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Reproductive Tourism Industry Is Booming on Mexico's Mayan Riviera

Dr. Carolin Schurr and Dr. Heather Walmsley -
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May 8, 2014

Fertility Center Cancun and Cancun IVF have partnered to promote world-class fertility services to international partnered with savings up to 75% over costs in the United States. (Cancun IVF)

Mexico’s Mayan Riviera is famous for its white beaches, Caribbean sun, and well-developed tourist infrastructure. International tourists increasingly incorporate dental treatments, cosmetic or other elective surgeries into their vacations – attracted by low costs and high quality care. Now, Cancun is attracting attention as a hot destination for the discerning international fertility tourist – seeking in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, and surrogacy services.
A tale of two clinics...

In 2011, the first fertility clinic opened on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula – IREGA clinic, a branch of the Institute of Reproduction and Gynecology in Acapulco. Fertility Center Cancun opened soon afterwards, just across Avenida Tulum in downtown Cancun. These two clinics continue to own the fertility market in Cancun. Their services and treatments include IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), assisted hatching, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), gender selection, and egg donation. Both clinics also perform IVF for local and international surrogacy agencies. Neither advertises surrogacy services.

“Most of our patients are from abroad,” said Dr. Jose Gaytán, CEO and founder of Fertility Center Cancun. Of the 300 international patients he saw during 2013, he estimates 60 percent to have travelled from Canada, 30 percent from the US, and 10 percent from Europe. “In the beginning our most important patients were local,” said IREGA’s Medical Director. Now they actively recruit from abroad, attracting over 100 international patients in 2013, mostly from Canada and the US.

Low prices and easy access to donor eggs are the main draws for the international client. Prices begin at 4.300 USD for IVF and 7.500 USD for IVF with egg donation – a steal for the North American patient. The clinics also offer services such as gender selection, prohibited by law in Canada, the UK, and other jurisdictions. Gleaming offices, friendly international patient coordinators, English-speaking doctors and nurses, and Skype consultations all present an ethos of personalized, high quality, care. And then there are the sunny beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and Mayan ruins just a taxi ride away. It is a unique package.

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