Practical information: five steps
Your patient record and identity check
- At the registration counter of the Children's Hospital (UZ Brussel, entrance F, route 990)
Open: Mon - Fri 6.45 a.m. – 6 p.m. (5.30 p.m. on Fridays)
Closed: weekends and public holidays
- At the general registration counter at the main entrance of UZ Brussels (UZ Brussel, entrance A, route 151)
Open: Mon - Fri after 6 p.m. / Weekends and public holidays from 7 a.m.
Even if you already have a patient record at UZ Brussel, you will have to re-register for each appointment. This can usually also be done at an electronic kiosk.
If you are a couple undergoing treatment, your patient record will be linked to your partner’s. It is therefore important to inform us of changes in your relationship (marriage, name change, break-up,...).
The medical data linked to your treatment can be consulted by all Brussels IVF employees who are involved in your pathway. The file can be consulted for up to two years after your treatment for legally required reporting and follow-up.
In case of a pathway during which your oocytes or sperm are treated in our laboratories (insemination, IVF, or ICSI), you will also receive an IVF witness badge from us. This badge is your Brussels IVF identity card. It is used at every stage to identify you as the prospective parent(s) and your bodily material. The additional control is based on a Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) tag that is affixed to all straws and trays in which your reproductive bodily material is handled. An incorrect combination of oocytes and sperm cells thus automatically triggers an alarm in the lab.
Before starting your treatment
- By law, we must have valid blood test results before we can treat your genetic material (oocytes and/or sperm) in our laboratories. We cannot start treatment without recent serology testing (for hepatitis B (HBsAg, HBsAb, HBcAb), hepatitis C, syphilis and HIV).
- If medication is required for your treatment, a digital prescription will be issued which you can pick up from your pharmacy with your electronic identity card (Belgian patients only). If the medication is reimbursed as part of your ART treatment, you must collect if from the centre where you are being treated, meaning from the IVF medication counter at UZ Brussel (route 985). Other medication must be collected from your local pharmacy using the prescription on your eID card. Your Brussels IVF care provider will give you instructions about this.
- Request for reimbursement: If you are affiliated with a Belgian mutual health insurance fund and you are under 43 years of age, a large part of your treatment will be reimbursed. Your mutual health insurance fund reimburses both the laboratory cost of your IVF treatment and most of the stimulation medication for up to six treatment cycles.
Our centre submits the request for reimbursement to the mutual health insurance fund. The mutual health insurance fund issues a consent form, which is either sent to us directly or to you.
In the latter case, you must provide the consent form to us no later than on the day of the oocyte retrieval or insemination.
If you already underwent treatment at another centre for which your mutual health insurance fund has reimbursed you, you must request the consent form on file from this centre when changing centres.
- Depending on your situation, an appointment will be scheduled for you with a fertility doctor with specific expertise on this. He or she will be your consulting or attending physician. It is crucial that you feel at ease with this doctor. Do not hesitate to request a new appointment or second opinion within Brussels IVF if you still have questions or uncertainties.
During your treatment you will meet with different doctors and care providers at various stages (for blood tests, examinations, punctures...). To guarantee a personal follow-up, your physician follows up on your file and is your first point of contact during (follow-up) consultations to discuss results and determine further treatment. We have a large team. This also means that we discuss results with each other and request a second opinion in-house if your case stands to benefit from this.
Patients who are covered under the Belgian mutual health insurance system can claim reimbursement up to six times, both for artificial insemination and IVF/ICSI.
This only applies if the woman undergoing treatment is under 43 years of age. Your age on the day of oocyte insemination will be taken into account for this.
This means you are not eligible for artificial insemination or oocyte retrieval with immediate fertilisation in the lab from the day of your 43rd birthday.
- Age for treatment:
A legal age limit was set for fertility treatment. You are eligible for embryo transfer (possibly with thawed embryos) until your 47th birthday (the day before you turn 48). This rule applies to all women undergoing ART treatment, including non-reimbursed attempts. Our centre applies strict age limits within the legal boundaries because treatment success rates are strongly linked to age.
- Number of embryos:
Under the law, the number of embryos that can be transferred per IVF/ICSI cycle is limited to minimise the risk of multiple pregnancy. A multiple pregnancy is associated with increased risks for both the mother and babies. In practice, our centre will always recommend a single embryo transfer for an optimum outcome.
- Serology of the prospective parent(s):
The Belgian regulator requires fertility centres to have recent blood results from the prospective parents when their bodily material (oocytes, sperm...) is treated at the centre. You will therefore be required to undergo a blood test before your treatment and may be asked to repeat this at a later stage of your journey if necessary.
During treatment: Instructions and monitoring
If you find the commute to Brussels IVF too difficult, you can also opt to have this done externally, closer to home. In that case, you must request an instruction sheet for your external healthcare professional during the appointment with the counsellor.
Bloodwork can be done by your GP, a home care nurse, or an external lab. Your own gynaecologist can take care of the ultrasound in some cases.
Please note that the results must be submitted to our Daily Monitoring (DM) team by 1 p.m.. That way, they can be discussed with your physician and you can get appropriate instructions in time.
Attention!<s/trong> Please note that we charge an administrative fee for the processing of external results.
Do you need additional medication during your treatment? Inform a member of our Daily Monitoring (DM) team or an employee at the counter when you come in for a blood test. Brussels IVF will issue a new prescription. If the medication falls under the conditions for reimbursement, you will have to collect it from the centre where you are undergoing treatment.
Based on your results, you will receive instructions directly by phone from the DM team, in the Robin app of Brussels IVF, or through the patient portal of UZ Brussel. At the start of your treatment, you record your preferences for communication by filling out an informed consent form during the appointment with a counsellor.
Delivering a sperm sample: If you need to give a sperm sample as part of your treatment, the DM will schedule an appointment for you. The date will depend on the date on the insemination or oocyte retrieval from the woman. The appointment will be linked to your partner’s appointment.
Follow-up of your pregnancy and feedback
Obviously, we will enquire about the evolution of your pregnancy and even keep in touch until after your baby is born.
You will receive a questionnaire from us (sent by firstname.lastname@example.org) shortly after the anticipated delivery date.
This survey is motivated by a personal commitment: we are interested to know whether the treatment was successful and how you are doing. At the same time, it is also part of our ongoing scientific research into pregnancies and children born from fertility treatment.
Moreover, we are also legally required to collect statistical data on (the health of) our patients and children born after ART treatment. Your file can therefore be consulted for up to 2 years after your treatment.
In addition, we also want to know how satisfied you are about our service. We strive to continually improve our services through regular satisfaction surveys (via email@example.com).
Our quality assurance manager also organises additional focus groups with (former) patients for more detailed information about the survey results. We therefore thank you for completing these questionnaires which are used to further optimise our services and the care provided to prospective parents.