“Let’s Have a Baby”
Seems like a reasonable goal for any couple, yet for one out of every eight married couples the journey of conceiving a child “naturally” is a difficult one. To compound the situation, there exists laws and regulations in many countries which prevent couples from seeking the medical treatment they wish to help enhance their fertility and bring a baby HOME. In addition, couples who are seeking medical advancements to help reduce the risk of miscarriage, passing on hereditary disorders or family balancing, are also disappointed to find these services limited or unavailable in their own ‘backyards”.
Thus, everyday people board planes or cross international borders in search of fertility medical care that is not afforded to them in their countries or otherwise known as FERTILITY TOURISM
What Exactly is Fertility Tourism?
Technically speaking Fertility Tourism refers to traveling abroad for fertility treatment.
The concept of seeking medical care outside of ones’ own country may seem a bit odd, yet “medical tourism” for cancer patients and those looking alternative medicine help has become fairly routine. In the realm of fertility or reproductive medicine, this may be a newer concept, however, couples with means often are willing to travel for procedures that others consider commonplace, such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), sperm/egg donation or even embryo adoption. There also may be heredity issues which cause a couple to seek fertility treatments abroad, such as for those who may have genetic challenges and wish to use some more contemporary technologies including Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, or PGD. Moreover, Gay and Lesbian couples may opt to travel abroad to build their families. Lastly, family balancing also has been a reason for those to board a plane seeking fertility services.
Regardless of the reason, statistics clearly indicate that couples who are motivated to obtain fertility services not available in their home country and have the financial means to obtain these services are more than willing to travel, resulting in a virtual BOOM in “fertility tourism”. In fact, according to some rough statistics, about 25,000 people receive fertility treatments outside of their home countries. Israel and the United States have been preferred destinations for those seeking IVF. In addition, the United States clearly offers advancements that many seek and therefore has welcomed patients from all over the globe. The International Fertility Institute of Hawaii has the one of the newest “marvels” in reproductive medicine, the EmbryoScope, which is a available only in a small number of fertility centers internationally and why many seek services at this center. (To read more about the EmbryoScope please click this link).
In closing, here are some testimonials from patients who sought fertility treatment abroad, thus being one of thousands who embarked on “Fertility Tourism”:
We have a girl and wanted a boy as well. We used PGD at the International Fertility Institute of Hawaii and now have the baby boy that we wanted. Dr. Frattarelli is a wonderful physician. He has great staff that make the experience easy and successful. -China.
I was so tearful with joy when I first met my baby girl after C-section. It was the greatest moment of my life because it has been such a long journey of infertility treatment. Our happiness and success are because of you, Dr. Frattarelli, and all of your staff. We are so happy to see our baby sleeping in peace…
Thank you so much.
M.N From Japan