Fertility Clinics Guarantee Patient SafetyWed, 09/07/2016 - 11:52
Q: What differentiates you from other clinics?
A: We are focused on the local population and we opened with the intention of attracting local clients and fell into medical tourism. We are also much bigger. We have 132 staff members whereas the clinic opposite us has six. The other clinics have space of around 200m2 whereas we have around 700m2. Almost all of our staff members are bilingual. We are not associated with a hospital, as infertility is not a disease as such. We prefer to be independent.
Many profit from the fact that infertility treatment here costs US$6,000 whereas in the US it costs US$16,000- 18,000. Surrogacy, which internationally can total US$60,000-70,000, costs US$120,000-130,000 in the US. It is understandable that people come to Mexico as they would save around 50 percent on treatment. We also get many European clients with North American visas. It is sometimes difficult to get treatment in Europe and surrogacy is banned in Spain. We also offer a wide range of services, the most complex of which is monogenic detection. We are now treating an Indian patient whose daughter has Epidermolysis Bullosa. This is an extremely painful condition in which the skin lacks a certain protein and so any rough contact would break the girl’s skin and lead to infection. The client wishes to have another child without this gene and so in coordination with Spain and Miami we have the embryo ready to transfer without the affected gene. This treatment can be found in the US and in Europe but it is still difficult in Mexico because there are very few cases. We have many mixed race people, which protects against monogenetic diseases.
Q: What are the infertility levels in Mexico?
A: Infertility is a special condition that affects people equally, no matter where he or she is from. The percentage of couples with fertility problems is consistently around 14- 16 percent. It is mostly women who suffer from infertility. A woman begins to lose her reproductive ability from the age of 35, and this accelerates from age 37. From age 42, the real possibility of having a healthy baby at home is around 5 percent. Today people wish to focus on their careers and not on having families but our genes do not evolve at the same rate. In the past, families were formed before the age of 26. The second cause is contraceptives, which have given people more sexual freedom. People who do not protect themselves are more prone to infections, which can affect the genital tract and cause infertility. There are other causes, like the chemicals we consume, pollution and our lifestyles. Testicles have to be at a certain temperature, which is why they are outside of the body. We spend most of the day sitting down and our eating habits are not the same. There have been developments in ultra-rapid freezing in vitro treatments. Before, for every 10 ovules frozen, nine died. Now, 9.5 unfreeze well.
Q: What does your high rate of success depend on?
A: Age is an important factor. The donation of ovules is the most successful treatment with a success rate of 70- 80 percent. This compensates for women aged 39-40 who have in vitro treatment and of which only 25-30 percent become pregnant. In vitro treatment for a woman of 28 would result in pregnancy in over 60-65 percent of cases. So on average, for every 10 women we treat, six get pregnant.
Around 70 percent of our clients are over 36 and most visit with their spouse or partner. We did a study in Spain that showed a couple with fertility problems waits around a year and a half to come to a fertility center. In Mexico, the average is six to seven years.
Q: What is this long wait due to?
A: The lack of centers available and the cost, as the treatments were extremely expensive. The price has not changed much, and the money it costs was worth a lot more previously than it is now. In addition, doctors did not have the habit of referring people to specialists.
Q: How do these services improve the lives of your patients?
A: It does not improve peoples’ lives; it completely changes them. Couples come after years of failure and are tired, worn-out and angry. People that arrive stressed, nervous and angry, transform themselves after having their baby.