Posted on 05/16/2017 in Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism: Surrogacy and IVF Treatments Abroad, The Real Reasons

Medical Tourism: Surrogacy and IVF Treatments Abroad, The Real Reasons

Medical tourism has grown in popularity and presently a lot of couples are taking to medical tourism as a key way of finding a suitable surrogate. Through medical tourism, many infertile couples have had babies of their own either through surrogacy or through IVF treatments.

What is medical tourism?

Medical tourism is the act of traveling to a foreign country for fertility treatment. It is also known as fertility tourism.

What are the real reasons behind medical tourism?

There are many reasons why couples decide to go for fertility tourism. The reasons differ depending on the couples’ specific situations and the country of origin. There are proposals to refer medical tourism as reproductive exile due to some difficulties and restrictions that compel infertile couples to look outside their home country for reproductive help.

Some of real reasons behind fertility tourism are:

Legal prohibitions or unfavorable regulation regarding the procedure in the client’s home country.

Non–availability of the fertility procedure in the person home country and the low cost of procedure in the country they are travelling to

One of the major reasons behind the development of medical tourism is the technological advancement in reproduction, medication and travel.

The extensive educational opportunities have as well increased the total number of the fertility specialists round the world.

In addition to this, nurses and specialists also have up to date knowledge about the use of these technological advances and modern technologies.

A major reason behind the medical tourism is the high cost of health care in the US and other developed countries like UK.

The development of medical tourism agencies and companies who make medical tourism easy by taking care of hotel, travel arrangements and also finding a suitable legal representation to cover the procedure

Some of these reasons have been explained in details below:

Medical tourism due to Cost factors

Women from the United States and the United Kingdom for example, may travel for IVF treatment and medications due to cost.  One IVF cycle in the United States costs roughly 15,000 dollars while the cost in Mexico is roughly 7,800 dollars, the cost in Thailand averages 6,500 dollars while in India the cost is roughly 3,300 US dollars.

Medical tourism for Egg donation

Egg donation is banned in some European countries like Germany, Austria and Italy. Some women from these countries, therefore, embark on medical tourism to countries where the procedure is lawful like Spain and the United States where donors are compensated for their donation. Nearly half of all IVF treatments that require donor eggs in Europe are carried out in Spain. Also, many Canadians travel to the U.S for IVF procedure performed with unidentified egg donation.

Medical tourism for Sex selection

Many women who want to give birth to a particular sex travel from countries where sex selection is prohibited like United Kingdom, Australia and Canada to countries that allow sex selection for medical tourism.

Medical tourism for Donor insemination

Some women go for medical tourism to get donor artificial insemination. This is usually influenced by the regulations, attitudes and sperm donation laws in their intended country. There is commonly a high demand for sperm donors from men who have no genetic issues and associated problems in their family route.

The main procedure sought after by individuals who engage in fertility tourism.

Although there are various forms of fertility treatments; the main fertility treatments sought by medical tourists are In-vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy and donor insemination.

Major destinations for IVF procedures

Thousands of women with their partners embark on medical tourism every year to seek assisted reproductive technology (ART) services in a foreign land.

IVF Destinations

The main medical tourism destination for IVF procedure is Israel. However, most Europeans couples travel to the United States as a result of the improved success rates and tolerant regulations.

On the other hand, many women from the U.S travel to India and other Asian countries for fertility treatment. Forty percent of women in the U.S. travel to India for IVF fertility treatment while fifty-two percent of women seek for IVF and egg donation.

A lot of women also travel from countries like Germany and Italy which have restrictions on the number of eggs that may be fertilized and the number of embryos that can be implanted or used for cryopreservation.

Mexico has become the latest popular destination for IVF medical tourism as a result of its open-minded ART and egg donation regulation and guiding principles.  Even small countries like Barbados currently have JCI-accredited IVF treatment centers that cater for women from foreign countries.

Popular destination for Surrogacy tourism

Surrogacy destinations are countries where commercial gestational surrogacy are lawful, with relatively low cost and where the intended parents are given legal rights over the newborn either by modernized adoption process or  through direct parental rights.


India is a major destination for surrogacy medical tourism because of the comparatively low cost of the procedure and due to the fact that Indian clinics hire and retain surrogate mothers. The cost of everything involved in surrogacy treatment in India ranges from 10,000 dollars to 28,000 dollars. This covers costs of fertilization, the surrogate mother’s charge, delivery fee, air fares, costs of medical procedures and accommodation.

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