Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico

Friday, June 28, 2013

In Vitro Fertilization: The Cost of IVF in Mexico

Louise Brown, the first IVF baby and her own baby Cameron.
In almost a month, Louise Brown will turn 35. She's the very first human born after conception by in vitro fertilization. 

Which is why I decided to write about IVF, what it is, and the cost of the procedure.

In vitro is latin for "in the glass." This names comes from the use of glass in early procedures. Today, in vitro is used for any conception that takes place outside the organism, and it's used in opposition to in vivo, or conception inside the organism.

In vitro fertilization is used in cases of female infertility caused by problems in the fallopian tube. It's also used in cases of male infertility caused by low quality or quantity of the sperm. It's also recommended in cases of unexplained infertility after 2 years of regular intercourse, although in these cases, the expectations of success should be low.

The procedure involves the monitoring of a woman's ovulatory process, removing an ovum or egg, fertilizing it with the partner's or a donor's sperm in a fluid environment and then transplanted into the uterus, where ideally it will result in a successful pregnancy.

Babies born this way are commonly referred as "test tube babies," although this is a misnomer, since fertilization occurs in petri dishes.

There are many methods that are used in in IVF in order to improve the chance of success. As a responsible patient and probably parent, it's your duty to inform yourself about these methods and select which one is the best for you.

How Successful is In Vitro Fertilization?

Here are the statistics for  successful pregnancies and live births in the USA, from the Society of Assisted Reproductive Techniques. Numbers reflect percentages.

Age <35 35-37 38-40 40-42 42>
Successful pregnancies 46.2 38.5 29.3 19.5 9.1
Successful live births 40.1 31.9 21.6 12.2 4.2


What Factors Hurt Your Chances of Successful In Vitro Fertilization?

  • Age.
  • Duration of Infertility.
  • Hormone Disorders.
  • Defective Ovarian Functions.
  • Smoking (it decreases your chances by around 30%, yet another reason to quit).
  • Obesity.
  • Drinking.
  • Caffeine Ingestion.
A healthy body is necessary for successful IVF, so you can start preparing by quitting smoking, lowering or eliminating your intake of alcohol  and caffeine and doing exercise. In fact, I recommend these things to everyone, not just people who want to have a child.

How Much Does IVF Cost?

Like with all medical procedures, it will depend on your specific needs and where you live. In the US, it will cost you approximately $13,000-$17,000 dollars. In Mexico, the procedure costs about $5,000-$7,000 dollars.

Note that a lot will depend on whether you have insurance, whether your insurance will cover the procedure or part of it, and whether you can deduct it from taxes or not. As a responsible adult, it's your responsibility to do this research.


Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico, in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.

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