Laws

  • Over the last five years the laws regarding IVF treatment have been reconsidered, and some relaxed. For example, the law previousy forbade more than three eggs being fertilised during treatment. This law has now been overturned.
  • Currently it is still being debated whether or not to allow the screening of embryos before they are used in the treatment.
  • In 2014 the first pregnancy by egg donation was announced, in the same year the ban on this type of treatment was lifted by the Italian government.
  • The IVF techniques are still in principle only accessible to married or cohabiting couples of different sexes in a productive age.
  • Italy excludes single women or lesbian couples from artificial insemination.
  • Embryonic research is still prohibited by law, which still poses more of an ethical dilema than egg freezing. This Italian decision to do this was recently upheld by the European Court of Human Rights.

Costs

Variable, but average between 4,000 to 7,000 EUR.

Success rate

Unofficial statistics estimate a ratio of 35% to 55%.

Views

“The prohibition of examining woman’s fertilized egg cells before they are inserted, means that the couples who can afford it go abroad to undergo the tests. Others can undergo a prenatal examination only if the woman has become pregnant. If abnormalities are detected, they have the possibility of abortion, which is a potential health risk for a woman- causing unnecessary pain.”

The reason for this provision resides in the definition of an unborn life. According to the Italian bioethics law, a fertilized egg is equivalent to a human and therefore is as equally protected. It cannot be selected or frozen and cannot be used for research purposes. For the reproductive medical examiner Elisabetta Chelo, the dignity of women may be neglected in the process.