Faced with the exorbitant costs of in vitro fertilization, many couples hoping to conceive are turning to Argentina as a less-expensive and less-restrictive option. CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports from Buenos Aires.
The millions that are affected by infertility around the world have turned to “fertility tourism” — traveling to countries with less restrictive laws and more affordable options to conceive.
The global fertility services market is estimated at $30 billon to $40 billion, according to data from Harris Williams.
For years, many couples have turned to span Spain, and now many are heading to Argentina for IVF treatment due to its high success rates.
Argentina is also one of the few countries in the world that has a fertilization law that subsidizes IVF for its citizens. Rights groups in Argentina that campaigned for the law that was passed three years ago estimate that one in six couples are affected by infertility.
Australian couple Merinda and Cameron Forster tried in vitro fertilization in their home country – it was expensive and emotionally draining. After seven failed IVF treatments, they opted for egg donation to increase their chances of success, but the process was far from straightforward.
“In Australia you either have to know somebody, maybe a family or friend, or you go onto a very long waiting list. Potentially you are looking for years,” Merinda Forster said.
Prevalence of infertility among women (2010)
After researching other options, they traveled from their hometown of Brisbane to Argentina two years ago.
“From the time that we decided that this is what we wanted to do, and to actually getting here, it was approximately three months,” Merinda Forster said.
Source: Fertility Market Overview, ASRM
Their treatment in Buenos Aires was successful. In May, they returned to Argentina with their two-year-old daughter, Eliana, hoping to concieve a second child.
Physician Demian Glujovsky’s office is filled with photographs of success stories. He said he is increasingly treating couples from abroad.
“In Argentina due to several economic things that happened here costs are lower than in a lot of countries. We have the combination of low cost, and high success rates,” Glujovsky said. “Our rates are at the same level as the average in U.S. or even higher, and if you compare to reports from Latin America and Europe we are above that.”
Source: CDC, Fertility Market Overview
Success rates in Argentina are now well over 60 percent.
Despite Argentina’s fertilization law, many provinces have not adhered to the legislation, and treatment is not easy to find. The law also faces an uphill battle in finding financing to back it.
Source: Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Harris Williams, May 2015 Fertility Market Overview
“We have few labs and few hospitals with facilities to perform IVF, and we have problems with medical insurance that try to block or to avoid the coverage of this kind of treatment,” President of the Argentina Reproductive Medicine Society Gustavo Marintez said.
Lauri Berger de Brito on the global fertility market
CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Lauri Berger de Brito, the co-Founder of Global IVF and co-director for the Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc. about the global fertility market.