The birth of a child is an exceptional, emotional moment for any couple. A new born child brings joy and delight and will forever affect the lives of all those around it. The new mother, and those closest to her, begin a new journey along a rollercoaster road of pride, joy and responsibility. It is no exaggeration to say that, one tiny newborn baby will alter the lives of an entire family.
However, is it possible that the birth of one child could change the lives of millions of people all across the world? For some couples the fulfillment of bringing new life into the world is a natural process that simply eludes them. Most women, at some point in their lives, feel the desire to have a baby. This yearning is very real, and the desire to procreate can become all-consuming. For some, the lack of fulfillment can have a devastating effect on a woman’s mental health.
The frustration and heartache, the hopes that are dashed, all that disappointment and misery has touched millions of couples across the world for generations. A subconscious, constant chorus of quiet prayer rang out for a miracle. One child made that miracle happen. The birth of Louis Brown in July of 1977 was born to parents who, up to then and medically speaking, could not have a baby.
The birth of baby Louise brought In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to the ears of the world. Medical science was now able to step in and fill the gap left after nature had failed. At last there was hope to millions of childless couples across the world. The pioneering work by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards was now in the spotlight, and the birth of Louise Brown truly changed the lives of millions.
What is In-Vitro Fertilization?
Perhaps unflatteringly, Louise Brown became known as the world’s first “Test Tube” baby. Although the test tube is in fact a glass culture dish, In-Vitro is the Latin for, “In glass”. IVF is a process whereby the woman’s ovulatory process is monitored and stimulated before removing healthy ova from the woman which is then mated to the sperm outside the body, “In-Vitro”. The sperm can then fertilize the egg in liquid under laboratory conditions.
Following fertilization, the embryo can then be implanted into the woman’s uterus, where it is hoped that the pregnancy can be confirmed by a simple blood test 12-14 days after implanting. The expectant mother can then be referred to an obstetrician and her pregnancy, in most cases, can be monitored in the normal way.
IVF, Cost Prohibitive?
In some countries, such as the UK, couple have a limited amount of access to IVF treatment through the county’s National Health Service. However, this is not the case in most countries where IVF treatment can be an expensive option. Across the world, including the UK, most IVF births are funded by the individuals concerned.
As the years have rolled by the rate of first cycle IVF success has increased. There is now a success rate for women under 30 years of age of around 45%. As age increases, the rate of first IVF cycle success declines, thus, the need for additional cycles. Any couple unfortunate enough to require multiple procedures faces significant financial outlay.
Knowing that not all IVF treatments are successful first time round, couples are faced with the heart wrenching decision of whether to continue with funding multiple IVF procedures. With multiple treatments the costs can become eye watering. In the UK a single IVF cycle will coast around £5,000, and in the United States the cost is even higher, averaging $12,000 per treatment. So for many, the costs can be prohibitive in the pursuit of parenting fulfillment.
Realistic Financial Alternatives
With the high costs of IVF treatment in most countries around the world, more and more couples have sought an alternative which can lighten the financial burden. It’s no secret that the developed world has, for some years, looked upon Thailand as the number one destination for medical tourism.
Thailand’ rates of success with IVF treatment is enviable, and as good as anywhere else in the world. Modern, hi-tech facilities, highly trained, multi lingual professionals have made Thailand a very real alternative for couples that seek affordable parenting fulfillment. With lower costs, up to 50% less than in most Western countries, coupled with the idea of being treated in a tropical paradise, it is no wonder that thousands of couples now choose Thailand as their IVF treatment destination.
It should be noted that the kingdom of Thailand has ethical parameters regarding IVF treatment which are backed up by laws, and these laws are strictly followed. Commercial egg or sperm harvesting is illegal, as is commercial surrogacy. IVF treatment for single mothers, or fathers, is prohibited. Gender selection of an embryo is also illegal. No reputable clinic will consider breaching any of these regulations, and anyone who purports to be able to bypass these laws should be avoided, and reported to the regulatory authorities.
Be Wise with your Clinic Selection
The vast majority of IVF clinics around the country are entirely reputable, nonetheless, a degree of caution is always advisable. All the major clinics and hospitals make available comprehensive information detailing their treatment programs, processes and costs. For all couples considering IVF treatment research is vital, and the internet is the normal first step in the process. Direct contact with the short listed choices is then advised.
Be sure to choose a clinic that posts detailed information of the professional credentials of their staff. All relevant information should be available, reputable clinics have nothing to hide. Successful clinics will have many reviews from couples that have undergone treatment, much can be learnt from these reviews.
Not only must a couple feel confident with the medical professionals with whom they trust their precious dreams, but also with the whole ambience and feel of the clinic. For the most part, the clinics have a warm homely feel to them, all important for the couple to feel relaxed and stress free. If there is even the slightest, nagging feeling of doubt, move on. It is essential that a couple are at total ease with the clinic they choose.
Locality may also have a bearing on the choice of clinic. If there are family or close friends in the country, it may be wise to choose a clinic close to them. There may be particular interests, away from the main purpose of the visit, which you may wish to experience, and Thailand has much to offer every visitor.
Couples should be as careful and as astute in choosing a clinic in Thailand as they would in any other country. You cannot be too careful and you cannot ask too many questions. Couples looking for parenting fulfillment are, of course, cautious, and so they should be. As more and more couples are discovering, IVF clinics in Thailand are of the highest standard. Safety, Success and professionalism, not to mention value for money, has helped to make Thailand the most popular global destination of IVF treatment.