ONCE again, Spain's healthcare system is the best in Europe – it's official. And State medical services in the country are the third-most efficient on earth, beaten only by those of Hong Kong and Singapore...
Free fertility tests for women at IVI clinics
A FERTILITY clinic is offering women the chance to find out their chances of having children through a free blood test at any one of its 30 branches nationwide.
The company, IVI, says appointments can be booked by calling the free-phone line 900 847 300 and no charge is made to women aged 25 to 38 inclusive.
According to IVI, family planning 'is within reach of any woman' thanks to modern-day egg-freezing techniques, but to get the best results, it helps for potential mothers to find out the quality and quantity of eggs they produce every month.
It is not clear whether IVI will offer free tests to women over 38 and still menstruating, since a spokesperson says 'any woman' can take advantage of the scheme and, given that one in five first-time mothers in Spain are aged over 40, the race to freeze eggs before it is too late may mean more interest than in women still in their fertile 20s.
According to IVI, the 'natural secretion of egg follicles' allows clinicians to predict 'with a high level of reliability' how many viable eggs a woman has left and, therefore, how likely she is of being able to get pregnant.
“The passage of time is key in fertility because women are born with all the eggs they will ever have in their entire lives,” explains head of medicine at IVI, Dr Antonio Requena.
“With each menstrual cycle, the biological mission of the ovary is to choose the egg that's most likely to result in a pregnancy – this function starts to deplete after about age 35, and becomes critical at around 37, so we want to contribute towards helping women become aware that their egg reserve is limited and give them some knowledge of how far.”
Recent studies show that a high number of women do not decide to start having children until they are approaching, or over, the age of 40 – a time when they are more likely to be in a secure, solid place in professional, social, financial, physical and personal terms – especially in Spain where lack of job security, low wages and difficulty in accessing the housing market for the first time means younger women are not in a position to start a family.
But by the time they are ready in every other way to have a child, their bodies are working against them because of their age.
For those who want to be mothers even if they do not share DNA with their child, egg donation remains a possibility for some time after they no longer naturally produce their own.
Most private clinics in Spain will inseminate a woman using her own, previously-frozen, or donor eggs until age 50 inclusive.
A Galicia doctor, Lina Álvarez, hit the headlines last year for having her third child, a little girl, at age 62, having already had her second child at 52.
Given her profession, she was very aware of the risks, but could only find one clinic in the country – in Madrid – willing to give her IVF.
The birth was trouble-free and Lina said she had 'never felt happier or healthier' than the three times she was pregnant.
Photograph by IVI
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