IVF and Egg Donation in Latvia

IVF egg donation Latvia

Why should I choose Latvia for my IVF treatment?

The scenic Latvia is home to many stunning views and architectural wonders. What the country is not yet famous for, however, are its options for treating infertility. But surprisingly, it is one of the most reliable and quality fertility treatment providers in Europe nowadays. An important advanatge is the fact that Latvia belongs to both the European Union and the Schengen area. Looking for a perfect place for IVF? Riga (Latvia capital) may be an option to consider.

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IVF clinics in Latvia

According to the 2014 report by the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), there were only five clinics in Latvia in that year, with only three reporting their results directly to ESHRE. But don’t let yourself be fooled by that number, though. Latvian clinics offer high standards of care and follow modern procedures for safe and effective IVF. Riga, Latvia, is the place where most of those clinics are located.

The country often serves foreign patients seeking affordable treatments. Lithuanians and Estonians are a common sight in Latvian medical centres, naturally; Latvia is also increasing in popularity as a destination for patients from Scandinavia, Germany and the United Kingdom.. Clinics reflect that reality by often offering additional patient services, such as having translators and personal coordinators on hand. Most medical staff in Latvia speak English, while some may also speak additional languages, such as Russian.

Results from Latvian clinics submitted to ESHRE are compiled into yearly aggregate reports; these, however, are often published with a large delay. The report for the year 2014 was published in 2018. You can find data concerning Latvian treatment efficacy from the 2014 ESHRE1 report below:

IVF clinics in Latvia- ESHRE data for 2014 (latest report published in 2018)
Number of IVF clinics in Latvia5
Number of IVF clinics in Latvia reporting to ESHRE3
Own eggs cycles performed in Latvia480
Donor eggs cycles performed in Latvia144
IVF donor eggs - success rates
(pregnancies/embryo transfer)
50.9%
IVF with own egg - success rates
(aspirations - egg retrievals / embryo transfer)
29.8%

IVF treatment options in Latvia

Current Latvian law permits access to fertility treatments only to single women and heterosexual couples. However, women in same-sex relationships may be treated by some of the clinics – assuming one partner states that she is single.

One unusual thing about Latvia is that their assisted reproduction laws do not specify an upper age limit for either women or men. Latvian IVF clinics decide on it individually, which can make the country an attractive destination for older patients. In order to make the best choice, always remember to ask your clinic if they have an age limit in place.

Gamete and embryo donations are allowed. Although there is no legal indication, the approved guidelines recommend a single embryo transfer for all the patients with good prognosis. The same guidelines do not recommend the transfer of three or more embryos. Donations anonymity is clearly required by the law. Parents are only allowed access to the donor’s genetic and phenotypic data.

Modern pre-implantation diagnostics such as PGS and PGD are available to patients. Sex selection as a result of these diagnostics is only allowed in medically justified cases – for instance, if there is a significant possibility of the child being born with a genetic disorder related to the sex chromosomes.

IVF and Egg Donation in Latvia - basic information
Maximum patient ageNot specified by legislation, decided by each clinic individually
IVF treatments for single womenAllowed
IVF treatments for lesbian couplesNot allowed
Maximum number of embryos to transfer
IVF with donor eggs
1-3
Maximum number of embryos to transfer
IVF with own eggs
1-3
Egg donor availabilityGood
Egg donor age18-34
Egg donation in Latvia

Egg donation in Latvia

IVF egg donation in Latvia

According to the Latvian law, egg, sperm and embryo donation is anonymous. The donors’ personal data is collected and entered into the nationwide donor registry which confidentiality is maintained by the Latvian Ministry of Health. It is important to mention here that because of the country’s small population (around 2 million – according to 2019 estimations) and ethnic makeup, make finding donors of phenotypes other than European rather difficult.

Accounting for the small number of IVF treatments taking place in Latvia overall, egg donation is a popular choice – in 2014, 144 egg donation cycles were performed, compared to 480 own egg cycles.

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Egg donor information available in Latvia

Although Latvian law requires strict anonymity with regard to the donors, patients have access to some basic genetic and phenotypic information, such as a description of their appearance (height, weight, skin tone, hair and eye colours, etc.), their blood type, and their genetic history.

Latvian law does not specify a procedure in which donors and patients are matched. Instead, each clinic has its own matching method. While most of them follow guidelines from ESHRE and other related advisory bodies, it is always worth making sure what the matching process is at a given clinic and what information about the donor would be made available to you as a patient.

Egg donor qualifications in Latvia

Potential donors in Latvia must satisfy several criteria in order to be able to donate. First of all, donors must be between the ages of 18 and 35 (in case of women) and 18 and 45 (in case of men). They are selected on the basis of their age, health and medical history, and they also have to submit the opinion of a psychiatrist and a narcologist.

Donor qualification tests required by law:

  • Anti–HIV–1 and HIV–2
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HbsAg
  • Anti–HBc
  • Anti–HCV–AB
  • HTLV–1
  • Chlamydia

Depending on the donor’s travel and exposure history, additional testing may be required:  RhD, malaria, CMV, T. cruzi . Sometimes Latvian IVF clinics also include karyotyping test (as recommended by ESHRE) as well they as microbiological and pap smears and ultrasound examinations on egg donors.

IVF and egg donation cost in Latvia

Latvia’s relatively high standards of care come at a price. The average egg donation treatment in Latvia is €5,000 – €8,000 while the prices of single IVF cycle with own eggs range from €3,200 to €6,200. These prices are surely higher than in nearby destinations, such as Poland or Russia.

IVF egg donation costs - Latvia

Average egg donation costs in Latvia 2

It also needs to be remarked that some clinics may not be upfront about additional fees accumulating over the course of treatment; always be sure to ask your clinic of choice about whether these costs are included in their price quote:

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

IVF success rates in Latvia

According to the 2014 ESHRE report, Latvian success rates are comparable with other European countries. Own egg treatments had an average success rate of 22.3% for women younger than 34 years old, compared to the reported European average of 29.0%. Egg donation treatments had a success rate of 50.9%, while the average in Europe was 50.3%.

IVF Success Rates in Latvia (ESHRE 2014)
IVF in LatviaESHRE European average
IVF donor eggs - success rates
(pregnancies/embryo transfer)
50.9%50.3%
IVF with own eggs - success rates
(aspirations - egg retrievals / embryo transfer)
29.8%27.2%
IVF egg donation success Rates - Latvia

Egg donation success rates in Latvia 3

 

Your individual chances for a successful IVF treatment in Latvia

Remember that average success rates shouldn’t be the primary deciding factor for your choice of clinic. Each patient is different – they have different infertility diagnoses and medical histories. As such, the prognoses for each patient can vary 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 Latvia – Law and Clinics Accreditation

Latvia passed its initial Sexual and Reproductive Health Law4 back in 2002. It laid out the legislative foundations for diagnosing and treating infertility. Articles 13 through 15 deal with assisted reproduction, establishing that both heterosexual couples and single women can undergo IVF procedures, whether with their own gametes, or those of a donor. Article 15 forbids, among other things, sex selection (except for medically justified reasons) and transferring more than three embryos in a single cycle.

This law was then augmented by several regulations passed by the Latvian parliament. Regulation 7165, passed in 2003, set forth the rules for setting up donor gamete banks, as well as established the registries of infertile families, assisted reproduction procedures and gamete donors. It also clarified the process of performing assisted reproduction treatments.

Two additional resolutions followed – no. 208 in 20076 and no. 1176 in 20137 slightly changed the procedures and protocols for obtaining, handling, and storing human tissues and cells. These changes brought the Latvian legislation more in-line with the European recommendations and regulations.

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Resources:

1 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

2EggDonationFriends.com, data for 2018, own elaboration

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

4 Latvian Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_protect/—protrav/—ilo_aids/documents/legaldocument/wcms_127921.pdf

5 Procedures for Organising Medical Insemination and Procedures for Establishing a Register of Infertile Families, Medical Fertilisation Register, Gamete Donor Register and Gamete Banks, https://likumi.lv/ta/id/82281-mediciniskas-apauglosanas-organizatoriska-kartiba-un-neaugligo-gimenu-registra-mediciniskas-apauglosanas-registra

6 Procedures for obtaining, storage and use of human tissues and organs, https://likumi.lv/ta/id/155224-cilveka-audu-un-organu-uzkrasanas-uzglabasanas-un-izmantosanas-kartiba

7 Procedures for using human tissues and cells, https://likumi.lv/ta/id/261810-cilveka-audu-un-sunu-izmantosanas-kartiba

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