IVF|ICSI Treatment in Brussels for Overseas Patients
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If you decide to have IVF treatment in the CRG at UZ Brussel without staying in Belgium for the duration of the treatment, please contact our secretary in the first instance for more information.
On this page, we will explain all the areas in which the treatment may differ, if you are coming to us for treatment from abroad.
Since 2007, Belgian legislation has provided an absolute age limit for fertility treatment: An egg retrieval can only take place up till the day before you turn 45. For an embryo transfer, the age limit is 47. In other words, you have to have had your egg retrieval before your 45th birthday in order to qualify for an embryo transfer later (with thawed embryos). As soon as you turn 48, you can no longer be treated in Belgium.
Following the new Belgian law on tissue banks, the HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis screening is repeated for every new IVF/ICSI attempt. Before the start of each new treat-ment, we have to know the infection test results for each patient providing tissue (eggs, sperm cells, embryos).
This means that the man's presence is almost always re-quired on the day of the pick-up. Only if he has supplied his sperm sample in advance to have it frozen of if donor sperm is used in the treatment does he not have to attend.
Both men and women play an equally important role in IVF treatment. Therefore the first thing we will need is a full set of medical notes (copies) from both of you. Once we have seen your notes, we can decide what further information we need and which investigations to carry out.
Depending on how far away you live from Brussels, the gynaecologist will decide whether it would be beneficial for you to come for an initial consultation before the treatment is planned. However, if it is not feasible for you to because of distance, preliminary investigations and tests which would otherwise be carried out by us, can be performed in your own country: you will just have to make sure that all the results are forwarded to us as quickly as possible.
When can the treatment begin?
It will commonly take some time between your initial contact with the centre and the official start of your treatment. For the exact starting date is dependent on your options and wishes as well as on our planning. The precise dates will be arranged well in advance, so that you will have plenty of time to arrange your journey to and your stay in Brussels.
If an initial consultation is necessary, this will generally be planned about six weeks before the commencement of your treatment. The various tests and examinations which will have to be performed on both you and your partner take about a day and a half to complete. They will consist of blood tests, ultrasound scans, sperm analysis and so on. The precise date and time of the initial visit to Brussels will be arranged in advance. Once we have all the results from the preliminary tests, a treatment scheme will be proposed to you and you will be sent a cost estimate.
When will you need to be in Brussels?
The precise dates when you will need to be in Brussels depend upon a number of factors:
- the medical advice from the gynaecologist at the CRG;
- whether or not you had an initial consultation at the centre. If you didn't, you will be asked to come on day seven of your stimulation phase;
- your personal circumstances and desires will be taken into account. We will try to arrange appointments in Belgium when it is most convenient to you and your partner;
- the medical facilities in your own country. If you can have fast and accurate blood tests in your area, then the whole of the stimulation phase can possibly be done without the need to come to Brussels. If not, you may have to be in Belgium throughout the stimulation phase.
In short, some couples come to Brussels as of the beginning of the stimulation phase, some during the stimulation and others only right at the end. There are no hard and fast rules. Our only aim is that the treatment proceeds as effectively and comfortably as possible.
Blood tests and ultrasounds in your own country
If the treatment is to be partially carried out in your own country, this will probably include a number of blood tests and ultrasound scans. Sometimes your own gynaecologist will take the responsibility of interpreting the results and making necessary adjustments.
However, all examination results have to be immediately forwarded by fax to Daily Monitoring (DM) at the CRG department on number: +32 2 477 88 89.
If you wish to receive instructions from the CRG department, the fax has to reach us before 2 p.m. (local time), so that the team can adjust your treatment to the new results. The DM will contact you between 3 p.m. an d 6 p.m.
However, if for whatever reason you fail to obtain DM instructions, it is advisable to follow the instructions for the previous day.