Many people are familiar with eco tourism, responsible tourism, health and wellness tourism, and even medical tourism. But, one European country is giving birth (literally and figuratively) to another type of tourism – fertility tourism.
The trend is referred to as “fertility holiday” and it’s rising, according to University of Texas Assistant Professor of Anthropology Amy Speier, who said.
“Reproductive travel has become an increasingly popular option for North Americans who can’t afford treatment in the U.S. but still long for babies of their own.”[bctt tweet=”Reproductive travel has become an increasingly popular option for North Americans who can’t afford treatment in the U.S.”]
Recently, Speier wrote about fertility tourism and has an upcoming book on the subject. It seems that the Czech Republic is becoming a mecca for some American couples looking to solve their fertility problems inexpensively and relax in a laid-back environment. Speier recently told NYMag.com,”
It builds on the idea that if a woman simply relaxes, then she is more likely to get pregnant.”
But, international IVF vacations are nothing new. People have been taking them for years to a number of international destinations, including Spain and Thailand. But, Americans and UK residents heading to the Czech Republic is a new phenomenon – and a booming business.
And, although the rest and relaxation part of the trip is advertised, in the end it’s about the money for both the couple traveling to the Czech Republic and the egg donors, writes Speier:
“While donors cannot be paid for their eggs, they’re offered attractive compensatory payments of approximately 1,000 euros for the discomfort involved in ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval from the clinic….For North American patients traveling to the Czech Republic, treatment for IVF was $3,000. For an egg donor cycle, the cost was $4,000. On average, North Americans spent $10,000 for the entire trip. By comparison, a round of IVF with egg donation in the United States costs between $25,000 and $40,000.”
In 2014, 30,000 IVF treatments were completed in the Czech Republic. One-third of that total came from foreign couples.