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Number of IVF procedures paid by couples rising

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Prague, June 6 (CTK) – The number of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures financed by the couples involved has been rising in the Czech Republic, and it made up 44 percent of the total 18,000 cases in 2014, according to the data released by the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS).

Health insurers cover three or four IVF procedures, depending on the number of embryos transferred, for women until their age of 39.

For further related treatment and medicines, couples pay an additional average 17,500 crowns for each IVF cycle.

The IVF method’s success rate is about 20 percent. Further steps that may increase the chance of a success are not covered by health insurers.

“The share of the cycles covered by insurers has been diminishing because the insurers cover the IVF only until the age of 39, compared with previous 40, and because older and older patients have been seeking the treatment,” Monika Polakova, from the GEST reproductive medicine centre, has told CTK.

Without an insurer’s contribution, a couple pays about 26,000 crowns for one IVF cycle, she said.

In addition, many couples pay for stimulating hormonal substances, which cost some 20,000 crowns, 60 percent of which is covered by health insurers, Monika Silhava, from the Unica Reproductive Medicine Institute, told CTK.

The patients also often opt for the application of further methods raising their chance of pregnancy, such as a longer cultivation of the embryo and the application of a sperm directly into an egg (ICSI method), which costs from 4,000 to 8,000 crowns, without health insurers contributing to it.

Men’s infertility is starting to prevail among the causes behind couples’ problems with conception. The biggest problem of women is their age.

The success rate of artificial fertilisation methods ranges between 20 and 75 percent.

Out of the 17,799 cycles started in 2014, 4,777 resulted in pregnancy and 1,877 in childbirths.

Polakova said the age of the female applicants has been rising, and the success rate of the IVF cycles has been consequently declining.

In 2014, IVF cycles were applied to 2,224 women over 40, out of whom 409 got pregnant and 58 gave birth to a child.

About 40 reproductive medicine centres operate in the Czech Republic, most of which are private facilities.

About 20 percent of couples have problem with conception.

Some 5,000-6,000 children are born after artificial fertilisation every year, which is 5 percent of all newborn babies.

The law makes IVF available to women between 18 and 49. The insurers cover three or four cycles under the woman’s age of 39.

Critics say assisted reproduction has become a lucrative business in the Czech Republic, with many foreigners seeking the service. In 2014, the number of IVF cycles underwent by foreigners made up more than one third of all performed cycles.

($1=23.401 crowns)


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