By Monica Rix Paxson
Mexico has become a haven for people from all over the world seeking treatment for infertility, particularly those who want IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).
It is estimated that between 8–10% of couples have some level of difficulty conceiving and for many of these, the recommended solution is IVF where sperm and egg are joined in a laboratory and implanted in the mother’s womb, or in some cases that of a surrogate mother. IVF involves complex hormone therapy and surgical removal of the eggs and what is technically a tissue transplantation when embryos are implanted. In Mexico, fertility treatment centers which perform IVF must be reviewed, inspected and have permits administered by the Health Ministry.
Unfortunately IVF is a costly procedure, US$10,000–15,000 per round or more in the USA, and IVF is not always covered by insurance policies. Mexico offers IVF treatment at a significantly lower cost, typically less than half of U.S. rates. Other advantages of undertaking IVF treatment in Mexico are the reduced travel time from the USA compared to other international destinations, and less jet lag due to flying north to south rather than east or west. These reduce stress, job time-loss, and shorter distances make the travel costs more affordable.
And there is another reason the Mexico is an ideal place for fertility treatment. Mexican culture is very family-focused. This means that doctors and other medical staff have a deep understanding of the emotional issues involved in achieving pregnancy. Unlike some people in the U.S. who are perplexed by the grieving that is typical and normal for infertile couples, Mexicans understand completely . There is no, “Why don’t you just adopt?” attitude that many want-to-be parents may find hurtful and this cultural sensitivity can make a huge difference to the couple’s journey.
If you know someone seeking help with fertility issues, I recommend the following resources: Resolve, the National Infertility Association at www.resolve.org, is the largest support group for both those who have decided not to pursue treatment and those who do. The Global Guide for IVF and Assisted Reproduction at www.globalivf.com can help you find good options for IVF treatment. Furthermore, my book, The English Speaker’s Guide to Medical Care in Mexico has a complete list of the fertility treatment centers with permits to perform IVF in Mexico.
Personally, I think everyone who wants to should have a shot at becoming a parent, and Mexico is helping to give many people who might otherwise not have had it, a chance.
Monica Rix Paxson is an expert in the field of Mexico healthcare. She is author of the English Speaker’s Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, an eBook available for immediate download. She resides full-time in Tepoztlan, a beautiful highland town situated about 50 miles south of Mexico City.