Survey of American Women Shows 74% Who Would Consider IVF Willing to Travel Abroad for the Procedure

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Americans traveling to Barbados pay an average of $5,750 USD, for IVF -- less than half the cost treatment at home.

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We’ve seen significant increases in the number of American patients and inquiries over the past several years as IVF costs rise in the US.

A recent survey of American women aged 25 to 45, released today by Barbados Fertility Centre and Ipsos Reid, found that most women who would consider In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) would also consider travelling outside of the United States for the procedure. Fully 74% of these women would be willing to travel if there was a significantly lower cost and higher pregnancy success rate. The Barbados Fertility Centre is currently participating in the 3rd Annual World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress in Los Angeles.

Among these women, better pregnancy success rates are a more compelling factor than lower cost (72% vs. 64%). However, having the procedure covered by insurance is also a motivating factor as 81% of those who would consider IVF at home say they would be likely to seek treatment abroad if this were the case.

“Dealing with infertility is an anxiety-ridden and costly experience for many American women and couples,” said Dr. Juliet Skinner, Medical Director of Barbados Fertility Centre, located in Barbados, in the Southern Caribbean. “We’ve seen significant increases in the number of American patients and inquiries over the past several years as IVF costs rise in the US. Our study shows American patients are willing to look beyond local medical providers when they find a cost-effective alternative that provides exceptional care.”

Depending on maternal age, the IVF success rate at Barbados Fertility Centre is 54%, compared with the US national average of 42%*. Using blastocyst, Barbados Fertility Centre is achieving a 71% success rate for women under 38. The high success rate is attributed to both rigorous clinical and laboratory standards, as well as the level of relaxation patients experience while visiting Barbados. The Centre is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), the US health international accreditation body that ensures operating and safety procedures are comparable or exceed US standards.
Added Dr. Skinner: “Over the past eight years, many of our American patients who previously had multiple unsuccessful cycles at home have had positive outcomes at our clinic.”

The high cost of IVF treatment in the US, particularly in California and New York where costs are the highest, can compound the stress of the procedure. The average cost of IVF in the US is $14,000 USD for one treatment cycle alone. In contrast, Americans travelling to Barbados pay an average of $5,750 USD, which is less than half the cost of receiving treatment at home. Even with the travel and medication costs factored in, the entire cost of the procedure is still significantly lower due to the rising costs of healthcare services in the US.

Other survey findings regarding medical tourism:
-42% would consider any medical treatment outside of the US. Of those, 65% of those would consider IVF.
-Most common reasons for not considering foreign elective treatment:

  • Savings is not worth the risk (42%)
  • Standards are just not as high (21%).

*Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For women under 35 years old, a 71% clinical pregnancy rate was achieved in 2009 with blastocyst culture. For more information: Average cost source: Medical Tourism Association.

About Barbados Fertility Centre
Since 2002, Barbados Fertility Centre has been helping infertile couples from around the world achieve their dream of having a child. The Centre offers an attractive, affordable alternative for fertility treatment that has proven to be both effective and enjoyable for patients. As leaders in the field of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), egg harvesting and related fertility treatments, the clinic is internationally acclaimed for its extraordinary results achieved through innovative methods and advanced protocols in a highly-personalized, relaxed environment.

For more information, visit us at

About the Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCI)
Barbados Fertility Centre is a Joint Commission International (JCI) Accredited site, given the gold seal of approval by the US health accreditation body that assures high quality operating procedures and safety standards. JCI Accredited hospitals and clinics must have the same or exceed standards compared to the US in clinical outcomes, infection rates, mortality rates and cleanliness.

About the Survey
A total of 1,936 adult American women aged 25-45 years were surveyed by Ipsos Public Affairs between June 7th and 14th, 2010. Interviewing was conducted via an online survey utilizing the Ipsos iSay pre-recruited panel in the US. A representative sampling matrix according to age, region and household income was utilized to ensure a representative sample of the target audience was achieved. An oversample in New York and California was used to ensure a more robust base size for sub-group analysis. Weighting was then employed as needed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the target population. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

For more information or to set-up an interview with a spokesperson, please contact: Eliza Walsh, Mansfield Communications Inc., San Francisco 415.722.1185 / eliza(at)mcipr(dot)com


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Eliza Walsh
Mansfield Communications, San Francisco
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