As a scientific innovation, the IVF method emerged from Great Britain. Hence, London scientists are considered the “pioneers” in this field of medicine, and accordingly, the British capital has become the most preferred location for couples considering IVF. Nevertheless, recent years have seen considerable changes in terms of the unprecedented growth of reproductive medicine services and artificial fertilization in Spain. Taking into account various positive feedback about IVF in Barcelona and Valencia, thousands of future parents all over the world choose the reproductive medicine clinics located in the major Spanish cities.
By way of comparison, according to data from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), in the year 2012, about 16000 artificial fertilization procedures were performed in Spain, while in Great Britain 2500 procedures were conducted, 3300 in the Czech Republic, and 1200 in Belgium. At the same time, the statistics presented by the Spanish Society of Reproductive Medicine (SEF) and Surgery as of 2014 demonstrate that Spain is ranked first in Europe for the quality of its reproductive medicine and third in the world after Japan and the United States of America.
Why should one choose IVF in Barcelona?
- As the idea of in vitro fertilization itself is still a controversial subject (there are many opponents of this procedure who appeal to religious and moral beliefs), it is extremely important to be aware of the legal regulations of this question in an ethical context. The Spanish legislation in this field dates back to 1988 and is recognized as the most well-adjusted to the requirements and realities of contemporary society with its constantly changing family model, the current roles of women on the labor market, the increasing age for motherhood, etc. The main authority in charge of developing recommendations to the legislative base is the National Committee on Assisted Human Reproduction. In accordance with the Spanish law of 2006, any woman (whether in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, or a single woman) aged 18 to 50 years, has the right to use auxiliary reproductive technologies. Meanwhile, in France and Great Britain, only traditionally married women or those having a conventional partner are entitled to this right. In addition, the maximum age threshold is established on the level of 40-45 years. When it comes to IVF egg donation in Barcelona, there are stricter age requirements for a donor, who must fall into the age range of 18 to 35 years. Egg donation is an anonymous procedure, and this feature must be stated in the contract signed by donors. The biological material trade is strictly prohibited; donation in Barcelona is therefore a more altruistic act.
- Innovative process. Essentially, this quality represents the main advantage of IVF in Barcelona, as it ensures the high percentage of successful outcomes of the procedure. For example, several years ago in Barcelona, and for the first time in the world, doctors used an incubation system with embryoscope, a camera that monitors the development process of a fertilized egg cell every 10 minutes, while the traditional incubators allow for the same operation only once per day.
- Relatively low price for IVF in Barcelona. By way of comparison, for procedures involving one donor’s egg cell, in Barcelona a client pays around 7-8 thousand euros. In London, the same course will cost 13 thousand euros. Plus, the percentage of successful cases in Spain is significantly higher. The use of a client’s own material (sperm or egg cell) for IVF will cost even less – around 5-6 thousand euros for the full course of treatment.
IVF in Barcelona: main stages
The procedure of IVF in Barcelona can be divided into five stages:
- Analytical stage
During this IVF stage in Barcelona, the doctor’s main task is to determine the reason for the inability to conceive a child and test both partners (in this case, a spermogram/semen analysis is mandatory; in addition, some part of the sperm obtained for this procedure is frozen). This is done in order to determine which procedure – IVF or intracytoplasmic injection of sperm (ICSI) – will be the best option for the individual case. The major distinctive feature of ICSI is the preliminary selection of viable sperm and their subsequent injection into the egg cell (which is used if a partner’s sperm is of insufficient quality). ICSI can increase the success rates of IVF in Barcelona even in the most complicated cases.
- Pharmacological stage
This period lasts for several weeks and includes administration of the hormonal therapy necessary for ovarian stimulation (in case of the use of a donor’s egg cell with IVF, the therapy is carried out with a female donor). Thus, the female endometrium becomes ready for the subsequent egg cell extraction and its fertilization under laboratory conditions.
- Stage of follicular puncture
This stage presupposes the collection of endometrium material. This procedure is micro-invasive and does not envisage any surgical intervention or application of stitches. It lasts about 20 minutes. The egg cell collection (or follicular puncture) is performed via vaginal ultrasound scanning with the use of local anesthesia and weak sedatives.
Fertilization is performed under laboratory conditions by means of unification of an egg cell and sperm. In case of ICSI, the sperm are introduced by means of injection. After fertilization (which takes place in a specially created environment during 18 hours), the obtained embryos are kept under lab conditions for two more days. When conducting IVF in Barcelona, the parents receive information on the embryos formed as a result of fertilization. It is also possible to freeze the embryos for later use.
- Embryo transfer
This is an absolutely painless procedure, during which the embryos formed in the lab are transferred into the uterus. After the transfer, it is recommended that a woman rest completely for at least one day. From this moment, the pregnancy is followed.
The best IVF clinics in Barcelona
Salud de la Mujer Dexeus
- Address: Gran Via de Carles III, 71-75, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Currently, Dexeus is a subdivision of the multi-functional medical center, Quiron, and has the status of a university hospital; this means that innovative technologies in the field of reproductive medicine are accessible here. The center for women’s health and reproductive medicine Dexeus offers its patients the largest in vitro fertilization laboratory in Europe. For this reason, patients from 50 countries around the world come to this hospital every year.
- Address: Ronda del General Mitre, 14, 08017 Barcelona, Spain
The network of private medical centers, IVI, is vast, with 23 branches all over Spain. The clinic branch in Barcelona has the status of research center. Its specialists often receive substantial governmental subsidies for their research and development. The doctors of IVI clinic use different methods for infertility treatment, including:
- Intra-vaginal insemination;
- Transplantation of an egg cell from a donor;
- Sperm insertion into the cytoplasm of egg cells.
Clínica EUGIN Barcelona
- Address: Travessera de les Corts, 322, 08029 Barcelona, Spain
Eugin is one of the best fertility clinics in Barcelona and is famous for its constant collaboration with the best universities in the world for the purpose of increasing the quality of services provide. In addition, psychological assistance services are available for the clinic’s patients. One of the advantages of this medical center is the use of innovative technologies and exclusive equipment on the stage of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
Should you have any questions concerning the choice of the best IVF clinics in Barcelona, you are always welcome to contact the professionals of INEEDSpain service center, who will provide you with a consultation on any important issue and give you necessary advice.