The State of Infertility and IVF in Croatia

Katarina Anđelković

ivf in croatia, generic image

September 15, 2023 – 40 years ago was the first time that a child was conceived via IVF in Croatia. It was a revolutionary success, and Croatia was the seventh country in the world to achieve this. It is estimated that to date, thanks to medically assisted fertilization, more than 40 thousand children have been born in Croatia.

Infertility and the latest trends in reproductive medicine are being discussed at one of the most important congresses in the field, held in Opatija, reports HRT/Index.

Today, it is estimated that 15 to 17% of couples are infertile, which means that every 6th couple in the world and in Croatia has problems with infertility. Assisted reproduction methods, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), have resulted in the birth of approximately 10 million children worldwide. Children born via IVF in Croatia make up 5% of the total number.

“Nowadays, the frequency of infertility in couples is 17, 18%, regardless of the type, so this is threatening. The World Health Organization has indicated that in 10 years the frequency of infertility will be as high as 30%,” said Prof. Ph.D. Velimir Šimunić, a specialist in gynecology and obstetrics.

“We had almost 9,000 cycles in 2019, but in 2020 it was slightly less, around 7,000. That is quite a lot, as the calculation is that within a population, around 1,500 cycles per million inhabitants is already a lot,” explained Prof. Ph.D. Dinka Pavičić Baldani, president of the Croatian Society for Gynecological Endocrinology and Human Reproduction.

There is no class in which at least one child was not born VIA IVF in Croatia

Assisted reproduction methods, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), have resulted in the birth of approximately 10 million children worldwide. In Croatia, children born via medically assisted fertilization make up 5% of the total number of children born. There is practically no class in which at least one child was not born via IVF in Croatia.

“It should be noted that, despite constant technological improvements, the methods of assisted reproduction cannot completely solve the problem of infertility. The effectiveness of the methods also decreases with the age of the couples who decide on this procedure. There are alternative possibilities, in the case of consciously delaying childbirth, cryopreservation (freezing) of one’s own eggs and sperm for later use or the possibility of using donor cells,” emphasizes M.Sc. sc. Dejan Liljak, clinical embryologist, president of the Croatian Society of Clinical Embryologists.

About 150 children are born in Rijeka KBC annually thanks to assisted reproduction.

“The closer we are to 40, the more chance there is that this technology and profession would help in the birth of a child. The point would be that people start having families sooner, and if the problem is recognized earlier, the result is greater,” for HRT said Neda Smiljan Severinski, acting head of the Institute for Human Reproduction at KBC Rijeka.

What Are the Key Factors?

The incorrect claim that infertility treatment is unavailable in Croatia is often cited, and it is best refuted by the European Atlas of Infertility Treatment Policy, published on December 10, 2021 by Fertility Europe Forum of the European Parliament for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. It analyzed the quality of legislation, availability and financing, and state investment.

Croatia was rated “very good”, with the highest percentage of required points (76%) among the countries rated the same. It is fifth in the ranking of the best-rated countries. Only four countries scored “excellent” with 81% of the required criteria, namely Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, and France.

According to experts, the key factors need to be worked on primarily in Croatia, through the joint action of the state, healthcare professionals, and patient associations. These include awareness of the problem of infertility, education, and change of the public opinion.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment