How Turkey Evolved As A Go-To Destination For People Seeking IVF Treatment
Most couples seek medical advice after 1-2 years trying to conceive. But what confuses them the most? Where to find the best doctor, the clinic or destination within their budget?
Well, Turkey is one of the popular destinations that come with a bundle of treatment along with vacation. If you’re considering IVF treatment abroad, then there are many reasons to opt for Turkey and they are:
Advanced IVF Clinics And Laboratories:
- There are more than 140 IVF clinics across Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya.
- These fertility clinics are JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited and ISO 9001 certified.
- Out of all these fertility centers, Memorial Antalya Hospital is the only IVF center to be accredited by the American Association of Embryology, while Memorial Sisli Hospital is yet to receive accreditation by the TURKAK Accreditation Institute.
- The centers are well-equipped with advanced laboratories that yield the desired results and supervised by the board-certified staff well-trained in western countries.
Highly Trained IVF Specialists:
- Turkey abodes highly-qualified and well-experienced IVF specialists who are well-versed with the latest IVF techniques.
- Most gynecologists and IVF specialists are certified by the Turkish Medical Association, Turkish Society of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Journal of the Turkish-German Gynecology Association, and Turkish Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Shorter Or Zero Waiting Times:
- Turkey doesn’t let its medical tourists wait longer.
- The country offers zero or fewer waiting times in case of treating its tourists especially in case of IVF treatment.
- For instance, if the waiting period of any particular treatment is around 18 months in the European Union and the United States, it takes nearly two weeks to get it done in Turkey.
- The ‘cost’ is quite competitive and has an important role in making the medical game stronger in Turkey.
- Turkish hospitals offer competitive prices as compared to western countries in the EU, UK, Italy and more.
- The cost of medical treatment is 50-60 percent lesser as compared to the UK and US.
- The country occupies a unique, but beautiful geographic location, partly in Asia and partly in Europe.
- Turkey has a rich connection to Greek, Roman, Persian, Byzantine and Ottoman empires offering magnificent architecture to its tourists and visitors.
- Therefore, it is best to explore Turkey once the recovery is done post-treatment.
Easier Visa Processing:
- Like any other country, Turkey also demands a valid passport and a corresponding visa.
- The visa requirements may differ depending on the country of origin which can be obtained from the Turkish consulates.
- Most UK citizens require a visa to enter Turkey that costs around £20 and is valid for three months.
- Similarly, USA citizens have to apply for a visa to enter Turkey.
- Turkish airlines are four-star rated airlines that fly to more countries than any other airline in the world.
- More than 300 flights fly to and from Turkey’s five major international airports regularly.
- Out of all airlines, Turkish airlines are majorly operated across Turkey’s international airport.
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Process: Step-By-Step
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a fertility treatment which involves fertilization of eggs and sperm outside the body, in vitro. The process includes various steps and they are:
Step #1: Initial Test
The process begins with a simple blood test that can be taken place in the IVF center you have chosen.
Step #2: Medications
The blood test helps in finding the right way of treatment and proceeds with medications accordingly.
Step #3: Egg Collection
It is an outpatient procedure in which eggs are collected from the ovaries. It takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the number of follicles in the ovaries.
Step #4: Insemination
After egg retrieval and sperm collection, fertilization takes place in a laboratory dish.
Step #5: Embryo Development
The step starts when fertilized eggs are placed in an incubator. This step helps in determining the day of embryo transfer.
Step #6: Embryo Transfer
This is considered as the final step of the IVF process in which embryos are transferred into the uterus. This process is painless, however, some women may experience cramping.
Step #7: Pregnancy Test
After 10 days of embryo transfer, the woman undergoes a pregnancy BETA Hcg test to check the result of her IVF process.
If this process succeeds, then implantation may occur around six to ten days following the insemination process.
Planning A Family: Different Types Of IVF
Depending on the woman’s age and overall health, there are different types of fertility methods and they are:
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):
- This fertility procedure involves the injection of prepared sperm directly into the woman’s womb around ovulation.
- However, if the woman is 35 years old or above, then IUI is not recommended due to its lower success rate. IUI has generally a success rate of 12 percent at every attempt.
In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF):
- The world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown was born in 1978. Since then, more than five million babies have been born around the globe.
- IVF is a fertility procedure that involves fertilization of sperm with egg in a laboratory dish and then the fertilized eggs are sent back to the woman’s womb once these eggs are transferred into embryos.
- The process usually takes place in a number of steps as discussed above.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):
- ICSI is another form IVF which is considered in case a male has a low sperm count or poor sperm motility.
- In a standard IVF, approximately 100,000 sperm are kept with each egg and placed overnight in an incubator with a hope that at least one sperm will fertilize one egg. While in ICSI, a single sperm is directly injected into the egg.
- With ICSI, one in three couples get pregnant and have a baby.
Tests Performed Before Undergoing In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
The IVF tests are performed by the specialist based on your medical history, family history, and overall health condition. IVF process is best suitable for:
Women above 40 years old with lesser chances of natural conception
damaged/blocked fallopian tubes
Reduced functional ovaries
Male low sperm count or other sperm issues
These IVF tests are basically conducted to identify problems like miscarriage, any infection, embryo abnormalities, etc. that could affect the chances of successful childbirth. These IVF tests are:
Ovarian Reserve Testing:
- This test involves a simple hormone blood test which gives an idea about the number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries.
- In this test, three hormones are tested: FSH, AMH, and Estradiol.
- AMH gives the number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries, while high-level FSH indicates a reducing ovarian reserve which may impact the effectivity of IVF.
Tubal Patency Test:
- Tubal patency test is an ultrasound examination to give a clear view of the fallopian tubes.
- It is a hystero-(uterus)salpingo-(fallopian tube)graphy (HSG) test.
- HSG discovers whether the fallopian tubes are functional for IVF.
- Prolactin is a key hormone that helps in the production of breast milk.
- If there is a high level of prolactin in the body, then it can also prevent conception.
- Based on this test results, the doctor prescribes a medication course which is suitable for women.
Semen Evaluation Test:
- In this test, the male sperm is sent to a laboratory for testing.
- This test predicts the shape, motility, and concentration of the sperm.
- In case the male sperm is infertile, the ICSI process is opted as a fertility treatment in which a single sperm is directly injected into an egg using micro-manipulation tools.
Other Additional Tests:
- Digital High Magnification in which healthiest and best sperm are selected for the IVF process.
- Doctors might also screen for infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Varicella, Rubella, and Chlamydia. These diseases are risky for a growing fetus and cause serious complications.
These are some of the important and general IVF tests that a doctor conducts on the couple. However, there may be other IVF tests as well based on the number of findings.
How To Prepare For IVF: A 30-Day Guide To IVF Success
Duration Of Stage
Preparation begins 2-4 weeks before the beginning of IVF cycle
The cycle begins (Day 1)
Ovarian Stimulation which takes 3-12 days
Egg retrieval which takes about 36 hours
Fertilization process which is of 1 day
Embryo transfer which takes 5 days
About one in eight women face problems in getting pregnant. If you’re planning to get pregnant, then IVF may be one such option to have a biological baby. However, one has to follow a proper diet, take proper supplements, check medications, etc. to make their IVF process successful.
Try the Mediterranean Diet
Fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fat.
Light jogging, hiking, the elliptical, and spinning
Products to avoid
Avoid medicines such as Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil), over-the-counter supplements, antiseizure medications, thyroid medications, skin products containing estrogen or progesterone, chemotherapy drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Completely abstain from drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage
IVF Symptom Treatments
For Male Partner
Eligibility Criteria For IVF In Turkey: IVF Laws In Turkey
IVF laws in Turkey are quite strict as compared to the European countries. The law states:
Egg, sperm and embryo donation is strictly prohibited
Surrogacy is not allowed
Couples should be married and provide some legal proof before proceeding for IVF treatment
Single women and lesbian couples are not welcomed
According to the law, there is no age limit for IVF treatment. However, the treatment will proceed only with the woman’s own eggs. There are some clinics that don’t treat women above 46 years of age.
Women who are 35 years or less are allowed one embryo transferred for the first and second cycle, while two embryos in the third cycle.
Two embryos are allowed for women who are 35 years or older.
The clinics can store the embryos for 10 years, but the couple needs to give a proper reason for their storage.
PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) and PGS (aneuploidy screening) are allowed. The law does not allow sex selection.
Factors That Increase The Success Rate Of IVF In Turkey
Factor #1: Age
- Age along with using own eggs plays a crucial role in making the IVF process successful.
- Younger women have higher success rate due to more number of eggs in her ovaries with better quality.
- Also, the live birth rate for women who are 35 years or younger is 40 percent, while women who are 42 years or older have only 4 percent success rate
Factor #2: Fertility Problems
- IVF success rate depends on the ovulation period.
- It also depends on the couple’s fertility rate and for how long the couple has been infertile.
- Dysfunctional ovaries, low ovarian reserve, lower pregnancy rates, low sperm count, uterine abnormalities also contribute to failed IVF cycles.
Factor #3: Previous Pregnancy
- The success rate of IVF depends on your previous pregnancy, whether you were pregnant or not. If yes, was it the same partner?
- If you were previously pregnant and with the same partner, the success rate of IVF is likely to be higher.
- Factors like miscarriage, the different partners may reduce the chances of successful IVF.
Factor #4: Lifestyle Habits
- Stop smoking if you regularly smoke to increase the chances of successful IVF.
- Stop smoking at least three months before getting IVF done.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese.
- Underweight women are also at greater risk of having IVF successful.
- It is advisable to achieve a healthy weight for successful IVF.
Factor #5: Laboratory Quality
- The laboratory plays a crucial role in IVF.
- Fertilization and culturing of embryos require a healthy environment that can be achieved in a good laboratory.
- Qualification and experience of embryologists matter a lot. They should be well-versed with advanced procedures such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or assisted hatching for a successful IVF cycle.
- The laboratory must be well-equipped with specially designed heating, ventilating, and HVAC units with charcoal filters and HEPA filters for excellent air quality.
Factor #6: Selection Of Fertility Clinic
- Choosing the right kind of treatment by an experienced specialist isn’t enough.
- The selection of a fertility clinic is a deeply concerned decision that contributes to the success rate of IVF.
- It is your right to know where your doctors, nurses, technicians work, in what kind of environment, whether the clinic is rightly equipped.
- Although every case is different, it is equally important to know the type of patients the clinic has accepted in the past.
- It is also the patient’s right to know the success rate the clinic has delivered. The patient can also ask some specific questions such as pregnancy ratio per embryo transfer, the pregnancy rate for the couple’s age group, etc.
Success Rate Of IVF In Turkey
As discussed above, the success rate majorly depends on the couple’s age, male sperm count and quality as well as quantity of egg reserves.
The success rate of younger couples between 20-30 years of age is 60-70 percent.
The success rate declines to 50 percent for the couple above 35 years of age.
The success rate drops to 25 percent when the couple touches 40.
Factors That Affect The Cost Of IVF
There is no price in the entire world that can replace the incredible happiness of becoming a parent. Unfortunately, when couples are encountered with infertility issues or other health issues, they consider IVF that has concerns about the cost.
Although the cost of the IVF process varies as per the clinic’s requirements, you can expect the cost include the following factors:
- IVF process involves a series of tests.
- For women, there are various tests conducted that may outcome of pregnancy including several blood tests, to check ovarian reserve, to determine the levels of important hormones before and during the IVF cycle. Once the embryo is transferred, blood tests are conducted to check the status of pregnancy.
- For men, a semen analysis test is conducted to check sperm motility.
- Ultrasounds are performed to monitor the condition of your ovaries.
- These ultrasound scans are done to determine required fertility factors such as Uterus morphology (shape and structure of the uterus), ovarian volume (length, width, and depth of your ovaries), antral follicle count (the number of eggs in your ovarian reserve), and endometrial thickness and texture (the status of lining in the uterus).
- Egg retrieval is an outpatient procedure that takes place around the ovulation period.
- Once the tests and ultrasounds are done, you will go to the clinic to allow the doctor to surgically retrieve eggs for IVF.
- In this process, the IVF specialist washes the semen in a special centrifugal process to separate the healthy sperm that is to be used for fertilization.
Embryo Culturing And Transfer:
- Once fertilization has taken place, the resulting embryos are cultured in a laboratory before they are transferred into the woman’s womb after 5-6 days.
Medications And Anesthesia:
- IVF is a long process that involves certain oral and injectable fertility drugs.
- These medications and anesthesia are not provided by the fertility physicians and are available at the pharmacy that is billed separately.
- Sometimes your IVF cycle produces a number of viable embryos and you want to store them through cryopreservation (freezing) for future transfers.
- This storage service is a different service that will have its own individual fees.
- If the couple is encountered with fertility problems such as low sperm count, uterine abnormalities, then the specialist has to perform the treatment to overcome fertility problems.
- This treatment costs individually and can be added to the overall cost of IVF.
Number Of IVF Cycles:
- Every cycle counts. If you’re fortunate enough, you may get pregnant in the first cycle itself.
- However, if it takes a number of IVF cycles, then it will add to the expenses of your IVF treatment.
- Age plays a crucial factor in making IVF treatment successful.
- Younger couples get pregnant in the first cycle itself.
- However, women who are 35 years or older have chances to get pregnant in the second or third cycle. Same as the case for women who are 42 years or above.
Clinic Success Rate:
- The clinic you have chosen plays a crucial role in carrying out your IVF treatment.
- The success rate of the chosen clinic, which means their percentage of transfers resulting in a live birth, can impact the overall cost of IVF for you.
Other Additional Expenses:
- If you have chosen clinic out of town or country, then travel, accommodation and other basic amenities are some factors to think about.
Average Cost Of IVF In Turkey
Considering all factors, the average cost of IVF in Turkey is USD 2,500 (14,787 TRY).
Factors To Consider While Looking For A Good IVF Specialist
Choosing a fertility clinic is a crucial decision and is an important part of your treatment process. Although everyone is different and has different requirements as per their age, health, and fertility status. Below listed are a number of factors to consider while choosing a clinic:
Location and Accessibility: Choose a clinic that is near to where you’re residing. Even if you’re considering treatment out of town or country, consider accommodation nearby as IVF cycles require daily visits to the clinic.
Accreditation: In order to get treatment of the highest quality, check the clinic’s accreditation which includes JCI (Joint Commission International), TURKAK Accreditation Institute, College of American Pathologists, etc.
Credentials And Experience Of Staff: Make sure that the doctors associated with the fertility clinic are the American and European Board-certified doctors. Also, you can learn about the experience and skill of the doctors from previous patients.
Services Offered: A fertility clinic offers a variety of services including fertility testing, diagnosis, intrauterine insemination, in-vitro fertilization, etc. After reviewing these services, decide where to go.
Accessibility To Staff: As the IVF process is a delicate and emotional process, it is important that there should be someone available at the chosen clinic to answer your queries and clarify your doubts.
Cost, Insurance And Payment Options: Choose a clinic that takes your insurance for your fertility treatment and what funding options are available.
Reputation: Reputation has an important role in selecting a fertility clinic. Most couples get referrals from their primary care doctor, gynecologist, friends or family.
Leading IVF Doctors In Turkey
Turkish clinics and hospitals have well-experienced fertility specialists who have attained educational qualifications from prestigious institutions across the globe.
Dr. Esra: She is a well-trained infertility specialist. She has been associated with Jinemed Hospital since 2014.
Dr. Murat: He is a well-experienced Embryologist. He is a Director of the Embryology Laboratory at Jinemed Hospital since 2001.
Dr. AYSE: She is amongst the top-rated Embryologist and Infertility Specialist. She has a vast experience in her field of specialization.
Dr. Osman Denizhan Ozgun: He is a coveted IVF specialist in Turkey. He has 29 years of experience in delivering successful IVF treatment.
Dr. Belgin Selam: She is an IVF expert and has 29 years of experience in the field of IVF.
Leading IVF Hospitals In Turkey
Anatolia IVF Center:
Operating since 2005, the center has IVF laboratories meeting international standards. The center is ISO(ISO-9001/2015) certified. The staff uses a personalized approach to maximize the live birth rates and to steer clear of risks.
Jinemed Hospital: Functioning since 2005, the center has delivered the maximum number of successful IVF treatments. The hospital has a well-experienced staff and offers affordable IVF treatment.
Eurofertil IVF Center: The clinic provides reproductive health treatment and in-vitro fertilization. Started in April 2001, the center has helped over 25,000 families.
How is Vaidam Health beneficial in making your treatment journey easier?
Vaidam Health is a mediator that finds a feasible medical solution for the needy ones.
It ensures that the treatment should be affordable and budget-friendly.
All you have to do is send your medical reports and the patient-relation team will contact you within 48 hours along with quotations.
You don’t have to find the doctor and clinic by yourself.
The team arranges everything for you including doctor, clinic, visa processing, basic amenities within your budget.