Patients from abroad

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Low-emission zone in Brussels

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If you follow an ART treatment at the CRG of UZ Brussel but you are not staying in Belgium for the entire duration, please first get in touch with the contact centre for more information.
They will give you all the information about the treatment and what you need to take into account as an overseas patient.
  • Obviously, a number of formalities apply to all CRG patients. Therefore, please also read the chapter on the practical and financial aspects of your ART treatment.
  • If you have any genetic tissue frozen (sperm, embryos, ovarian tissue, testicular tissue) during a treatment at the CRG you may want to take it to your own country. Or the other way around, maybe you want to bring frozen material from your own country to the CRG. See transport of genetic material to find out what you need to do.

Preparation in your own country

Legal restriction
Medical record
When to start?
When do you need to come to Brussels?
Follow-up stimulation in your own country

Legal restriction      

Belgian law lays down an absolute age limit for fertility treatment:
  • egg retrieval is possible up to your 45th birthday, i.e. to 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.

In case of IVF not more embryos may be transferred than specified in the table below.
  Womans' age
  ≤ 35
  ≥ 36 & ≤ 39
  ≥ 40 & ≤ 48
  1st cycle
 max. 1 embryo
  max. 2 embryos  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

Medical record    

Both men and women play a key role in an ART treatment. That is why the first thing we want is a copy of you and your partner's medical records. Based on this we can see which data is missing and whether other tests are necessary before we can start treatment.
Depending on how far you live from Brussels the gynaecologist may decide that a preliminary consultation at the CRG is recommended. But if the distance is too great is, and examinations and tests can also be performed in your country. You simply need to make sure the results get to us as soon as possible.

When can the treatment begin?   

  • It usually takes some time between your initial contact with the centre and the official start of your treatment. The exact starting date depends on your options and wishes as well as our planning.
    The precise dates will be agreed 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 start of your treatment.
  • The various tests and examinations (talk with the gynaecologist and the CRG counsellor, ultrasound scans, sperm analysis, etc.) which will have to be performed on both you and your partner take about a day and a half to complete. You will be notified of the precise duration of the examinations and the date you are expected in Brussels in advance.
  • Once we have all the results of the preliminary tests, a treatment schedule 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 need to be in Brussels depend on a number of factors:
  • the medical advice of 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 ovarian stimulation;
  • your personal circumstances and desires, when it is possible for both of you to travel to Brussels, and how long you can stay;
  • the medical facilities in your own country.
  • If you can have fast and accurate blood tests in your area, the whole stimulation phase can possibly be done in your own country. If not, you may have to be in Brussels from day one of the stimulation phase and stay until the end of the treatment.

In short, some couples come to Brussels from the start of the stimulation phase, some during the stimulation and others only right at the end. The precise date when you are expected at the CRG is determined for every couple individually.
There are no hard and fast rules. Our only aim is that the treatment proceeds as effectively and comfortably as possible.

Blood tests and ultrasound scans in your own country     

Results to DM!

The CRG needs the results of external examinations to follow up your treatment and give you instructions. Don't forget to deliver them – before 2 p.m. – to the DM (contact).

If ovarian stimulation is to be wholly or partially carried out in your own country, this also applies to the blood tests and ultrasound scans.
  • If you want the CRG to follow you up, you need to fax the results of the tests before 2 p.m. (Belgian time).
    This allows the DM team to evaluate your results on time, adjust your treatment if necessary and give you new instructions in the afternoon.
    • DM will contact you, in principle between 3 and 6 p.m.
    • If, for some reason, you did not receive new instructions from DM, please follow the instructions from the day before.
  • Sometimes your own gynaecologist will take the responsibility of interpreting the results, following the evolution of your treatment and making the necessary adjustments to your medication if necessary.
    In this case too the test results must be sent to the CRG immediately.