September 17, 2020
Family planning and contraception in Spain has become buzzwords in the last few decades, particularly because couples are putting off having children, and new legislature allows non-traditional families to also consider fertility treatments in Spain.
In fact, Spain’s favorable maternity and paternity leave, subsidized childcare and relatively low cost of fertility treatments make it an attractive place to consider fertility treatments or even to begin a family. But what is the cost of fertility treatments in Spain?
From finding the right clinic and diagnosing a potential contraceptive challenge, to facing the waiting and wondering about a future child, family planning can seem overwhelming. And what about costs of diagnosing infertility or receiving treatment?
Family planning and fertility treatments in Spain: an overview
According to the World Health Organization, family planning – known as planificación familiar in Spain – is the right of a couple or individual to decide when, how and how many children to have, or to have none at all. This includes non-heterosexual couples as well as singles wishing to become parents.
Spain’s fertility rate has been low since the start of the new millennia, with about 1.3 children per woman in Spain as of 2020 – a historically low number, especially when compared to the rest of the European Union. The average age of a mother in her first pregnancy sits around 31,3 years (source: INE), in contrast with just under 30 in Europe on the whole. In 1980, the average age was 28. Even more striking is that the average number of children per mother is 1,18 in Spain (source: Statista).
As a result, fertility needs have changed drastically, and couples hoping for children are undergoing a basic fertility study more than ever. In 2021, a reported 800,000 sought fertility treatments; this number is estimated to be between 15-17% of all live births in Spain.
What is a fertility test?
If you are trying to conceive and have not gotten pregnant in one year, your gynecologist may refer you to a specialist to diagnose a potential fertility issue; this time frame may decrease with age. In a basic fertility study, both male and female factors – in the case of a heterosexual couple – should be assessed for specific factors that can reduce fertility, such as irregular ovulation, the condition of the eggs in a woman’s uterine reserve, the number and mobility of sperm or even the condition of the fallopian tubes and cervix. Expect to have your blood drawn and to speak about hereditary conditions and family health.
A fertility study in Spain will detect or rule out any factors that could contribute to both conception and carrying a healthy baby to term. While you can do at-home tests for ovulation, you can expect to pay between 200 and 500€ for an exhaustive test and counseling on your options for conception if you are not insured or decide to undergo testing in a private clinic.
Natural fertility treatments in Spain
If you are fertile and there seems to be no reason why you shouldn’t be able to conceive (and you are a heterosexual couple) there are fertility treatments in Spain that count with the natural reproduction processes with a monitoring of natural cycles, like programmed intercourse, but fertility can also be stimulated with pills. The cost of these pills can go up to 60€ per box.
This option is commonly used when a couple is fertile, but natural techniques don’t seem to work orwhen a woman who wants to be a single mother and needs a sperm donation. With artificial insemination, the distance that the spermatozoid has to cover is shorter, and thus conception is typically more successful. The price for artificial insemination in Spanish clinics oscillates between 700€ and 1,800€, including all diagnoses and processing. The price can fluctuate depending on whether the sperm comes from a parent or from a donor from the sperm bank.
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF, FIV in Spanish)
In-Vrito fertilization, called fecundación in-vitro in Spanish, consists of creating an embryo by fertilizing the egg artificially, then implanting the embryo in the woman’s uterus. It is commonly used by heterosexual couples and single mothers, when the egg is donated or the natural fertilization does not work (even with artificial insemination). It is also used for couples of homosexual women who want to share motherhood of the child, by one them donating the egg and implanting the embryo in the second woman’s uterus, thus both of them becoming mothers of the child in one way or another. This is the most expensive procedure, and in Spain it oscillates between 3,500€ and 5,000€, but can be more expensive when the carrier needs donor sperm, reaching 7,500€.
Since these procedures usually use more than one egg to maximise the possibilities of conceiving, sometimes there are remaining embryos. Couples who do not want to have more children may allow these embryos to be preserved and adopted by others. Adopting an embryo costs between 1,700 and 3,000€.
If you find yourself ready to embark on the parenthood adventure, Typical Non Spanish offers a list of the best fertility centres in Spain where you can check more exact prices and find the treatment that suits you best and makes you feel more comfortable. Good luck!
Fertility treatments in the social security system
While treatment is free if you adhere to Seguridad Social in Spain, your qualification for the service(s) can depend on several factors. According to the Spanish Real Decreto 1030/2006, since 2019 all women - including lesbian couples, single women and trans persons with capacity to conceive – have equal access to healthcare options, so long as a GP has signed off that the party should seek reproductive assistance. Also note that there are age limits to treatments (38 years for artificial insemination with a partner; 40 years for donor eggs or sperm and for in vitro; 55 years for men).
There are two drawbacks to using Social Security to conceive: first, the wait periods tend to be longer for both fertility testing as well as care options. Further, Social Security also limits the number of rounds of treatments – typically a maximum of three – and there could be further restrictions by autonomous community.
Fertility treatments with Caser Expat Insurance
Caser Expat Insurance policy holders who wish to have a fertility diagnostic study may do so, as Caser’s Integral, Prestigio and Activa plans all include specific coverage for both diagnosing your fertility challenges as well as their treatment. Because fertility challenges can be highly individualized, you can count on the treatment options being unique to your situation, too.
Note that there is a wait period (called a periodo de carencia) of 24 months with all of Caser’s plans, meaning that you and your partner must have been prescribed to your insurance plan for a specific amount of time before infertility diagnosis and treatment can be covered by your policy.
Once you have done the diagnostics, you will meet with a doctor to discuss your personalized recommendations. Caser’s coverage includes all of the aforementioned fertility treatments once you and your partner have reached the 24-month minimum.
Welcoming your baby
After a successful fertility treatment, it’s time to take care of your health, too! Don’t forget that you will need to undergo a myriad of checkups, tests and treatments to be sure that your pregnancy and delivery is as healthy as possible. Your healthcare provider will advise you about how to stay healthy, what important pregnancy tests you should complete and how to prepare for delivery and write a birth plan. Your doctor can also help you manage a high-risk pregnancy.
Before you can blink, your nine months will be over, and you’ll be welcoming baby into your arms and home.
If you are searching for health insurance in Spain, Caser Expat Insurance has the right policy for you!