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An IVF Vacation — Not a Vacation from IVF

As summer approaches, have you thought about treating yourself to a vacation of sorts? Maybe some spa time, antiquing, relaxing on the beach and a round of IVF?

"Medical tourism" is a term used to describe the practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health care services, including dental, medical, surgical — and fertility treatments. As an industry, medical tourism is rapidly growing, often enabling people to receive good quality health care for a fraction of the domestic cost. IVF is one of the more popular offerings, and several agencies will arrange "IVF Vacations" in places such as the Czech Republic or South Africa.

There are many good IVF programs around the world, but regulations and oversight vary widely. Carefully research the program you are considering. Also, if IVF tourism is an option for you, make sure you consult with a reproductive law attorney to understand the legalities of certain procedures in specific countries. For example, gender selection is illegal in countries such as Switzerland and Austria. In addition, make sure you review the travel warning issued by the State Department for U.S. Citizens Considering the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Abroad.

For some, IVF tourism can combine discovering amazing new parts of the world with the amazing journey of creating a child. It may be the experience of a lifetime.

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