Reproductive Tourism in the United States

With the onset of fertility treatments and specifically IVF treatments being still in their relative infancy, there is still much to learn and grow as things proceed. In fact the first IVF treatment was only done in 1978, and there has been much in the way of technological advancements since that time. These advancements have first and foremost been able to decrease the costs of fertility treatments, making them much more cost effective for those who suffer from infertility. This has paved the way for another set of questions, that of reproductive tsosie

Various governments have been steadily producing laws and regulations regarding reproductive medicine, some that regulate it heavily and regrettably restrict it in many ways, and others who don’t regulate it enough making the quality of IVF lower; there are as well some who have made it virtually impossible to do. IVF cost is always and has always been a factor as well. Thus has been born reproductive tourism, where people travel from another country to country to receive fertility treatments.

There are many reasons for it besides just fleeing different regulations, many places are able to do it for a lower price, and patients are more confident in a different countries ability to ensure a successful pregnancy and a healthy child. Often times it’s confidence in a certain medical professional that brings people here, a good example of this is Dr Jain of Santa Monica Fertility; with helpful and informative video’s like these it’s hard to not have a desire to travel for your fertility needs.

Here are many of the most common reasons:

  • The wait list in some countries is too long to allow older couples a real chance of success

  • The legality of it in some countries

  • In some countries certain patients aren’t eligible for the treatments because of the laws, including gays, lesbians, single people or even members of a certain religion.

  • Costs, some countries can do it for far less expense even after figuring in the travel costs.

  • Some seek a desirable genealogy, or a country that has greater donor diversity than others.

  • And finally some countries have better options available, and give greater control over the results of fertilization. The United States for example allows  pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of in vitro fertilization embryos, which permits the couple to pick and choose which embryos will be implanted in the uterus based on some genetic factors, which includes being able to screen for some chromosomal deficiencies and even sex.

How many people are engaging  in reproductive tourism? According to the data there are as many as 25,000 couples who have sought after reproductive treatments abroad. Benefiting at times the economies of other countries, as they must spend money on the treatments, as well as tourism costs such as hotels, entertainment and food.

Choice is always better, when there is a freedom of choice, when the free market has the ability to operate within the medical industry it will only make the process better, produce better technologies, and further allow for more people to become mothers and fathers if they want to. Reproductive tourism allows for doctors to expand their business, and compile a greater amount of research to aid in the betterment of the procedures.

There are still some issues that we need to be aware, specifically those entities who prey upon desperate young women to harvest their eggs. These organizations need to be sought after and shown for what they are. But in reality this issue has actually been taking care of itself as the screening procedures for many donor agencies has improved substantially.

This is an exciting time to be alive, so much of what our parents had no answers for, we do and they are only getting better and better.