Why should I choose IVF in Russia?
Russia – famous for its rich history, proud culture and one of the world’s top economies, the country is also home to one of the most extensive healthcare systems on the planet. Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, private clinics and medical centres have opened their doors to foreign patients, attracting them with impressive standards of care. Today, IVF treatment in Russia is accessed by patients from all over the world. No wonder as Russia is home to over 160 IVF clinics which offer attractive IVF treatment prices and helpful medical staff that are fluent in English.
IVF in Russia – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The cost of a single own egg IVF cycle in Russia ranges from €2,000 to €5,000 while an egg donation cycle may cost from €3,800 to €7,000. Taking into account Russia’s advanced IVF procedures and English speaking clinics’ staff, it’s still significantly cheaper than e.g. Spain or even Latvia.
In Russia, IVF treatment is available to both married and unmarried opposite–sex couples and to single women. There is no legal age limit for neither female or male fertility patients. Preimplantation genetic screening/diagnosis (PGS/D) is commonly provided for patients, as well as ICSI, assisted hatching or embryo transfer and vitrification. Sex selection for medical causes and surrogacy are allowed. Russia allows non–anonymous donation, which means that intended parents are able to see pictures of a donor as a child or an adult or hear their voice. Anonymous donation is possible as well.
According to the ESHRE 2014 report, the overall birth rates for IVF with own eggs in Russia were 34.1% (for patients under 35 years old), 25.9% (for patients aged 35-39) and 14.5% (for patients over 40). The birth rate for IVF treatment with with donor eggs was 48.0% for all age groups.
Russia is home to over 160 fertility clinics and most of them are located in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Understandably, these are the cities most often chosen by foreign IVF patients.
The legal basis for all assisted reproduction treatments in Russia is the Ministry of Health order no. 107N, issued in August 2012. It outlays the legal procedures for diagnosing infertility, indications and contraindications for the use of IVF procedures, defines the procedures carried out by IVF clinics and also describes a basic IVF cycle, rules for egg/sperm/embryo donation and medical requirements for donors.
The Russian Association for Human Reproduction (RAHR) administrates a nationwide registry of IVF clinics and medical centres in Russia and releases annual reports detailing the efficacy of their treatments. They can be found under the following link: http://www.rahr.ru/registr_otchet.php
IVF in Russia – basic information
|IVF and Egg Donation in Russia - basic information|
|Maximum patient age||51 years regardless of gender|
|IVF treatments for single women||Allowed|
|IVF treatments for lesbian couples||Not allowed|
|Maximum number of embryos to transfer |
IVF with donor eggs
|Maximum number of embryos to transfer |
IVF with own eggs
|Egg donor availability||Good|
|Egg donor age||18-35|
IVF clinics in Russia
According to the 2014 report by the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), there were 167 clinics offering IVF treatment in Russia in that year, of which 133 reported the results of their treatments to ESHRE. The clinics offering IVF programmes are located mainly in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
In order to operate legally in Russian territory and perform tasks in the field of assisted reproduction, IVF centres in Russia have to obtain two licenses: one from the local authorities and the other from the federal district.
Most – but not all – Russian clinics also submit data about their treatments to ESHRE, which in turn aggregates the results into yearly reports. Unfortunately, these reports are published after a significant delay – for instance, the report detailing the year 2014 came out in 2018. Below, you can view the most important data concerning Russian IVF treatment efficacy for the year 2014, as taken from that year’s ESHRE report1.
|IVF clinics in Russia- ESHRE data for 2014 (latest report published in 2018)|
|Number of IVF clinics in Russia||167|
|Number of IVF clinics in Russia reporting to ESHRE||133|
|Own eggs cycles performed in Russia||38,334|
|Donor eggs cycles performed in Russia||5,619|
|IVF donor eggs - success rates|
|IVF with own egg - success rates|
(aspirations - egg retrievals / embryo transfer)
The Russian Association for Human Reproduction administrates a nationwide registry of IVF centres in Russia and publishes its own annual reports, which are released slightly more often than their ESHRE counterparts. The latest such report details the year 2016 – according to it, 113,976 own egg cycles and 9205 donor egg cycles were performed in that year. Their success rates (calculated based on live births) were 21.3% (24282 live births from 113976 own egg cycles) and 24.59% (2264 live births from 9205 donor egg cycles), respectively.
IVF treatment options in Russia
Russian clinics cater to a wide variety of patients: both married and unmarried heterosexual couples and single women. The standing legislation, however, does not recognize same-sex relationships. One of the most interesting aspects of IVF in Russia is the fact that it does not have a set age limit for treatments. Due to this, clinics often resort to implementing limits recommended by international advisory bodies, such as ESHRE. When choosing a clinic, make sure you ask about their age limits.
Russian law differs from that in other European nations, as it allows for both anonymous and “non-anonymous” donation treatments. But don’t let the name fool you – you’re not going to meet your donor or learn their name or address. You can, however, receive access to their pictures – both as an adult and as a child – along with their physical characteristics, and other supplementary information, such as a recording of their voice. The precise amount and type of information, however, varies between clinics.
Anonymous treatments are also available, and these work in a similar way to those offered by counterparts in European clinics; donors are matched based on the patient’s phenotype. There is no nationwide donor registry, however; clinics keep their own donor records.
When it comes to modern diagnostic techniques in the field of IVF, PGD and PGS are available to patients – as well as ICSI, assisted hatching or embryo transfer and vitrification. Sex selection is allowed, although only in cases in which the child would be likely to inherit a genetic disorder carried through sex chromosomes. Unlike most other countries, Russia also offers surrogacy services.
Egg donation in Russia
If you are considering fertility treatment abroad Russia may be a perfect solution for you. The country’s large population makes for a diverse pool of donors – both European and Asian phenotypes are available, with a slight dominance of the former, reflecting the ethnic makeup of the country. Russia does not have a national registry of donors; instead, each clinic maintains its own database.Find Best IVF Clinics in Russia
Egg donor information available in Russia
Russia’s rather liberal laws don’t enforce anonymity in donation treatments. It means that patients get access to much more detailed information about their donor. For instance, at some Russian clinics, the patient can see pictures of the donor as a baby, hear a recording of their voice, and more. The line is usually drawn at the donor’s personal information: their name, and address. Despite the possibility of non-anonymous donations, many clinics still perform treatments anonymously.
Egg donor qualifications in Russia
Regulations aren’t lax, however, when it comes to the donors’ qualification process. Sperm and egg donors must be aged between 18–35 years old and by law they must undergo thorough screening.
Donor qualification tests required by law:
- HIV 1 and 2
- Hepatitis B and C
- Clinical blood count
- STD testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, mycoplasm, ureaplasm, trichomonas, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex 1 and 2
- Anti-Rubella, Anti-CMV, Anti-HSV testing
On top of all that, a prospective donor also requires a statement from their GP, confirming that there are no health problems present which could result in complications through the donation process. A psychological examination is also required – this ensures the donor understands the consequences and impact of their decision.
IVF and egg donation cost in Russia
IVF treatment in Russia is often chosen by foreign patients due to the reasonable costs. The country offers results and a standard of care comparable to the clinics in Western Europe – at more affordable prices. It is enough to mention that the cost of a single own egg IVF cycle ranges from €2,000 to €5,000 while IVF with donor eggs in Russia may cost from €3,800 to €7,000.
Be aware that some clinics may not be as transparent as others about additional costs and fees that can accumulate over the course of treatment. Make sure you ask your clinic 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
- assisted hatching (or any other IVF procedure you require)
- blastocyst transfer
- vitrification (freezing) and storage of embryos/blastocysts
Russia – IVF success rates
Most IVF units in Russia regularly submit their results to the European Society of Human Reproduction (ESHRE). The results reported by Russian clinics, along with those from other countries in Europe, are compiled into a yearly aggregate report. Thanks to that, we know e.g. that in 2014 in Russia own egg treatments had an average success rate of 34,1% for woman below 35 years old, while egg donation treatments – 48%.
|IVF Success Rates in Russia (ESHRE 2014)|
|IVF in Russia||ESHRE European average|
|IVF donor eggs - success rates|
|IVF with own eggs - success rates|
(aspirations - egg retrievals / embryo transfer)
IVF in Russia – Law and Clinics Accreditation
The Ministry of Health issued order no. 107N in August 20124. This document serves as the legal basis for all assisted reproduction treatments in the country and applies to every federal state in Russia. The law lays out the proper procedure for diagnosing infertility (part 2, articles 8 to 19), indications and contraindications for the use of IVF procedures (part 3, articles 20 and 21, respectively), as well as an outline of a basic IVF cycle. Later on, it goes on to describe the rules for oocyte, sperm, and embryo donation and the medical requirements for donors.
Later on, it goes
Russian clinics are required to acquire two licenses in order to operate: one granted by the local authorities, and a second one, granted by the federal district, which allows the clinic to perform tasks in the field of assisted reproduction. In order to acquire both licenses, clinics must pass rigorous inspections. Appendices 1 and 2 of the Ministry of Health order 107N define the procedures carried out by an IVF clinic.
The Russian Association for Human Reproduction (RAHR) runs a nationwide registry of clinics and medical centres performing assisted reproduction treatments. Like ESHRE, they release annual reports detailing the efficacy of IVF treatments in Russia. The latest such report available concerns the year 20165 – we’ve used data from it, as well as from the ESHRE report concerning the year 2014 in this article.Find Best IVF Clinics in Russia
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
2 EggDonationFriends.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
5 Russian Association for Human Reproduction ART Registry Report 2016, http://rahr.ru/d_registr_otchet/RegistrART2016.pdf