Causes & Treatment

IVF in Portugal – why Porto is a top destination for treatment

Emma Harpham in partnership with Procriar Fertility Clinic  |   29 Sep 2023


IVF is a huge undertaking in its own right, and choosing to have treatment abroad is never an easy decision. 

However, it is an increasingly inevitable one for more and more UK patients – and if that’s you, you might be drawn to IVF clinics on the continent, for their state-of-the-art treatment at competitive and cost-effective prices. 

Today, we’re here to deep-dive IVF in Portugal with the expert team at Procriar and tell you why Portugal has become a front-runner for fertility treatment in 2023. From the exceptional skills and outstanding training Portuguese fertility doctors and nurses have, to their IVF legislation – they’re one of the most progressive and patient-friendly countries for treatment in Europe, right now.

Procriar is a fertility clinic that pairs cutting-edge tech with their signature boutique-style setting, delivering high quality treatment and optimising your chances of success across the board. In so many ways, Portugal offers a new direction when it comes to the future of IVF, and as far as we’re concerned, Procriar is right at the front of the pack.

Here’s why.

What is it about IVF in Portugal?

1. Open-ID donors

A huge advantage of choosing Portugal is their Open-Identity donor (or Open-ID) framework, and the transparency of donor information.

You’ll be able to access detailed donor profiles which, in addition to physical traits, contain information on their education level, cognitive abilities, and personality traits – a big plus if you’re considering donor conception and looking for peace of mind.

Further, all donor conceived children will have the legal right to know the identity of their donor(s) once they turn 18. This access is guaranteed by the Portuguese state, and will remain available for 75 years. This is so fab if you’re looking to make conversations about your family’s origins simpler, and let your children learn about their donor’s medical history and other practical information.

Unlike the UK, there are also no waiting lists for Open-ID egg and sperm donors in Portugal, especially at Procriar, which has one of the largest Open-ID egg and sperm banks in Portugal. 

2. Progressive and patient-friendly approach

If you’re looking for personalized care, Portugal has one of the most open and progressive approaches when it comes to IVF legislation, and the range of treatments clinics can offer.

You’ll be able to access treatment all the way up until the age of 50 (the age limit is usually lower in other European countries) regardless of your sexual orientation or whether you have a male partner or not. And, if you’re on a solo motherhood journey and looking for double donation treatment using both egg and sperm donors, this is totally possible in Portugal too.

Further, reciprocal IVF and shared motherhood treatments for lesbian couples are legal in Portugal. What’s particularly unique about this is that both partners have exactly the same rights when it comes to the embryos that are created – unlike in Spain.

3. Quality and safety at the fore

Portugal is also known for the safety and quality of their IVF treatment practices – especially when it comes to donors. 

For example, egg donors are limited to donating four times in their lifetime, with at least a three-month gap between donations. The state enforces this rule, and each donor is assigned a unique code tied to their ID or passport number. Once a donor reaches the maximum limit of four donations, they cannot donate again, ensuring a lower chance of multiple half-siblings for future donor conceived children.

In Portugal, egg donation is guided by strong ethical and altruistic principles. Donors receive a fixed compensation of €961 in 2023, which is the same across all clinics, whether public or private. Payments are made via bank transfer, and donors must sign a receipt for the amount received. Clinics are obligated to maintain proof of payment, making it one of the most transparent systems in Europe.

IVF in portugal support

Why Procriar?

If you’re looking for a boutique clinic with no waiting lists and where everybody knows your name, make Procriar your first choice for IVF in Portugal.

  • They’re conveniently located. Their clinic is conveniently located in Porto’s business centre, just 20 minutes from the airport and close to major hotels.
  • They’re at the cutting edge of fertility treatment. They’ve held ISO 9001 accreditation from the beginning and have no waiting lists.Their modern IVF lab uses advanced technology, including the Embryoscope Plus with AI algorithms for continuous embryo monitoring.
  • They speak English. Their English-speaking staff is there to support you, connecting you not only with medical professionals but also helping with take the stress out of travel logistics. Your Patient Care Assistant will always just be a call away, ready to answer any questions.
  • Their team are Europe-leading. And, they’re led by Dr. Joana Mesquita Guimarães, a prominent IVF doctor in Portugal and a member of the Portuguese IVF regulator board – ensuring that you’ll be in safe hands every step of the way.

IVF in Portugal – what would it look like for me? 

Got more questions about IVF in Portugal? We’ll hand over to the team at Procriar to break down some of the most commonly asked questions about travelling to Porto for treatment.

How long will I be in Portugal?

At Procriar, we have extensive experience in coordinating treatments from afar. Depending on the specific treatment, your travel requirements may vary. For instance, in egg donation treatments, you might need to visit Portugal twice but for a shorter duration – once for sperm collection (1 day) and later for embryo transfer (3 days). Alternatively, you may only need to come once, such as for a synchronized egg donation cycle lasting a week or for an IVF cycle with embryo transfer scheduled five days later. We’ll always make sure to tailor your treatment plan to your individual needs.

What would a first consultation look like?

During your initial consultation, our doctors will listen to your medical history and ask questions to understand why you’ve come to us. It’s crucial for us to determine if we can offer better solutions than your previous doctors and explore alternative options.

Please bring any records and test results from previous treatments to help us assess your case accurately and provide appropriate guidance. It’s also a good idea to prepare any questions you have in advance, so we can address as many concerns as possible during the consultation.

With all the necessary information, we can create a treatment plan and get things moving. If any tests are missing, we can discuss various options with you and schedule a follow-up call to ensure you don’t experience any delays.

On which day do you transfer embryos? 

At Procriar, we exclusively use blastocysts (embryos that are 5 or 6 days old) because this extended culture period provides us with valuable additional information about the embryos.

Whenever you’re ready, the team at Procriar are here to support you in getting started. Book an initial consultation to chat through your options, find tailored treatments with no wait time, and connect with their donor network.  

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