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Fertility Tourism: Making Babies Abroad

A lot of people are going abroad to avail of fertility methods and procedures. Fertility tourism has become widely popular especially in countries like Thailand, Jordan and Malaysia. You can get the benefit of cutting costs, enjoying a great vacation and having a child you have always wanted. Procedures in developing countries are generally state-of-the-art, top quality and reliable. Here are some more tips and details about the approach.

What is Fertility Tourism?

Fertility tourism is also called reproductive tourism, described as the process of going to a different country to receive fertility treatments. The approach is considered a part of medical tourism. The main reasons that foreigners go to other countries to seek attention is the lower price offered by developing countries and legalities concerning the procedure in their home nation. The major procedures done include donor insemination and in-vitro fertilization. The term was also proposed to be “reproductive exile” to focus on the difficulties that infertile patients have to face, having to travel globally to receive treatment.

On IVF Procedures

Israel is the number one fertility tourism destination in the world for IVF or in-vitro fertilization techniques. It has the most number of fertility clinics per capita globally. America is preferred by several Europeans due to the bigger success rates and less stringent regulations. A lot of infertile patients go to Italy and Germany as well because of their lenient laws. Countries like America and Spain are quite restrictive when it comes to donor egg utilization as well as the number of eggs that can be fertilized.

Some of the risks include women having multiple pregnancy and the development of some complications because of the minimized restrictions on the number of eggs allowed to be implanted into the uterus at a single session.

More Details

Some individuals who wish to choose the sex of their child usually travel to the United States. A lot of people from the United Kingdom travel to the States, due to the PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which is an extension of IVF for sex selection, which is not allowed in the United Kingdom. The UK only allows the procedure, if the patient needs to be screened for genetic problems, while other regulations in the United States are more lenient.

Other Destinations

The United Kingdom and Sweden are short on sperm donors and only allow identified donors. The stock has dropped by one-third in the United Kingdom. Sweden, at present, has an eighteen-month waiting list for donor sperm. British women, as a result, go to Spain and Belgium for donor insemination. The laws have been changed, however, so Spain and Belgium now purchase donor sperm overseas to meet the growing demand.

Other Swedish visitors go to Denmark each year for insemination. Denmark allows single women to receive artificial insemination. In Canada, you are not allowed to pay donors to provide sperm or eggs. Canadian women can get sperm from the United States. Eggs are not allowed to be imported, however. Canadian women continue to go abroad to get such treatment.


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The Medical Tourism Hotspots

There are now around 50 countries recognized as medical tourism destinations. If you’re eyeing on vacationing in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, you have to learn more about the country and culture. It is very important that you also research more about the technologies available and the recent updates that each nation and institution has that applies to your specific condition. Here are some guidelines on the hot places and what to look for.

The Middle East

Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel are among the hottest countries to visit when going for medical tourism in the Middle East. Israel is quickly becoming a medical tourist hot spot, with over 15,000 visitors entering the country in 2006. In-vitro fertilization is one of the most popular procedures that foreigners go for in Israel. They also wish to view the Dead Sea, plus other historical and biblical landmarks.

Jordan is quickly growing as a medical tourism hotspot. In 2007 alone, over 200,000 visitors went and brought in more than $1 billion in revenue. Most of the foreigners come from Iraq, Sudan and Palestine. Compared to prices of health care in the United States, expect to save as much 75% on treatment. The World Bank rated Jordan 5th worldwide as a medical tourism hotspot.

The UAE or United Arab Emirates has also upgraded a lot of their equipment, facilities and practices to become competitive in the global market. More hospitals are aiming to get accreditation from the biggest agencies to attract more foreigners.

Asia and the Pacific

China is a favorite among medical tourists because of its unique approach to treatment. Chinese hospitals and institutions are widely known for fusing modern medical practices and technology with traditional Chinese medicine and therapeutic techniques. Stem cell treatment is one of the most common procedures that visitors go to China for. China is also very rich in culture, so you get the most out of your vacation by choosing this country.

Hong Kong is another popular medical tourist hub. All 12 private hospitals are accredited by Trent and ensure that patients only get the highest quality and standard of care available. Dual international accreditation is also acquired by the hospitals, with the second being from JCI. Hong Kong hospitals boast of having the latest technologies and equipment to ensure patient safety and well-being.

More Asian Destinations

Taiwan aims to become a big medical tourism center in the years to come. The government has been very active in providing funds and campaigns to help boost and advertise the different programs offered by hospitals and medical institutions. Some of the reasons that visitors go to Taiwan include the low cost of procedures and the many shopping places available. Some of the popular procedures that foreigners usually go for include bone marrow transplant, liver transplant, plastic surgery and joint replacement surgery.

Westerners prefer going to Asia because of its rich culture and cheap costs. You get the advantage of getting great packages and the best in accommodations and transportation. People in Asia are also known to be very warm and hospitable, making the places very ideal for both medical treatment and vacationing.


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