Administrative aspects of an ART treatment
Legal age limit Number of embryos that may be transferred Written consents Reimbursement application Registration on the day of egg retrievalWhat to bring on the day of egg retrieval No hospitalisation
There are a number of administrative formalities with any treatment at the CRG. Here they are.
Legal age limit
Belgian law lays down an age limit for women who want ART treatment. This limit is separate from the conditions in connection with the age of people who are eligible for reimbursement by the national health insurance. The maximum age is lower (see reimbursement conditions
The absolute limit in terms of age of a woman has been laid down as follows by the Belgian legislator:
- egg retrieval is possible up to your 45th birthday, i.e. the day before you turn 45,
for an embryo transfer the age limit is 47, i.e. the day before you turn 48.
- In other words, you are required to have had your egg retrieval before your 45th birthday to qualify for an embryo transfer later (possibly with thawed embryos).
- As soon as you turn 48, you can no longer be treated in Belgium.
Number of embryos that may be transferred
In case of IVF not more embryos may be transferred than specified in the table below.
This limitation applies for all women having ART treatment, also for non-reimbursed attempts.
| Womans' age |
| ≤ 35 |
| ≥ 36 & ≤ 39 |
| ≥ 40 & ≤ 42 |
| 1st cycle |
| max. 1 embryo |
| max. 1 embryo || not restricted by law |
| 2nd cycle |
| max. 1 embryo (*) |
| max. 2 embryos || not restricted by law |
| 3rd to 6th cycle |
| max. 2 embryos || max. 2 embryos || not restricted by law |
| Transfer with thawed embryos |
| max. 2 embryos |
| || |
(*) under certain criteria, the transfer of two embryos will be permitted - depending on the quality.
Informed consent form
Signing these contracts implies you have been extensively informed about any medical, psychological and research aspects prior to the commencement of the treatment, and that – based on this information – you have been able to make a well-considered decision.
The printed brochures, the DVD and this website are also part of the CRG's duty to provide information to its patients.
Before the start of your treatment at the CRG you (both) need to give your written consent about a number of aspects by signing a number of "informed consent forms".
- If you are having treatment as a couple - be it heterosexual or lesbian - you both need to sign.
- Only the decision about freezing your own eggs or sperm you sign alone.
for the complete list of consent forms. Here are the most common ones:
- consent for the ART treatment;
- the use of any supernumerary embryos (see infra)
- the consent (or not) for scientific research with fresh gametes and/or embryos you cannot use for yourself;
- if donor material is used for your treatment, the consent for the 'acceptance' of this donor material;
- if you (the woman), as part of your treatment, act as egg donor for other prospective parents, the consent to 'donate' your eggs;
- this also applies to the man (during the treatment of your partner or apart from this) if you want to be a (anonymous) sperm donor for other prospective parents;
- if during your treatment you have your sperm or eggs frozen, consent must also be given.
You always sign this document alone, as 'owner' of the gametes.
In IVF|ICSI one or two embryos are transferred to the uterus. If the actual in-vitro fertilisation resulted in more embryos, the supernumerary good quality embryos can be frozen and used for a possible new attempt.
Belgian ART law explicitly lays down that you need to decide a number of things regarding these embryos before you start treatment.
- Will you have them frozen or not? If not,
- will you give them up?
- for anonymous donation
- for scientific research
- or will you have them disposed of?
- If you have the embryos frozen, you need to decide what to do with them on expiry of the storage time (five years) if you did not use them:
- anonymous donation,
- scientific research
- or disposal?
- You also have to give some thought to (and notify your decision in the signed contract) what to do with the frozen embryos in case something happens in your personal life (divorce, death of one of the two partners).
- You do of course have the opportunity to revise your decision at any time during the storage period, but any change needs to be signed by both signatories of the original contract.
To be certain of reimbursement you need the consent of your health insurance before you start treatment.
Regarding the CRG: we need to have the document of the health insurance in our possession on the day of egg retrieval or insemination at the latest.
If you are covered by the national health insurance system, your treatment is reimbursed under certain conditions:
- both the laboratory fee of the IVF treatment,
- as well as most of the medication for ovarian stimulation,
- for maximum six treatment cycles.
On your first consultation at the CRG with the doctor we submit a reimbursement application to your health insurance. The health insurance will send this consent form directly to us or to you.
In the latter case you need to provide us with the consent form, on the day of insemination or egg retrieval at the latest.
Please also bear this in mind if your previous treatment was performed at another centre.
The health insurance immediately provides a single consent for the maximum number of treatment cycles (six) and many centres keep this consent form in your record. Please remember to ask for the form when moving to another centre.
Registration on the day of egg retrieval
On the day of the egg retrieval you must first check in at the admissions department of UZ Brussel. Depending on the exact timing of the procedure you do this at different places.
- On a weekday you register at the desk in the entrance hall of the Children’s Hospital (entrance F), route 990.
This desk is open from 6.45 a.m.
- During the weekend and on public holidays you register at the desk of the general entrance hall of UZ Brussel (entrance A), route 151.
This desk is open:
- on Saturday from 7.30 a.m.
- on Sundays and public holidays from 10 a.m.
- If you are expected before these opening hours, please go directly to VPE03, the Nursing Ward of the CRG, route 972.
- As soon as you arrive at VPE03, notify one of the nurses.
What to bring on the day of egg retrieval
During IVF treatment and when you are at the peak of a - for you maybe difficult - ovarian stimulation, it is not always easy to remember administrative matters. Nevertheless, for the sake of efficiency, it is important you bring the following on the day of the egg retrieval. Please print out this document and keep it with your treatment schedule.
If we do not have the health insurance consent form on the day of egg retrieval, the costs of the treatment (medication and laboratory) will be billed to you in full.
What must you bring?
- Your identification label and your partner's.
- If you have not yet submitted them to the CRG or signed them with the counsellor, you must bring all signed contracts regarding your treatment on the day of egg retrieval at the latest.
- The consent form of the health insurance if you are covered for the reimbursement of the laboratory fee of your treatment.
- You don't need to bring any medication you have left over from the treatment, unless the CRG made it available to you free of charge.
An ART treatment is largely without hospitalisation. Not only do you not have to stay at the hospital, you cannot.
However, for certain procedures (e.g. egg retrieval), the fixed 'surgical day centre' fee is charged, i.e. an outpatient procedure which means you can leave the hospital on the same day as your admission. This fee is payable in full by the health insurance.