Causes & Treatment

Thinking about freezing your eggs abroad? Check off these 6 things first, says this leading Portuguese clinic

Emma Harpham in partnership with Procriar Fertility Clinic  |   17 Jun 2024

We’ve seen a lot in the media lately about the lack of transparency around egg freezing in the UK, as well as the increasing cost of treatment

And whilst the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) doesn’t collect stats on the number of women who travel abroad to freeze their eggs – if you’re in a place where you’re thinking about freezing and wondering if going abroad is an option for you, you’ll be joining a growing number of women asking the same thing.

What is the best country to freeze eggs, right now?

We’re back partnering with Procriar Fertility Clinic, for their egg freezing abroad checklist, and to find out why egg freezing in Portugal could be top of your list, right now. 

For a look into their Porto-based team’s expertise, you can read up on their IVF over 45 treatment offering, plus our deep-dive chat covering open ID egg donation.

We sat down with Dr Joana Mesquita Guimarães, Clinical Director at Procriar, for her 6 must-do’s before hitting go on egg freezing abroad. 

Over to Dr Guimarães.

6 must-dos before egg freezing abroad

1. Get clear on the legal and ethical regulations

Legal and ethical regulations around egg freezing will differ from country to country, so this is an important thing to check off before making a decision. 

Portugal has some of the most progressive laws in Europe, when it comes to egg freezing and fertility treatments in general – check out these three reasons to have IVF in Portugal for more on this – with our law-makers and regulators committed to ensuring high-quality and inclusive treatment.

Unlike some other countries, there is no official upper age limit for those considering freezing eggs, and at Procriar, our consultants always work with patients to ensure they undergo the treatment which gives them the best possible chance of achieving their fertility goals. 

Something worth noting here is that there is an upper limit of 49 yrs + 364 days for fertility treatments in Portugal, which will translate in practice to an egg freezing age limit.

However, there are no outdated restrictions on marital or relationship status for those considering fertility preservation, and egg freezing in Portugal can be undertaken for both elective and medical reasons.

2. Understand your financing options

Financing can be one of the most stressful aspects of fertility treatment. 

When compared to the rest of Europe and America, Portugal is one of the most cost-effective destinations for egg freezing and fertility treatment, while not compromising on the quality of treatment.

All costs are tailored based on a specific patient’s needs and goals, but as an example;

  • egg freezing in Portugal costs around €2,800, with storage costing €600 for 5 years
  • the same treatment in the UK can cost as much as £8,000, with storage costing £375 per year

Perhaps most helpful for patients at Procriar is the commitment to pricing transparency; ensuring all patients know how much their treatment will cost before they start. 

This honest and open approach means there are never hidden or unexpected costs which patients often report when undergoing fertility preservation or treatment elsewhere.

This honest and open approach means there are never hidden or unexpected costs which patients often report when undergoing fertility preservation or treatment elsewhere.

3. Look for transparency around storage arrangements

Understanding your options for storing your eggs once they’ve been frozen is even more important if you’re looking to freeze abroad, as you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of limits on storage times, as well as extra costs.

Unlike some other countries, there is no storage limit once you have frozen your eggs in Portugal. However, every 5 years you will need to review and renew your permission to continue storing the eggs (this can be done virtually for those living abroad). This means that by undertaking egg freezing in Portugal you can fully benefit from the freedom which fertility preservation provides.

At Procriar in Porto, storage of frozen eggs costs €600 for 5 years. When compared with clinics in the UK where storage can cost as much as £375 for one year, storing eggs in Portugal is very cost effective.

egg freezing in portugal

4. Prioritize reputation, plus cutting-edge technology and facilities

Clinic reputation and facilities are super important to prioritize for your own piece of mind, both during the retrieval process, and once you’ve frozen your eggs.

The excellent quality of care, technology and treatment protocols mean that Portuguese clinics such as Procriar provide genuinely best-in-class treatment, without the price tag you might expect. 

Most importantly, the facilities at Procriar in Portugal are state-of-the-art. All eggs and embryos frozen at Procriar are stored on site in a secure setting and monitored by our expert embryologists. The intention is to ensure your frozen eggs are safe and ready to be used, if and when you decide to do so.

A medical examination will be performed on you closer to the time of use to confirm your health and readiness for a successful pregnancy.

5. Think through all things process

Speaking of process – this is another key point for proactive planning if you’re freezing your eggs abroad.

The egg freezing process at Procriar in Portugal is designed to be straightforward and easy to understand, while also providing the best possible results. The egg freezing journey follows a 14-day, 5-step process

However, patients travelling from abroad don’t always need to spend 14 days in Portugal, we work closely with every patient to ensure their treatment fits around their existing commitments.

There is also no waiting list for egg freezing in Portugal, and treatment can start as soon as you’re ready. We pride ourselves on ensuring everyone can access fantastic treatment, without having to wait.

6. Ensure streamlined support for using your eggs in treatment

A final checkbox question for egg freezing abroad – can you transfer frozen eggs to another country, or is there streamlined support for having treatment in the country you froze them in?

At Procriar, the answer is yes to both. We’ve created a fantastic service for patients who decide to have IVF treatment at Procriar, and are accustomed to working with patients from abroad to help plan their trip and ensure travel is kept to a minimum. For those with eggs already frozen, the process can be as simple as one or two visits to the clinic. 

One of the many reasons that so many patients choose Procriar for their fertility treatment is our renowned sperm and egg bank, providing immediate access to a range of high-quality donated sperm and eggs when required.

We’re also very experienced with working with patients who then go on to store their eggs or undertake further treatment at other clinics around the world. We adhere to all of the regulations and quality practices which allow us to transport eggs or embryos for the remainder of your treatment.

Learn more about egg freezing in Portugal

Thinking about egg freezing abroad? To learn more about what makes Portugal a top destination, connect with the team at Procriar

You can book an initial consultation to chat through your options, explore their Open-ID donor network, and find tailored egg freezing and fertility treatment with no wait time. 

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