In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a form of assistive reproductive technology (ART) that uses hormonal treatments to extract eggs, fertilize them externally, and implant viable embryos in the uterus. (Learn More) It is a lengthy process, and in Western countries like the United States, it can be very expensive.
The cost has led to the rise of medical tourism to several countries, including Mexico. In Mexico, IVF is about half the cost that it is in the U.S., even including the cost of travelling to the country. (Learn More)
Although medical practices and standards are improving in nations all over the world, finding a financially viable, safe, and effective IVF clinic in Mexico requires some research. (Learn More) Finding the right clinic for your needs, and spending several weeks or even months in a beautiful location, can potentially help you relax and get pregnant. (Learn More)
What Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a medical process that helps women who have difficulty conceiving or carrying a baby to term. It involves fertilizing an egg, developing an embryo, and implanting the embryo in the uterus, so the woman can get pregnant.
This is a type of assistive reproductive technology (ART) that combines surgical procedures and medications to help sperm fertilize eggs and to allow the fertilized egg to stay in the uterus. IVF can include processes like taking hormones through one or more menstrual cycles, so eggs mature and are ready for fertilization.
The doctor removes these eggs and mixes them with sperm in a lab. Finally, the doctor puts one or more fertilized eggs in the woman’s uterus. Then, the woman waits until the embryo or embryos implant in the lining of the uterus.
The entire process takes several months to complete, and many women go through several rounds of treatment over a period of years before they experience a completed pregnancy. It is rare for IVF to work on the first try, and there is no guarantee that even repeated attempts at IVF will work.
Because IVF is very expensive, more women are traveling abroad for treatments. Although the cost of IVF is much lower in other countries, like Mexico, getting there and staying there for the required months can be quite expensive. As medical tourism becomes more common, specific “vacation packages” are being developed that may help some women find comfortable, safe places to stay for the time they need to go through treatment and recover.
IVF Can Be Less Expensive in Other Countries
According to Planned Parenthood, the standard cost of IVF treatment in the United States can be around $15,000. This cost can vary based on total costs for anesthesia, hormonal medications, multiple procedures, blood tests and lab work, ultrasounds, and embryo storage, along with the costs of the doctor and clinic. Since many women need multiple treatments, IVF costs can easily reach six figures in a year or two.
Western medical procedures, medical training, and hospital standards have spread to non-Western countries like Mexico. As a result, access to safe and inexpensive medical care outside nations like the U.S. and the United Kingdom has led to the rise of medical tourism for numerous forms of treatment, especially IVF.
Women living in the U.S. are traveling across the border to Mexico more often, where a round of IVF treatment is about half the cost in the U.S. It’s $7,800 on average, though the exact cost will depend on clinic costs and location, just like in North America.
For Americans and Canadians, getting to Mexico is inexpensive and fast compared to traveling to locations like Thailand and Ukraine, which are other popular IVF destinations.
You should consider spending at least two weeks in Mexico for one IVF treatment to complete the five steps required for the cycle. You may also need medical treatment leading up to the procedure, which you may choose to complete in your home country. IVF involves:
- Medication to stimulate the release of eggs.
- Collecting the eggs.
- Taking a sperm sample and fertilizing the eggs.
- Combining sperm and eggs in a laboratory and keeping the embryos.
- Implanting embryos to the uterus between three and five days after fertilization.
You must stay in Mexico for the right length of time. And it is important to find a treatment program that meets international standards of safety, effectiveness, and technology.
Ways to Find IVF Clinics and Hospitals in Mexico
If you’re looking for IVF treatments in Mexico, it is important to find hospitals and clinics that use the latest technology, have well-educated medical professionals, and meet international standards for safety.
Here are some resources to help you find the best clinic for you:
- International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ): This website focuses on medical tourism of all kinds, including recommendations for IVF treatments in Mexico. While access to all the information requires a paid subscription, much of the information is thoroughly researched and vetted.
- Joint Commission International (JCI): The Join Commission in the United States sets high standards for medical treatment, and JCI was founded to approve international hospitals and clinics based on a board of medical professionals’ rigorous standards. You can look through a list of JCI-accredited hospitals in Mexico, and read more about which ones offer IVF.
- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART): This organization promotes several fertility treatments, especially IVF. They have a clinic finder on their website allowing you to search several states in the U.S. and other regions of the world, so you can find the best clinic to fit your needs, including your financial specifications.
- Health-Tourism.com: This website helps you narrow down your options by procedure, like fertility treatments, and location, such as Mexico. There is written information detailing what the clinic does, including their doctors and procedures. They offer a price comparison in U.S. dollars.
Medical Tourism to Mexico for IVF Can Help You
Reducing stress helps the IVF process greatly. Even though travel can be stressful, spending less money at a highly ranked clinic can reduce your mental stress a great deal.
It is important to find a comfortable place to stay during treatment. Make sure you have medical coverage in your home country and that you stay as long as needed to let your body manage the procedures.
Ultimately, saving money and finding doctors you trust can improve your mental state. Taking an extended vacation in a beautiful location and stepping away from daily stresses like work can improve your mental state even more.
What Is IVF? Planned Parenthood.
Fertility and Reproductive Health. (September 8, 2018). Patients Beyond Borders.
Should You Travel Abroad for IVF? (December 15, 2015). U.S. News & World Report.
The Ultimate Guide to In Vitro Fertilization in Mexico. Medical Departures.
Mexico: Medical Tourism. International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ).
JCI-Accredited Organizations: Mexico. Joint Commission International (JCI).
Find a Clinic. Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).
Fertility Treatments: Clinics in Mexico. Health-Tourism.com.
IVF Combines Vacation with Affordable Path to Pregnancy. Medical Tourism Magazine.