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Poland as an IVF destination

IVF abroad Patient's Guide - Poland

Poland, a country located in the Central Europe, is surely not the most obvious IVF destination that comes to one’s mind. A previous member of the Eastern Bloc, it did not pass its regulations on IVF treatments until 2015. But what may come as a surprise to many is that the first in vitro fertilisation (IVF) was successfully performed there already in 1987. Nowadays Poland is one of the most attractive European IVF destinations, with very affordable IVF costs and quality standard of assisted reproductive treatments. Polish private fertility clinics offer modern facilitates as well as competent and professional medical staff. The efficacy of treatment and its available options do not lag behind the European neighbours.

Additionally, Poland’s convenient location makes it an attractive destination to patients travelling from both Western and Eastern Europe. Poland is mostly chosen by Russians, Belarussians and Germans, but patients from the United Kingdom and Ireland do constitute a large percent of foreign fertility tourists, too. Foreigners have no problems with communicating with medical staff in Polish IVF clinics – doctors are usually fluent in English and the information on the largest IVF clinics’ websites is generally available in a few language versions.

When it comes to legal regulations, one of the most advantageous aspects widely sought by foreign patients is no age limit for women (and male partners) allowed for IVF treatment. In Poland, the decision about the treatment is based on patient’s health and medical examination. Moreover, the number of embryos to transfer is also decided individually according to a patient’s case.

The Polish cities most willingly chosen by IVF patients are Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Poznan and Katowice.


Reasons to go to Poland for IVF

  • Much lower IVF treatment costs (compared to the European average)
  • High quality of medical services (adhered to the international standards)
  • Comfortable treatment conditions
  • Competent medical staff that communicates in English
  • Convenient travel arrangements (two big low cost airlines reach all the biggest cities in Poland)
  • No age limit in regards to female patients
  • Egg/sperm/embryo donation allowed

IVF in Poland at a glance

IVF treatment options in Poland

  • married or cohabiting opposite–sex couples are allowed to receive treatment (on the condition that they have a documented history of infertility treatment)
  • assisted reproduction is not available to single women and same–sex couples
  • no legal age limit for female patients and their partners
  • egg/sperm/embryo donation is anonymous
  • the maximum number of embryos to transfer is not defined in the law (the decision is up to the doctor)
  • the maximum number of eggs for fertilisation is six – unless there are medical indications
  • sex selection is not allowed for non–medical reasons
  • surrogacy is not permitted

The social and political climate in Poland surrounding in vitro fertilization is still not the friendliest one. Even today there is no political consensus around the question whether IVF procedures should be allowed or not. The 2015 bill regulating IVF treatment states that the use of assisted reproduction is justified only for medical reasons but, at the same time, the same law does not give the age limit for women undergoing treatment.

According to the law, only married or cohabiting opposite sex–couples are allowed to undergo IVF cycles. They need to have a documented history of infertility treatment, meaning they should be able to prove that they attempted other fertility methods for at least a year. The access to IVF is restricted for single women and homosexual relationships.

Anonymous egg and embryo donation is allowed and strictly anonymous in Poland. There is no limit on the number of transferred embryos (the decision is made by the doctor) but, on the other hand, only six eggs can be fertilised at one time – unless there are medical indications. Both PGT–A and PGD are available, whilst the latter requires a medical justification to be performed. Surplus eggs and embryos can be donated anonymously. At the same time selling or destroying embryos with development potential is banned under penalty of imprisonment.

IVF treatment in Poland
Maximum patient age (woman)No limit
not specified by legislation, decided by each
clinic individually
IVF treatments for single womenNot allowed
IVF treatments for lesbian couplesNot allowed
Maximum number of embryos to transfer IVF with donor eggsNo limit specified, clinic-dependent
Note: maximum six oocytes can be fertilised, unless the patient is over 35 years old or there are other medical indications or at least 2 IVF cycles failures
Maximum number of embryos to transfer IVF with own eggs
Anonymous egg donorsYes
Non anonymous egg donorsNo
Egg donor availabilityAverage
Egg donor age18-35

IVF treatment costs in Poland1,2

IVF costs in Poland1,2
Treatment optionPrice range
IVF with own eggs program€2,200 - €5,200
IVF with donor eggs program€4,000 - €6,000
Medical consultation - visit / online (with doctor)€50 - €100
Donor sperm€200 - €500
Frozen embryo transfer (all embryos)€400 - €1,200

IVF success rates in Poland

IVF own eggs success rates in Poland3 (pregnancy per embryo transfer)

IVF with own eggs success rates in Poland3
Woman age<3435-39≥40
IVF with own eggs in Poland
34.6%28.7%14.2%
ESHRE average in Europe29.0%24.2%12.9%

IVF donor eggs success rates in Poland3 (pregnancy per embryo transfer)

IVF with donor eggs success rates in Poland3
IVF with donor eggs in Poland46.2%
ESHRE average in Europe
50.3%

Assisted Reproduction Law and Clinics in Poland – information for Patients

Assisted Reproduction Law and Clinics in Poland – information for Patients
ResourceAvailable online?Language
ART Legislation in countryYes / Link>>>Polish
List of certified IVF Centers by independent national
body
Yes / Link>>>Polish
Success rates published as per IVF center by
independent national body
No-
National success rates published for country by
independent national body
Yes / Link>>>Polish

Institution and / or contact person for IVF patients in Poland

Answer from Polish Ministry of Health:

“The data on each authorised medically assisted procreation centre as well as each authorised bank of reproductive cells and embryos is to be found in the Register of Medically Assisted Procreation Centres and Banks of Reproductive Cells and Embryos, available on the following website: registymedyczne.csioz.gov.pl. The data contains the current status of the entity and the date until which its authorisation is valid.”

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References
  1. Patients Enquiries Reports 2013-2019, Fertility Clinics Abroad Ltd., Edinburgh, August 2019.
  2. Patients Enquiries Report’s 2013-2019, IVF Media Ltd., Dublin, August 2019.
  3. De Geyter Ch., Calhaz-Jorge C., Kupka M. S., Wyns C., Mocanu E., Motrenko T., Scaravelli G., Smeenk J., Vidakovic S., Goossens V., The European IVF – Monitoring Consortium (EIM) for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE): ART in Europe, 2014: results generated from European registries by ESHRE, Human Reproduction, Volume 33, Issue 9, September 1st 2018, pp. 1586-1601. 
    https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/33/9/1586/5055580
  4. Report on the Regulation of Reproductive Cell Donation in the European Union. Results of Survey, European Commission, Health & Consumer Protection Directorate-General, Brussels, February 2006.
    https://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_threats/human_substance/documents/tissues_frep_en.pdf
  5. International Federation of Fertility Societies’ Surveillance (IFFS) 2019, Global Trends in Reproductive Policy and Practice, 8th Edition, Global Reproductive Health, Wolters Kluwer,  March 2019, Volume 4, Issue 1, p. e29.
    https://journals.lww.com/grh/FullText/2019/03000/International_Federation_of_Fertility_Societies_.3.aspx
  6. A Policy Audit on Fertility. Analysis of 9 EU Countries, Fertility Europe, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Evere, Grimbergen, March 2017.
    http://www.fertilityeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/EPAF_FINAL.pdf
  7. Keane M., Long J., O’Nolan G., Farragher L., Assisted reproductive technologies: International approaches to public funding mechanisms and criteria. An evidence review, Health Research Board, Dublin, 2017.
    https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af2460-health-research-board-report-assisted-reproductive-technologies-inte/?referrer=/blog/publications/health-research-board-report-assisted-reproductive-technologies-international-approaches-to-public-funding-mechanisms-and-criteria-an-evidence-review/
  8. Assisted Reproductive Technology. Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report 2016, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, October 2018.
    ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Publications/art/ART-2016-Clinic-Report-Full.pdf
  9. Präg P., Mills M., Assisted reproductive technology in Europe. Usage and regulation in the context of cross-border reproductive care, Families and Societies, Working Series Paper, Volume 43 (2015), Department of Sociology and Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Oxford, 2015. 
    http://www.familiesandsocieties.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/WP43PragMills2015.pdf
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