Since the president of the Community of Madrid presented, in January of this year, the new birth and fertility plan, where the age limit for requesting assisted reproduction treatments in regional public health is extended from 40 to 45 years, the issue What is covered and what is not covered by social security is all over the media and there are still many doubts about it.
Each country has its own regulations to access assisted reproduction treatments. (Picture of Freepik )
In Europe, unlike countries like the United States and many in Latin America, couples suffering from infertility can access assisted reproduction treatments through social security, but each country has its own regulations in terms of age, public funding, couples in the same sex, waiting times and techniques used.
Spain has one of the most advanced laws on assisted reproduction techniques in the world, an important professional quality and is the first power in Europe and third in the world, in terms of number of cycles and professional centers. Currently, it is positioned as a reference destination for reproductive tourism and has great worldwide prestige. However, it is at the bottom in terms of public funding for this sector.
As announced at the 31st International Congress of the ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) that took place in Lisbon, Spain is the European country with the lowest percentage reimbursed by the State. Only 25% of treatments are covered by Social Security.
There are requirements to take into account to access assisted reproduction treatments in social security. (Picture of Freepik )
What are the requirements to access fertility treatments in public health?
- The age of the woman before could not exceed 40 years, but now with the new law in the community of Madrid, it is extended to 45 years.
- The 40-year limit drops to 38 for insemination with a partner's semen.
- The man cannot be older than 55 years.
- Also, in the community of Madrid, mothers who already have a child will be able to access treatments and the number of attempts will be increased from three to four. In La Rioja, couples can also access 4 attempts.
- Eleven communities establish weight traits: The required body mass index of the woman must be greater than 19 and less than 32. Andalusia is the strictest, with respect to the body mass index, to be able to access.
- The woman and/or man must not have undergone any type of permanent voluntary sterilization, such as tubal ligation or vasectomy, respectively.
Other social security requirements
For Artificial Insemination, there are up to six attempts with donor semen, but it varies depending on each community. In Catalonia the number of attempts is two, if donor sperm is used; It can be three if the woman is under 35 years of age. In the Basque Country, all attempts made are taken into account, even in a private clinic. In the Balearic Islands, they give a maximum of four, even if there is a semen donation, and not six.
In addition, in Andalusia, Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia, you cannot access if you have frozen embryos. And neither in Aragon and Extremadura, but they also veto those who have cryopreserved their eggs.
About waiting lists
Although people are fortunate to be able to access these treatments through social security, it is important to bear in mind that waiting lists can be very long. In some hospitals there is a wait of 1 year and up to 2 years. There are hospitals that have preferential waiting lists for women with very low ovarian reserve or endometriosis .
Can embryos be transported?
Yes, it is possible to transfer embryos that have been cryopreserved (frozen) in the social security to a private clinic. Normally, the process is carried out between the two laboratory teams of the two clinics and the patient would have to sign all the necessary documentation.
Also, with the new law of the Community of Madrid, it is proposed to launch the Madrid oocyte bank that would solve the shortage of donors who prefer to do so in private clinics, where they receive higher remuneration.
It should be noted that there is still no date for the implementation of this plan to promote the family, proposed by Isabel Diaz Ayuso in the Community of Madrid.