Is IVF becoming more accessible?
It is hard to deny that In Vitro Fertilisation has only grown in popularity, especially when confronted with the figure of more than 8 million babies born since the invention of the procedure in 1978. With these kinds of reports in mind one might easily imagine that IVF has become more accessible worldwide, and indeed it is true that there are patients all across the globe receiving IVF treatment to conceive. More clinics than ever offer the process, but there is more than meets the eye. From factors ranging between health insurance, law and healthcare standards, the issues around IVF mean that not everyone can achieve their dream of IVF conception just yet. However, in this article we are focussing on the progressive efforts to make IVF truly a global phenomenon.
Recently IVF has been getting attention in US media news. Well-known US TV presenter Tamron Hall spoke out about the anxieties of having IVF, and the fear of being judged. She sent an affirming message, ‘we are not alone’, to all women considering IVF, and speaks positively of her experience.
Reality star Gretchen Rossi has also gone public about her experience with IVF, which she was originally sceptical about, and is now trying to promote accessibility to the treatment. After failing to conceive naturally, her fame and fortune enabled her to undergo a costly 15,000 dollar-per-go IVF cycle, resulting in her current child. However, she is speaking out about this prohibitive cost and aiming to work with government officials and charities to make America more IVF friendly.
These cases are all from celebrities, who have the means to easily afford high quality IVF treatment. So is IVF only becoming more available to the rich…? There is another movement taking place, this time outside of the USA. Medical tourism is arguably the market making IVF more accessible than ever, and in more places than just the traditional Western world. High prices have allowed competitive, high-quality clinics to spring up all over Europe and beyond, offering prospective parents what they need but cannot afford at home.
Clinics have become popular as far away as Puerto Rico, but Europe remains a popular choice due to its close proximity to the UK and familiar medical standards to Western customers. Clinics in Prague, Czech Republic have specifically become well known for offering conception procedures; egg freezing, sperm donation, artificial insemination and IVF cycles. Perhaps with the low prices and equal quality of clinics such as this, there is hope for IVF becoming even more accessible. Other developments are happening the UK, with discussions over whether the National Health Service should fund such treatments. In the meantime, customers continue to turn their sights abroad, and travel in luxury whilst achieving their IVF goals.