Would you go overseas to get in vitro fertilization for half-price?
"When I couldn't conceive, taking a vacation was the last thing on my mind," says Jennifer, 34. "But a trip to Prague later, I was pregnant with twins!" Here's her story.
Momlogic: How did your search for IVF begin?
Jennifer: My husband Rupert and I married in August 2002. By the winter of 2003, we still weren't getting pregnant, so we decided to see a specialist for help. We found out Rupert had no sperm in his semen. Doctors were able to do a testicle biopsy and get sperm that way, but the only chance for pregnancy was in vitro.
Momlogic: Why did you decided to seek in vitro overseas?
Jennifer: In September 2006, I went to a fertility clinic and discovered in vitro and fertility drugs cost roughly $20,000 for one cycle. So I went online and researched other ways outside of the country to get the fertility drugs for much less. I found several websites where you could purchase fertility drugs overseas, and then I found the website, IVFvacation.com.
Momlogic: Take us through your IVF vacation.
Jennifer: The founders of IVFvacation.com (Craig and Marcela Fite) held our hands throughout the process. In February 2007, we got on a plane to Prague and took a car to Zlin, a college town three hours away. We got set up in a hotel and went to a fertility clinic there every few days. All the doctors spoke relatively good English. I took a follicle-stimulating hormone shot each day for about two weeks. At first, my body didn't respond like it should have, so we extended our trip for a second round of treatment. Since we were already there, we figured we'd try again instead of coming home and then spending the money to return at a later date. In total, we were there from February 2, 2007, to March 8, 2007.
Momlogic: When did you find out you were pregnant?
Jennifer: On March 4, I took the pregnancy test at the clinic and burst into tears I was so happy. Rupert jumped up and gave the doctor a hug. The trip was a success! Our daughters, Olivia and Alliyah (Ally), are now four months old.
Momlogic: How did you react when you found out you were having twins?
Jennifer: We were overwhelmed. We'd hoped for more than one child, and IVF costs so much, we were excited we didn't have to do it twice.
Momlogic: What advice do you have for women who are trying to conceive and considering IVF?
Jennifer: Don't shut the door on the possibility of other countries. Our country is not the be-all and end-all. Yes, we are heavily regulated, but so are other countries. If you do decide to do it elsewhere, try to have as much fun as you can. Just in case it's not successful, it's important to say, "Worst case scenario, we tried and had a great vacation" rather than "we wasted all that money." I believe there is a connection between state of mind and the outcome: Being happy instead of worrying throughout the process can only help your chances of success.