Nowadays, the expression “health tourism” is on everyone’s lips, and a growing worldwide phenomenon.

For many different reasons, some countries and cities attract people from abroad for the treatment of a specific health problem. People from all over Europe go to Hungary, for example, for dental treatments, as they will find there a great choice of high-quality, low-cost dental clinics.


For reasons that are totally different, Spain benefits from a great international prestige in terms of reproductive medicine, for its excellent results as well as its scientific contributions.

Barcelona, in particular, has become a reference of excellence in terms of assisted reproduction (way before Greece or other East Europe countries where fertility treatments are much cheaper).

Of course, the word “tourism” seems all but adapted to such an intimate and emotional process as giving life. Whatever the reason for starting a fertility treatment, for those who live it personally the process is all but a touristic trip!

Still, figures speak for themselves:

According to the SEF (Spanish Society of Fertility), 12.240 cycles of assisted reproduction were made for non residents in 2014 in Spain. Figures place Spain as the 1st European country in terms of assisted reproduction, and 3rd country worldwide after Japan and USA.


The assisted reproduction procedures are subject to ethical laws that differ a lot from one country to another, even within Europe.

Of all European countries, Spain has one of the reproduction laws best adapted to the necessities and reality of today’s society – with its evolving family models, the new role of women in the labor market, postponing the age of maternity, etc.

Let’s compare with one of Spain’s closest neighbors, France.




Possible, with extremely long waiting lists (2-3 years)

In France donors can’t be paid for their donation.

As the treatments required for egg donation are hard physically, there is an important shortage in the country, making it almost impossible to meet the growing demand.

The waiting can be so long that many couples in the end turn to Spanish clinics.

Accessible to all women

Any woman with a low ovarian reserve bad quality ovocytes or genetic or chromosomic alterations can benefit from an IVF with egg donor.

Spain is the European country with the most IVF with donor eggs.

According to Spanish laws, egg donation is anonymous and altruistic; donors receive a financial compensation for the “troubles caused”.


Very limited 

This process is exclusively limited to persons with severe hereditary diseases.

It is probihited by the French bioethical law in any other situation, although it would help improve the results, especially for couples with “unexplained infertility” (often related to genetic malformations of the embryos).

Accessible to all couples

In Spain, on the contrary, it is a common process that helps improve significantly the probabilities of a pregnancy, avoiding transferring non viable embryos or with important genetic anomalies (which would end in the non-implantation of the embryo, a miscarriage, or a even therapeutic abortion with all its emotional and physical consequences).


Very limited 

In France, egg freezing for a future personal use is authorized only for women who suffer a pathology that can affect their fertility (chemotherapy etc), and for women who want to donate part of their eggs.

Preventive egg preservation is forbidden for fertile women without immediate pregnancy project.

Accessible to all women

In Spain, the law is much more adapted to the actual situation of women in modern societies, giving them the possibility to postpone their maternity project to prioritize momentarily other aspects of their life (professional and others), or simply because they don’t have a partner.



In France single women aren’t allowed to undertake assisted reproduction treatments with donor sperm.

Accessible to all women

In Spain, on the other hand, any woman above 18 years-old can undertake fertility treatments (intrauterine insemination or IVF) with anonymous donor sperm.



Although gay marriage was legalized in May 2013 in France, it is still forbidden for a lesbian couple to use assisted reproduction in order to create their own family.

Accessible to all women

In Spain, in the same way that the process is legal for single women, it is also legal for lesbian couples.

Whatever the reason to resort to assisted reproduction, the process is complicated and difficult on both physical and psychological levels – even more so if we add the logistic pressure related to treatments in a foreign country, trying to arrange both personal and professional life.

This is why at She Oak we try to help in every possible way:

We refer you to the best therapists in Barcelona who speak your language (natural therapies, coaching, psychologists, therapeutic yoga…), taking over your usual therapist during your stay in Barcelona.

We put you in touch with persons who live, or have lived, the same situation.

Or even help you with the accommodation in Barcelona.




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