Fertility tourism is the idea of traveling to another country for fertility treatment. Fertility tourism falls under the umbrella of medical tourism. Although the United States does have high-quality healthcare and strict regulations, the cost of treatment and lack of success at their hometown clinics are causing couples to think outside of the box.
What To Consider When Looking For Fertility Treatment Abroad
When looking for fertility treatment abroad, it’s important to consider these six things in your care.
- Cost of Treatment
- Native Language
- Governing Bodies
- Flight, Hotel and Travel Costs
- Local Fertility Laws
- Location of Your Frozen Embryos and Eggs
Certain countries are known to have good regulations while maintaining a high quality of care at a low cost. Let’s take a look at 6 countries and the pros and cons of each.
Barbados and Grand Cayman Island
Barbados Fertility Centre is the only clinic in Barbados, a small country of less than 300,000 people. Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands hosts Cayman Fertility Centre, the sister clinic to Barbados Fertility Centre. These two clinics are Joint Commission International certified and the most well regarded established practices in the Caribbean having started 16 years ago.
What Are The IVF Regulations In Barbados and Grand Cayman?
- The language in these two islands is English making it very accessible for North American patients.
- PGT is available. There is no restriction on treating single women or same sex couples.
- Egg donation, embryo donation and sperm donation is allowed. Gestational surrogacy is rarely done but due to the low cast and proximity, many North American patients will have embryos created there and transferred in their home state or province if permitted.
- Women can undergo IVF up until 50 years of age.
How Much Does IVF Cost In Barbados and Grand Cayman?
- IVF costs can range from $5500 – $7000 per cycle. Egg freezing is very affordable at these clinics costing $5250 per cycle. Medication costs can range from $1500 – $3500 per cycle.
- Egg donation is one of the most cost effective options in these two countries at $7000-$9000 a cycle.
- Flights from the United States can be very low depending on where you live. Average round-trip flights from New York to Barbados are $350 – $500 depending on the time of year and similar for Grand Cayman. Use websites like Skyscanner to check up to the minute prices.
The Czech Republic has approximately 30 clinics throughout the country and is well regulated by their governing body, the Czech Society for Assisted Reproduction. As a Czech citizen, women under the age of 39 have 3 chances at IVF that is completely covered by the government. However, many travel to the Czech Republic without being citizens.
What Are The IVF Regulations In The Czech Republic?
- The predominant language is Czech to it’s 10 million residents. Many clinics have a translator that helps their international patients.
- Egg donation and sperm donation is allowed, although embryo donation is not allowed.
- Women can undergo IVF up until 48 years of age.
How Much Does IVF Cost In The Czech Republic?
- IVF costs can range from $2500 – $4000 per cycle. Medication costs can range from $500 – $1000 per cycle
- Flights from the United States cost a bit more than traveling to other parts of Europe. Average round-trip flights from New York to Prague are $600 – $800 depending on the time of year. Use websites like Skyscanner to check up to the minute prices.
India has been a fertility destination for some time due to its low cost, high age limit (they will allow women up to 55 years of age to go through IVF) and availability of surrogacy. The number of modern facilities and their relaxed regulations on fertility treatment attract a multitude of patients. However tighter regulations on surrogacy have made India less accessible as it once was.
- With a population of 1.3 million, the country boasts over 500 fertility clinics
- There are several governing bodies in India like the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction. There is also ESHRE (the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology). India is a part of their PGD Consortium.
How Much Does IVF Cost In India?
- IVF costs can range from $2000 – $3000 per cycle. Medication costs can range from $400 – $1000. Surrogacy costs around $20,000-$100,000. Special medical tourism visas can be obtained to stay in the country for a longer period of time.
Greece has just 60 clinics in its country but is a popular destination due to its beautiful scenery and low-cost IVF. The country also regulates IVF and related procedures and is a part of ESHRE, however this varies by clinic and is not mandated as it is in the US. Greek is the main language, and some clinics will have translators that can speak English especially in clinics that cater to fertility tourism.
- PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) is now referred to as PGT across the world, but the technology is a bit limited in Greece. PGT allows physicians to screen for specific diseases within embryos with the ultimate goal of transferring the healthiest embryo possible.
- Single people can get IVF, but gay or lesbian couples are not allowed to have care.
- 3 embryos can be transferred, and possibly 4 if the woman is older.
- No harsh limits on embryo storage, however if you have frozen embryos you cannot create more until you use your frozen embryos.
How Much Does IVF Cost In Greece?
- IVF ranges from $3500 – $5000. Medications can range from $1000 – $2000.
Spain is one of the most popular countries for IVF treatment abroad. Their national healthcare system is the Sistema Sanitario Publico. Spain is known to have clean and modern facilities with physicians who are highly trained and specialized. There are many laws and regulations that are in support of those going through IVF of using donors.
What Are The IVF Regulations In Spain?
- Anyone can be treated regardless of age, marital status and sexual orientation. A law is in place that prevents discrimination in the healthcare field
- Surrogacy is currently not allowed in Spain
- Most Spanish clinics have people on staff who speak multiple languages, including English. However, English is often not their native language.
How Much Does IVF Cost In Spain?
- IVF cycles average $5,000 – $7,000 per cycle. Medication ranges from $1200 – $2000.
- Flight prices can be reasonable going from the United States to major cities like Madrid or Barcelona. The cost of living in Spain on average is less than other parts of the EU. Use websites like Skyscanner to check up to the minute prices.
- Total cost with travel: $1500-$3000