01:00am Saturday 29 February 2020

Italian patients amongst the most mobile in crossing borders for ART

This can be explained by restrictions imposed by the current law,” the Italian member of the ESHRE Cross Border Reproductive Care Task Force, Dr. Anna Pia Ferraretti, told a press briefing today (Monday) at the 26th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).

The ESHRE Task Force study is the first to provide data on patients crossing borders between different European countries in order to undergo assisted reproductive treatments. Foreign couples in 44 centres from six European Countries (Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Denmark) were asked to fill out a questionnaire. The study showed that 1,230 couples underwent ART treatment during the observed period of one month.

“Considering that the participating centres represented 50% of all centres that accept foreign couples, we can assume that, at the European level, approximately 11,000 to 14,000 patients cross borders every year in these six countries alone,” said Dr. Ferraretti. “It was of no surprise that among the 1,230 couples receiving treatment abroad, couples from Italy represented the highest numbers, with 391 Italian couples – 32% of the total. In general, we estimate that Italian couples seek approximately 10,000 treatment cycles outside of Italian borders every year.”

The Task Force also noted that Italian couples going abroad are not necessarily gay couples or single people wanting to access treatment unavailable to them in Italy, but are mostly heterosexual and stable couples of reproductive age. The study was initiated before the modifications to the Italian law were made by the Constitutional Court in 2009, banning many of the previous limitations on ART.

“The results show that 40% of Italian couples who go to foreign centres, do so to access treatments which were then illegal in Italy under the law, such as gamete and embryo donation. Sixty percent of couples go abroad to receive treatments that, although legal in Italy, they believe to be more effective in countries with less restrictive laws.

“Thanks to the new legislation we hope that many of the couples who previously travelled abroad for treatment will now stay at home and receive treatment in Italian centres,” concluded Dr. Ferraretti.

NB: this is the subject of a news briefing in Italian by Dr. Anna Pia Ferraretti at 13.00hrs (CEST) on Monday 28 June [Hall 10, Room A]

Italian version (pdf)


Further information:

In English and French:
Mary Rice:
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 82 54 44
Mobile: +33 (0)6 68 93 06 50
Email: mary@mrcommunication.org


In English:
Emma Mason
Tel: +44 (0) 1376 563090
Mobile: +44 (0) 7711 296 986
Email: wordmason@mac.com

In English, German, Spanish, French, Swedish

Hanna Hanssen
Tel: + 32 (0)2 269 09 69 (ESHRE Central Office in Brussels)
Mobile: + 32 (0) 473 35 33 81
Email: hanna@eshre.eu

In Italian and English
Elisa Marcellini
Tel: +39 (0)2 76 11 51 47
Mobile: +39 340 868 96 90
Email: e.marcellini@mdemmedi.com


Press Office: (Sunday 27 June – Wednesday 30 June)
Mary Rice, Emma Mason, Hanna Hanssen, Elisa Marcellini

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