Due to the top-quality treatment with a high success rate at affordable costs, many international patients are preferring India for their IVF treatments. Unlike the laws in other countries, Indian regulations are favorable for the patients and this makes India the favorite destination for couples with infertility issues.
Mr. Darwin* arrives at New Delhi Airport with his wife. They look like the normal tourists who are en route to visit the Taj Mahal. But they are actually on a very different purpose – for the infertility treatment. They visited a few fertility specialists, zeroed in one specialist, got their treatment done and left India in a couple of weeks with the embryo placed safely placed inside Mrs. Darwin.
This is generally known as ‘Fertility Tourism’ where people visit other countries for infertility treatments, to obtain donors or to find options for surrogacy. There are many people like the Darwins who are coming to India to find the means to conceive a baby and there is a recent increase in the infertility treatment for international patients in India.
India is well-known for its medical treatments related to infertility for decades going way back to 1978 when the world’s second test tube baby was born in India just 67 days after the first test baby was born in England.
There has been a steady increase in the number of international patients coming to India for infertility treatment in the recent times. Generally, India sees a large percentage of foreigners from UK, Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the US for fertility treatments. In the last two years, the percentage of people from foreign countries coming to India for IVF treatments has been doubled.
Why Are Foreigners Flocking India For Infertility Treatments?
The treatment costs in India are much lesser than in most countries and that is one strong reason that motivates people to cross oceans and mountains for their fertility treatments. The average treatment cost for IVF in the US is around Rs. 11,10,000 and in the UK, it is around Rs. 8,50,000 while in India, it is around Rs. 4,00,000 including the medicine costs. Even if we factor in the cost of the stay and the travel, the total money they spend for their treatment in India is far lesser than what they have to spend in their own country.
Shorter waiting periods
In a few developed nations, there are long waiting periods of months or even years to get a donor for a sperm or an egg as it is very difficult to find one. But in India, it is very easy to find a donor egg or a donor sperm within a short time so infertility treatment for international patients get done faster in India. In some countries, there is a month long waiting period even to get an appointment to see a fertility specialist which is not the case in India where you can get an appointment in a day or two. Some specific hospitals have separate fertility tourism options through which infertility treatment for international patients can be arranged and made ready beforehand even before they land in India
No stringent laws
In many countries, the government has a strong hold on who can and can’t conceive, and how they should or shouldn’t get a baby, influencing the personal decisions of their citizens in having a family.
In some countries, the ethnicity of the donors will be closely matched with the recipient and sometimes if they do not match, the person can even be denied the sperm or egg by the hospital. In India, there are no such restrictions on the donor and it depends purely on the choice of the doctor.
Also, in Britain, there is a rule that does not allow implanting of more than two embryos at the same time in a uterus whereas in India, the limitation is three times more thereby increasing the chances of pregnancy.
In a few other countries, couples will not be given permission to go for infertility treatments if they have a first child or has any health conditions like being overweight which decrease the chances of the treatment success. Laws and rules like these in foreign countries make it much difficult for people to conceive making them look for alternate options.
Fluent English-speaking doctors
The rise in infertility treatment for international patients in India may be attributed to the fact that Indian doctors are fluent in English. Communication between a patient and doctor is essential and it shouldn’t be affected by the language barriers. Hence being fluent in the universal language English is advantageous for the foreigners to converse easily with the Indian fertility doctors.
Even if the patients are not familiar with English, Indian fertility clinics arrange a translator for them to guide all throughout their treatment.
High-quality treatment and efficient doctors
The success rate of infertility treatment for international patients by Indian doctors is high and most of the fertility clinics in the metro cities have state-of-the-art equipments and facilities for fertility treatments which are at par with the hospitals in other countries. There are a lot of success stories of foreign couples getting conceived in India after many failed IVFs in their own countries. This speaks to the effectiveness of the treatment and the ability of Indian doctors.
What Treatments Do International Patients Prefer?
Since it is difficult to get a donor in other countries, many unmarried women who wish to conceive a baby come to India to easily get a donor for a sperm in two to three days and place the embryos in them and leave for their countries.
A majority of people come to India for IVF treatments when they haven’t got any success after multiple cycles of IVF in their countries or when they do not have the necessary facilities in their countries. Many couples have found success with their IVF treatments in India and return to their countries when they are pregnant. Most people look for faster treatment process due to the visa restrictions and Indian fertility clinics are equipped to satisfy their request.
Some couples come to India to find a surrogate when it is difficult or almost possible to find in their homelands, or have very long waiting periods. In some countries like Britain, there are stringent laws that disallow payments for surrogates. This makes it much harder to find someone willing to carry a baby without any monetary benefit in it for them. But in India, there are no frameworks which speak about payments to surrogates. Hence one can much easily find a surrogate here.
In terms of affordability, quality of treatment and success rate, India seems to be topping in all respects attracting a lot of international patients for infertility treatment to India.
In the next week, we will publish the practical guide and the steps that need to be taken for infertility treatment for international patients in India. Stay tuned till then!Tags: fertility fertility tourism Infertility infertility journey infertility tests infertility treatment international patients IVF