beaches, and tourist prices that are lower than the other European countries. When you dream of how a Mediterranean life is all about North Cyprus will definitely give you that sense of feeling.
If you want to have fertility treatment and villa holiday in North Cyprus, there are two flight options to choose from.
Flight from the UK to South Cyprus (Larnaca airport)
If you choose to go to South Cyprus first, there is a greater range of airlines that you can choose from (check flights availability here).
Nevertheless, this is the perfect time for you to have a memorable road trip and enjoy the picturesque scenery of the island. When you reach the border, the process is not that tedious, you just need to present your passport and you can enter North Cyprus easily.
Anyhow, people in Cyprus drive from the right side of the road, same in the UK, so you will have the opportunity to explore the beauty of the island.
South Cyprus is not that far from the UK. In fact, you can reach it in less than five hours.
Direct flights from Europe to North Cyprus
There is only a stop-over in Turkish Airport via Atlasjet Airlines and Pegasus Airlines unlike in South Cyprus where the flights are direct. Turkish Airline's mandates change of aircraft in Istanbul that results in longer flight time but a shorter onward journey to North Cyprus.
There are many flights to choose from in North Cyprus, and the prices vary depending on the time of the year.
Before booking, make sure to check the charges for excess checked in luggage as prices dramatically peak during summer months.
The flight schedules from the UK to South Cyprus are as follows:
- Flights from Birmingham to Larnaca: 4 hours 45 minutes
- Flights from London to Paphos: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Flights from Manchester to Paphos: 4 hours 40 minutes
- Flights from London to Larnaca: 4 hours 43 minutes
11. 24/7 sunny weather
Cyprus offers alluring sunshine that is perfect for vacations and for fertility treatment.
When you come as a couple, you leave as a family! It is like hitting two birds in one stone.
While having the fertility treatment, you can also have a relaxing and memorable vacation with your loved one.
You can spend more quality time with each other. It is the best time to breathe amidst the busyness of your daily schedules and spend silent yet unforgettable moments together.
When you leave the island, you are looking forward to a new chapter of your life as a soon to be parents!
How is the Fertility Process Treatment done? How long will it last?
In a nutshell, UK couples who opt to have their fertility treatment in North Cyprus will have to spend the preparation phase in the United Kingdom.
This process is called the controlled ovarian hyperstimulation which may last for 10 to 14 days.
This process controls the ovulation and maturation of the embryo to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
The couple will then travels to North Cyprus and spend 5 to 7 days on the island, where they can have the perfect opportunity to have a holiday.
The IVF treatment requires just a few visits to the IVF clinic, so the couples don’t need to spend that much.
When couples are able to choose the right clinic, there is a higher chance of a successful treatment procedure.
Why Do Couples need to Be Smart in Choosing IVF clinics?
As with many medical treatments, couples are advised to be smart in choosing the right fertility clinic for them.
Selecting a highly specialized IVF clinic allows them to have higher pregnancy rates.
North Cyprus is an excellent destination because it offers excellent service and value for money for couples who wish to seek IVF treatment abroad.
We look forward to seeing you here.
Remember, it's always sunny ;)
IVF in women over 38: The doctor's dilemma. (2015). European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (link)
- Jeff Wang and Mark V Sauer. (2006). In vitro fertilization (IVF): a review of 3 decades of clinical innovation and technological advancement. Ther Clin Risk Manag. , 355–364. (link)
- Nargund, G. (2009). Declining birth rate in Developed Countries: A radical policy re-think is required. Facts Views Vis Obgyn, 191-193. (link)
- Ronald Lee,corresponding author1 Andrew Mason. (2014). Is Low Fertility Really a Problem? Population Aging, Dependency, and Consumption*. Science, 229–234. (link)
- Seda Ates, 1 , 2 , * Gonca Batmaz, 1 Osman Sevket, 1 Taner Molla, 1 Cem Dane, 3 and Banu Dane 1. (2013). Pregnancy Outcome of Multiparous Women Aged over 40 Years. Int J Reprod Med. (link)
This article was published first time in 2015 and it was updated in 2018.