Brussels IVF, your partner for new life

Brussels IVF is the centre for reproductive medicine at UZ Brussel, the university hospital of the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Brussels IVF, which specialises in the treatment of infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), is an internationally renowned pioneer in the development and application of ART. Since the centre’s inception in 1983, more than 48,000 babies have been born thanks to treatments at Brussels IVF.

Our vision

There is nothing as precious as a human life and nothing can be more special than bringing such a life into this world.
Unfortunately, things are not always that straightforward for prospective parents. At Brussels IVF, we believe that your desire to become a parent and have a child deserves every chance.
From the person at reception to the researchers, midwives and doctors: everyone who works at Brussels IVF is an expert in their field.

We share the same goal as you: the wish for a healthy child that is given every opportunity to develop and grow up in the best conditions.

Our mission

Excelling in care, research and knowledge dissemination

  • 100% commitment to protect and optimise the fertility of all our patients and help them conceive healthy children.
  • 100% commitment to independent and innovative studies on all aspects of human fertility
  • 100% ambition to increase the knowledge of all stakeholders by sharing our expertise and knowledge through education, training, and communication.

Your chances of success at our centre

Predicting your individual success rate for becoming pregnant after fertility treatment is complicated because your success rate is closely related to the fertility problem for which you have sought treatment.

During the intake and based on the available results, your consulting physician will try to make the most accurate estimate possible.

We can, however, provide some general success rates to give you a better idea of the available treatment options. As a rule, ART treatment offers a good outcome in many situations. Unfortunately, however, the treatment does not guarantee that a child will be born.

IVF/ICSI success rates:​  

At Brussels IVF, results for women under 36 years of age indicate that 47% of women starting IVF-ICSI give birth after their first treatment cycle. Among those who did not give birth after the first cycle and who embark on a second cycle, 63 of the original 100 women will give birth to a child. After the third treatment cycle, 74% will have given birth.

The treatment’s success rate drops significantly as the age (>36 years) of the prospective parent rises. In the group of women aged 40 to 42 years of age, only 10% will give birth after the first treatment cycle.

Whereas almost 9 in 10 women will have given birth after six treatment cycles in the youngest age category, this figure drops to just 45% in the group of 40- to 42-year-olds.

Obviously, there are also differences in success rates between various treatment centres. According to annual Belgian reporting, there is a large variation in success rate between Belgian centres of approximately 10% to 40% per first embryo transfer in women under 36 years of age undergoing their first IVF/ICSI treatment.

Artificial insemination success rates:

As a rule of thumb, the statistical chance of having a child with artificial insemination (IUI) for prospective parents under 36 years of age is

  • 50% within six cycles in case of insemination with their partner’s sperm  and
  • 61% within six cycles in case of insemination with donor sperm

For women over 37 years of age, the success rates are significantly lower in both situations.

Scientific research

As we are a subsidiary of a university hospital, scientific research is an integral part of our activity. It is also in part due to this scientific drive that our centre has played a pioneering role in the development and improvement of reproductive techniques since its inception. In 1992, we pioneered ICSI, a revolutionary fertilisation technique whereby a single sperm cell is injected into the oocyte. Today, 70% of all IVF treatments around the world use this technique.

But we also have spectacular progress in other areas in recent years. Today we can genetically examine embryos before transferring them back into the uterus, freeze oocytes, and mature immature eggs in the lab (IVM) after which they are fertilised. We also introduced innovative techniques, such as testicular tissue cryopreservation and ex-vivo IVM to preserve fertility in the event of a cancer diagnosis.

 

Our clinic and laboratory conduct continuous research to optimise techniques, for you and for all other prospective parents, now and in the future. You will always be informed in advance when your participation in a study may prove instrumental for your treatment.

Brussels IVF also belongs to a network of research institutions and promotes and facilitates international cooperation. We work closely with other universities, both in Belgium and abroad. Our centre is also a co-founder and long-standing active member of ESHRE, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. The organisation aims to promote interest in and knowledge of reproductive biology and medicine by promoting research and sharing knowledge and new insights.

Quality

Our care and medical activities are based on an accredited quality assurance system. This means we continuously evaluate our procedures and care programme, through internal and external audits.

We monitor and evaluate our success rate, the progress of pregnancies, maternal and newborn health, and feedback from our patients.

Both our clinical activity and lab operations are ISO-certified.

The Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) laboratory already achieved ISO-15189 accreditation in 2005. Although this ISO standard is quite unique in Belgium, it is the strictest certification in the medical laboratory world and has been the standard for the laboratories at Brussels IVF for several years already.

In terms of clinical care, Brussels IVF obtained ISO certification for Care and Wellness (EN-15224). This standard places great emphasis on the care process and important aspects for the patient such as clear communication, patient safety, patient satisfaction, and risk management.

Our centre pays the utmost care to the conclusive identification of our patients and their individual samples during a fertility treatment. We use an electronic monitoring system to identify you and your bodily material every step of the way, both in the lab and during your treatment. When you undergo treatment at our centre, you will therefore be given a white identity card, called the Witness card. If you are undergoing treatment as a couple or with donor material, your partner or the donor will also be linked to your Witness card.

Internal and external checks and audits are carried out regularly to maintain our certificates and quality labels.

An international approach

The working language in the hospital is Dutch. However, almost all of our employees speak French and English. Where possible, we make every effort to assist prospective parents in their preferred language. As a result of this open mindset, patients from all over the world have found their way to Brussels IVF over the years. If necessary, you can also book an interpreter in advance through the hospital. (see requesting an interpreter)

UZ Brussel strongly believes in the equality of all individuals and has the utmost respect for every belief and ideology. We are always willing to take into account religious or other factors that may affect your availability during treatment after consultation. However, you must bear in mind that fertility treatment may involve certain medical and practical aspects from which we unfortunately cannot deviate, both in the interest of your treatment and your chances of success.

Some significant numbers (2023)