IVF and Egg Donation in Greece

IVF egg donation Greece

Why should I choose Greece for my IVF treatment?

Greece passed its reproductive health legislation in 2005 – it’s widely considered to be one of the most patient-friendly and liberal IVF laws in Europe. All of the procedures are available to all women under fifty and men of all ages. Single mothers are accepted, although women in lesbian relationships need to sign a notarized document stating that the patient is going through the treatment as a single woman. Obtaining this document is rather quick and painless – it only costs around €70 and a single visit to a notary.

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IVF Clinics in Greece

According to the 2014 ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) report, 4,622 egg donation and 15,703 own eggs cycles were performed in Greece in that year. Every clinic in Greece reports its results to EIM2, the European IVF Monitoring consortium . The amount of procedures performed and their comparatively high average success rate perfectly demonstrate Greek clinics’ experience in IVF treatments.

IVF clinics in Greece - ESHRE1data for 2014 (latest report published in 2018)
Number of IVF clinics in Greece44
Number of IVF clinics in Greece reporting to ESHRE44
Own eggs cycles performed in Greece
(2014, ESHRE EIM REPORT)
15,703
Donor eggs cycles performed in Greece
(2014, ESHRE EIM REPORT)
4,622
IVF donor eggs - success rates
(pregnancies/embryo transfer)
51.5%
IVF with own egg - success rates
(aspirations - egg retrievals / embryo transfer)
29.8%

IVF Treatment options in Greece.

The amount of embryos that is permitted to be transferred varies with age. Patients under 35 are allowed to transfer two embryos, unless they already had two failed embryo transfers; in that case, those patients are allowed to transfer three embryos. Patients over the age of 40 are also allowed to transfer three embryos.

Like we mentioned previously, own egg and egg donation treatments are available for recipients below the age of 50 (with no age limit for the partner), along with embryo and sperm donations. Some clinics accept slightly older patients. In all cases the treatment is anonymous – neither the donor nor the patients’ identities are released to the other party. Social freezing of eggs and sperm are also permitted; embryo freezing is also an option. Embryos, eggs and sperm can be stored for up to ten years.

Patients also have access to genetic testing options, such as PGT-A (also known as PGS), as well as PGD. Sex selection of embryos is permitted, but only for medical reasons, such as when the mother carries a disease transferred through the Y chromosome.

Surrogacy is also an option. If the patients have medical documentation proving them incapable of having children of their own, surrogacy arrangements can be made by the clinic, after which they are sent off to court for approval. The patients are not always required to attend every court session. The judgment appended to the surrogacy arrangements will state that the child belongs to the intended parents and receives citizenship from them; it is not entitled to Greek citizenship upon birth. Once the surrogate agrees to enter into the arrangement, she cannot change her mind and has no rights to the child after it’s born.

IVF in Greece at a glance

IVF and Egg Donation in Greece - basic information
Maximum patient age50
(some clinics may accept older patients)
IVF treatments for single womenAllowed
IVF treatments for lesbian couplesPossible, although they are treated as a single woman and they need a notary statement - see above
Maximum number of embryos to transfer
IVF with donor eggs
2
Maximum number of embryos to transfer
IVF with own eggs
Age-dependent: two if under the age of 35, three if over the age of 40, or the age of 35 if two transfers failed previously
Egg donor availabilityVery good
Egg donor age20-32
Egg donation in Greece

Egg donation in Greece

Egg Donation in Greece

The strong anonymity laws regarding egg and sperm donation in Greece makes it a very attractive option for women seeking to donate their eggs; as such, there’s a lot of willing donors of multiple ethnic backgrounds. This is good news for patients who decide to receive an egg or sperm donation treatment – there’s virtually no waiting list! All these factors make Greece an attractive option for patients from all over Europe.

Egg donor information available in Greece

Very strong regulations prevent clinics from divulging any personal information about donors to patients. However, despite this, a comparatively high amount of metrics are available to patients. Aside from the basic information usually divulged during donation treatments, such as the donor’s phenotype, blood type, age and race, patients also have access to the donor’s education history, athletic and musical skills, as well as their genetic history. What they don’t have access to, however, are pictures of the donor. However, phenotype matching is obligatory in Greece, so patients have full confidence their child will look like them.

Greece’s anonymity laws prevent donors from ever contacting the children born through the donation process.

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Egg donor qualifications

Donors in Greece are aged between 20 and 32. They’re required by law to undergo testing for diseases hepatitis B and C, HIV, Syphilis, hemoglobin electrophoresis, sickle cell trait testing, cystic fibrosis, and fragile X syndrome, along with standard bloodwork and karyotype analysis.

Some clinics also perform psychological screening of their donors – although not required by law in Greece, clinics perform these tests in order to ensure that donors understand the consequences of the donation. Donors are compensated between €800 and €850 for each donation cycle and are removed from the donor pool after 10 children are born from their donated cells.

Donor qualification tests required by law:

  • Blood type and Rhesus
  • Hepatitis B & C
  • HIV 1 & 2
  • Syphilis
  • Hemoglobin electrophoresis
  • Sickle cell trait testing
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF) mutation
  • Fragile X testing
  • Conventional karyotype.

Embryo donation in Greece

Embryo donation is possible, and usually turns out to be more affordable than egg donation. However, patients interested should prepare for a six to twelve month wait. Some clinics also offer a “double donation” – that is, two separate donations of egg and sperm cells. If you’re interested.

IVF and Egg Donation cost in Greece

As we mentioned earlier, Greece boasts an impressive number of clinics – fifty! – for a relatively small country. The prices for a single IVF treatment using the recipient’s own eggs range from around €3,000 to €3,500, making it one of the more affordable destinations in Europe. As is the norm, using donor eggs is more expensive, with prices ranging from €4,500 to €6,000. Overall treatment packages which include all of the procedures start at €5,000.

Below you can compare the average costs of egg donation treatments in Greece with those of other countries. This average price includes the donor egg costs, donor compensation, ICSI fertilization, and embryo transfer.

IVF egg donation costs - Greece

Average egg donation costs in Greece 3

As you can see, Greece is one of the more affordable destinations. However, not all clinics are upfront about the costs associated with additional services. When you contact the clinic of your choosing, make sure their advertised price includes:

  • the donor’s fee, her medications and screening (if you’re interested in egg donation)
  • egg retrieval
  • sperm collection and sperm preparation
  • ICSI
  • assisted hatching (or any other IVF procedures you need)
  • transfer of blastocysts
  • vitrification (freezing) and storage of embryos/blastocysts

IVF Success Rates in Greece

The success rates of own eggs and egg donation IVF treatments are hard to compare, because there is no way to access aggregate data published by a Greek,independent third party. However, patients do have access to Licensed In Vitro Fertilization Units (IVFU)4 & Cryopreservation Banks (CB) in Greece, where clinics accredited by the Greek National Authority of Assisted Reproduction are listed. If you decide to choose Greece for your IVF treatment, make sure your clinic of choice is listed there.

ESHRE is an independent source that publishes data on the success rates of IVF treatments in Greece; however, their reports are published with a large delay. Their report for 2014 was published in 2018. According to their latest report, the success rate for egg donation treatments is 51.5%, which is comparable to the European average. This success rate considers both treatments which use fresh eggs, as well as those which use frozen donations.

IVF Success Rates in Greece (ESHRE 2014)
IVF in Greece averageESHRE European average
IVF donor eggs - success rates
(pregnancies/embryo transfer)
51.5%50.3%
IVF with own eggs - success rates
(aspirations - egg retrievals / embryo transfer)
29.8%27.2%

IVF success rates in Greece as compared to other European countries according to ESHRE. As you can see, Greece enjoys a comparable level of success to the rest of Europe.

IVF egg donation success rates - Greece

IVF egg donation success rates in Greece 5

Your individual chances for a successful IVF treatment in Greece

Remember that average success rates shouldn’t be the primary decider for your choice of clinic. Each patient is different – they have different infertility diagnoses and different medical histories. As such, the prognoses for each patient can differ greatly and usually are different from the presented average success rates of each clinic. If you’re concerned with the success rates, call the clinic before scheduling an appointment – describe your medical history in detail, including your age, weight, height, the infertility diagnosis, the number of failed cycles, performed tests and procedures etc. and ask for your individual success prognosis.

IVF in Greece – Law and Clinics Accreditation

The basic legal framework describing assisted reproduction treatments in Greece is described in two laws: law 3089 (“Medically Assisted Human Reproduction”, 2002)6 and law 3305 (“Application of Medically Assisted Reproduction”, 2005)7. IVF treatments in Greece are regulated by the Greek National Authority for Assisted Reproduction. They regulate the way clinics are operate, as well as issue guidelines and perform regular unannounced inspections of clinics alongside the Ministry of Health. Clinics are required to submit records of every IVF procedure in order to maintain an accurate assessment of success rates.

Patients from abroad can expect a high standard of care. According to the World Health Organization, Greek healthcare is among the best in the world – 14th in the world rankings, in fact. The Greek Ministry of Health works hard to maintain the country’s reputation for healthcare – both public and private hospitals and clinics are well-equipped, while the medical personnel receives world-class training.

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Resources:

1The presented data detailing the number of IVF procedures performed in Greece come from the 2014 ESHRE report, published in 2018. ESHRE reports are usually published with a three to four year delay.
ART in Europe, 2014: results generated from European registries by ESHRE: The European IVF-monitoring Consortium (EIM) for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)
https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/33/9/1586/5055580

2The IVF Monitoring (EIM) Consortium is a group of representatives of national registries on assisted reproductive technology (ART), collecting data.
https://www.eshre.eu/eim

3EggDonationFriends.com, data for 2018, own elaboration

Licensed In Vitro Fertilization Units (IVFU) & Cryopreservation Banks (CB) in Greece is a list of clinics accredited by the Greek National Authority of Assisted Reproduction.
http://eaiya.gov.gr/en/information/licensed/

5Data comes from 2014 ESHRE report, published in 2018. https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/33/9/1586/5055580

6Medically Assisted Human Reproduction, Greek law 3089, http://www.bioethics.gr/images/pdf/ENGLISH/BIOLAW/MEDICALLY_ASSISTED_REPRODUCTION/law_3089_en.pdf

7Application of Medically Assisted Reproduction, Greek law 3305, http://www.mednet.gr/archives/2007-6/612abs.html

Last update: 29.04.2018