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Why do infertility patients go abroad for treatment?

The primary reason is financial, although it seems that most people don’t go abroad for basic IVF. It is always possible to find domestic reasonably priced infertility clinics, thus, cost saving overseas with travel factored in is not so great. Most of the people who are considering infertility treatment tourism are actually doing so for egg donation and/or surrogacy. Besides, people choose to go abroad for reproductive treatment by the following reasons:

– more lenient law governing use of ART;
– availability of treatment with little restriction by age, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, etc.;
– specific treatment/technique that might not be available in home country (ICSI, PGD, embryo cryopreservation, PGD, gender selection, etc.);
– greater privacy laws;
– desire to combine fertility tourism with vacation.

Unlike other tourism programs, reproductive medical tourism possesses a lot of unique and specific medical, organizational and legal aspects, which must be considered by all entities operating in this sphere, including clinics, agencies, insurance companies and law companies.

No doubt that this dynamically developing area of medical tourism needs improved communication and global networking, so that all parties involved in the process become aware of the legal procedures, and have a platform to share experience, as well as be able to optimize interacting opportunities.

On 15-17 February 2012 Healthy Nation Ukraine Trade Show held in Kyiv, Ukraine brought together top professionals in the Medical Tourism field. As a part of the trade show there was a congress carried out delved into varying subfields of Medical Tourism, and one of its subsections was namely devoted to Fertility Tourism.

In this congress section the Global IVF’s founders, Ms. Kathryn Kaycoff-Manos and Ms. Lauri Berger de Brito, have been hosting a talk “The Booming Business of Cross Border Reproductive Care: How to Attract and Keep American Fertility Clients”. This presentation was devoted to the key role and rapidly growing field of Cross Border Reproductive Care within the world of Medical Tourism. In course of the lecture Ms. Kaycoff-Manos and Ms. Berger de Brito spoke about unique needs of American clients and provided valuable recommendations for Ukrainian clinics and surrogacy agencies to better promote themselves.

Some of the highlights of the conference included:
• What attracts infertile couples to seek infertility treatment in the USA?
• Why do patients choose to go overseas for infertility treatment?
• Who is the American client?
• What does American client expect from Ukrainian fertility clinic and/or surrogacy agency?
• What should a website contain in order to attract foreign clients?
• Where to advertise for surrogacy / egg donation programs in Ukraine?
• What should be said in an advertisement for international reproductive services?
• What are the top ideas for non-traditional advertising of surrogacy / egg donation services in Ukraine?
• How the clinic and/or agency should treat their client before, during and at the end of IVF cycle?
• And finally, what is the most important thing about surrogacy/egg donation program in Ukraine, which would either move couples to undertake another journey to Ukraine, or recommend services of a particular clinic or agency to other people looking for fertility options overseas?

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