Overseas patients

By car?
Low-emission zone in Brussels

Brussels is a low-emission zone (LEZ) since the beginning of 2018. Foreign visitors wanting to avoid a fine, must register online. This is compulsory for all foreign vehicles, also if your car meets the standards. Register on https://irisbox.irisnet.be/LEZ

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.

Treatment at UZ Brussel

How to avoid a multiple pregnancy

Read more about the CRG policy to encourage overseas patients to transfer one embryo every time.

Hotels in Brussels
Arrival at UZ Brussel
Medication during your stay at UZ Brussel
hCG injection
Storage of supernumerary embryos
Transfer of thawed embryos: one or two?
After the embryo transfer

Egg retrieval, in vitro fertilisation and the transfer of embryos are the essence of IVF treatment. Obviously, they are done at the CRG. For these procedures you have to come to Brussels.
The same applies for insemination in the context of AI(D)-treatment.

Hotels in Brussels    

To find out where to stay in the vicinity of UZ Brussel please ask the Contact centre for a list of nearby hotels. Most give a discount to the patients of the CRG. The fact that you ask for this information and the list is made available to you, obviously implies no obligation whatsoever. You decide where you stay for the part of the treatment in Belgium.
You can also find accommodation online, e.g. via http://www.besthotels.com.

Arrival at UZ Brussel    

  • On your first visit to the CRG, you must report to the admissions desk in the entrance hall of the Childrens' Hospital at UZ Brussel, entrance F, route 990.
  • Don't forget your passport or identity card: without ID and the official address, you will not be permitted to register.
  • After having registered, please go to the Consultation department of the CRG on the 2nd floor, with your medical record.
    You will be asked to complete a number of administrative formalities and will be informed about patient support at the CRG.

Medication during your stay at UZ Brussel     

  • If you need medication or medical products (such as syringes) during your treatment, you will be issued with the necessary prescriptions during your consultation at the CRG.
  • The medication is available from the Pharmacy at UZ Brussel.
    It needs to be paid for in advance at the UZ Brussel Admissions desk (route 990) by credit card. Cash payment or cheques are not accepted.
  • If you are staying in Brussels for the duration of the stimulation treatment, you can have the nurses on the ward (VPE 03, route 972) give you the injections.

Conclusion of ovarian stimulation: hCG   

Important information

  • We can only admit you for egg retrieval when the treatment has been paid in full.
  • The results of the HIV, Hepatitis B & C and syphilis tests must be recent.
    If this is not the case or you don't have the results with you, a blood sample will be taken of both partners (at the latest at the time of egg retrieval) for testing.

Stimulation of the ovaries is concluded by the administration of an hCG injection.
  • For organisational reasons, the time of this injection is always determined in Brussels, by the DM. 
  • This also applies if the stimulation - including the injection - is performed in your own country
    This is because 36 hours elapse between the time the hCG injection is given and the moment of egg collection.
    Whether or not the injection can be given before you travel to Brussels depends on the length of time you need to get there.

Storage of supernumerary embryos      

All eggs collected after ovarian stimulation are also fertilised in the laboratory. However, not every fertilisation successfully results in the development of an embryo. Often, however, more embryos develop than you can be transferred (one or two).
In this case, supernumerary embryos can be frozen and stored for possible use in later treatments - for example if you do not become pregnant on the first attempt, or if you decide to come back for a second baby. The embryos may also be transferred to another lab closer to where you live (see Transport of genetic material)
However, it is important to know that a good number of embryos will need to be frozen to allow a later transfer with the same material. Many embryos do not survive the freezing process and this is only apparent after thawing.
Various factors will decide whether or not to use frozen embryos in a later treatment: not only will this be the number of embryos that could be frozen, but also the distance you have to cover to follow the IVF treatment in Brussels.

Transfer of thawed embryos (FRET cycle): one or two? 

Belgian law allows two thawed embryos to be transferred. This can slightly improve the chances of pregnancy, but also the risk of a multiple pregnancy which can be a health risk for both mother and babies.
Based on our experience at CRG, we prefer to always transfer one embryo.

However, for our overseas patients we understand it can be difficult to make a choice. The slightly higher chances of success can be a motivation to transfer two embryos and thus optimise the cost. For an extra embryo transfer you need to travel to Brussels again and the procedure also costs money.
To solve this, CRG offers overseas patients two embryo transfers for the price of one FRET treatment.

After the embryo transfer   

After embryo transfer you can do what you want.
Neither partner has to stay in Belgium for further treatment, which means you can immediately travel home if you want.You can immediately resume your everyday life, you don't have to avoid any type of physical activity - including travel by train, car or aircraft. Embryo implantation is an autonomous process: it has nothing to do with what you do, or don't do, after embryo transfer.

There is one exception: the day after egg retrieval you started on progesterone to support a possible implantation (see preparing for pregnancy). You need to keep doing this meticulously, regularly and in satisfactory doses.