According to the National Statistics Institute (INE) the average age in Spain of women who have their first child is 30,9 (differing from 25,2 in 1975). Women are delaying motherhood more and more and this makes their ovarian reserve decrease in quantity and quality. Therefore, it’s common now that they are turning to fertility treatments to achieve their motherhood goals.
Spain is at the top of its game on fertility treatments since the existing law allows for anonymous sperm donation and also doesn’t set an age limit for the procedures. If you decide to go through the process in a private clinic, that is. However, if you must claim it on social security then there is an age limit.
Since 2019 lesbians now have the right to claim fertility treatments on Social Security ever since the amendment to the Royal Decree 1030/2006. In August Murcia lifted the ban and now all women (single or in a lesbian couple) in any Spanish region can undergo treatments such as artificial insemination or IVF with donor sperm. The ROPA method is still only available at private clinics.
These are some of the requirements that will allow you to claim fertility treatments on social security:
1. Age limit for the procedure: Though there is no legal age limit for childbearing, the healthcare system does set one to be eligible. The limit for women is 40 and for men it is 55. If the woman turns 40 while she’s on the waiting list (which can be from 6 months to 2 years), she will no longer be eligible.
2. The couple can’t have existing children together: except if the child has a serious chronic condition.
3. Attempts (cycles): how many times you can try depends on the region you are in but generally:
- three cycles of IVF (regardless of if you’re using your eggs or egg donation). Egg donation procedures are not covered by Social Security.
- artificial insemination can be done six times with donor sperm.
This all depends on the region you are undergoing these procedures. For instance, in some regions, if the first attempt is unsuccessful then the woman would have to get back on the waiting list. If the woman is not pregnant at the end of the cycles she is then unable to apply again for fertility treatment through the Social Security System. This is also the case if she did get pregnant.
There might be more region-specific criteria.
4. Trouble conceiving: you need medical documentation that indicates fertility treatments are needed.
5. Pre-existing diseases in patients: if you have a serious condition that might be passed down to the children then this will be a problem when claiming these procedures on Social Security.
Though considerably more expensive, private clinics don’t have any of these limitations. The only criteria are to be of legal age and to be physically healthy, that way you don’t risk the mother or the child’s life.