13 of every 100 couples in the US have fertility problems and around 2 percent of the children are born with the help of ART every year, according to the US CDC. It is an expensive treatment. Many patients travel overseas in pursuit of low-cost IVF and if you can just go across the border, it is that much more convenient. The cost of IVF in Mexico is almost a third of that in its more affluent Northern neighbors but is it justified or is there a catch?
Low cost IVF in Mexico is possible with the low-cost lodging, food, lower wages, medications, and pretty much everything else that is more moderately priced there.
What is the cost of IVF in Mexico?
Even with some of the top doctors in the country, IVF packages in Mexico cost between $4,350 and $8,500. They typically includes:
- Stimulation medication
- Follicular monitoring and ultrasound
- Doctor’s fee
- Anesthesia charges
- Oocyte retrieval
- ICSI and embryo creation
- Blastocyst culture upto day 5
- Assisted hatching (if applicable)
- Embryo transfer procedure
- Vitrification of remaining embryos and one-year storage fee
ESCO MiriTL incubator (to closely monitor to growing embryos) is also included in this price, if it is available.
For genetic testing with IVF you can expect to pay around $3,500 per cycle. The top clinics in Mexico use cryotec—the most advanced technology for embryo freezing and thawing.
Why is the cost of IVF in Mexico so low?
- Low cost of living: The overall economic difference in the US and Mexico are no secret and the lower cost of living in Mexico means that everything from food to healthcare costs less. Medical costs in America are among the highest in the world. According to a report by the Peter G Peterson Foundation, per capita healthcare costs in the US are almost three times the average cost in other developed countries.
Medical education debt: Over 80 percent of the doctors in the US, graduate with an average debt of $241,600 in medical loans, according to Education Data. Paying off this loan is the primary concern for half of American doctors.
Eventually these loans are paid off by transferring the costs to the patients, their employers, and insurance companies.
In Mexico, as in many other parts of the world, medical education is almost free at free public universities and even private universities have a much lower tuition fee.
- Doctor and staff salaries are lower: Mexican doctors earn don’t earn nearly half as much as their American counterparts. Same applies for nurses and administrative staff, who, given the lower costs of everything in the country, earn only a fraction of people in similar jobs in the US.
- Malpractice insurance: Doctors in Mexico do not order expensive, unnecessary investigations and tests in preparation of defending themselves against possible lawsuits. They don’t need to purchase expensive malpractice insurance and there’s also no need for additional staff members for these operations including billing insurance companies, managing patient inflow and outflow from the doctor’s office, providing witnesses, or handling a complex system.
Lesser corporate involvement: It is common for physicians in Mexico to be the owners of their medical facilities, which means large corporate entities are not running the clinic as a ‘business’ and extracting big chunks of profits.
This allows the savings to be passed on to you, the patient, who is paying the doctor for his medical expertise and time, but not for the corporate businesses and their large marketing budgets.
Considering all this and the fact that healthcare is one of the reasons why 1.5 million American expats choose to live in Mexico (according to the US State Department), should give you confidence.
Private hospitals in Mexico offer excellent standards of care, says Monica Rix Paxson, a science and medical researcher and the author of the 4th edition of The English Speaker’s Guide to Medical Care in Mexico.
It is not just Mexico, many Asian and European countries also offer IVF treatment at much lower costs because of similar reasons.
Some of the most experienced doctors in other parts of the world are able to offer these reasonable costs despite having extensive research, a large client base, and much higher average success rate in IVF, because the cost of everything else is also lower in that part of the world.
Infact, we work with JCI-accredited clinics and doctors with over four decades of experience to allow you to avail quality IVF services at very affordable prices.
Low cost IVF in the US
While there are many reasons for low cost of IVF in Mexico and other developing parts of the world, uncharacteristically ‘cheap’ IVF in countries like the US might make you question.
The higher costs in more affluent countries are justified with the higher cost of operations, doctor’s fee and other expenses as discussed above, but when you’re being offered unusually large discounts in a country known for expensive healthcare, it is imperative to dig deeper and ensure you’re not compromising on anything.
While minor cost variations are natural and expected, a highly discounted medical service obviously makes you question: what are they doing so differently?
What’s the catch?
Careful evaluation of the patient feedback of some these clinics claiming to be “cheap” suggests they are dishonest. A couple complained they had been billed for $45,000 after being promised lower costs, while another one simply called it a “scam”.
It is unfortunate and unethical for anyone involved in medical practice to deliberately spread misinformation and take advantage of people that are already distressed.
Infertility Aide takes not only the doctors’ credentials but also the patients’ feedback very seriously. It is the only organization to accredit clinics and doctors on genuine feedback.
If you find a good, reasonable clinic and reliable doctor for IVF in your city, and you can easily afford it, there is no reason to look elsewhere, but if pricing concerns are forcing you to settle for the cheapest of the US, maybe you’d be better off considering the best elsewhere.
Understanding infertility & finding the right treatment
Traveling for IVF is not just to save money; we place a lot of importance on the right diagnosis as we believe that any problem can be resolved only if it is well-understood
We have come across couples, who failed over 10 cycles of IVF in eight years and travelled all around the world in pursuit of successful IVF treatment. In our first interaction we were able to guide them to the right experts so they could receive the right treatment.
We encourage anyone suffering from infertility to explore and understand their own bodies, the possible cause of their infertility, and then seek treatment with the doctor that they feel comfortable with. Consult with multiple doctors, if you must, as the cost of consultation is negligible when compared to the actual treatment costs but do not compromise on treatment standards.
While treatment cost is a major consideration, you must also understand that IVF involves multiple trips to the clinic and hormonal injections to your body. It is not something you want to do over and over again.
You can connect with some of the most experienced fertility experts in the world and get an opinion, and if it feels right, you can proceed with affordable IVF services at highly trusted IVF clinics.
Remember: the easiest way to save money of IVF, is to go into it with the highest chances of success. So, do your due-diligence and find a service that is committed to helping you succeed in IVF not just one that wants to lure you with the “lowest-costs.”
The cost of IVF in Mexico is quite low, and reasonably so. Evaluate everything and consult with the doctors before traveling, so you feel confident and secure in your IVF journey.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reproductive health FastStats: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm
Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Per Capita Healthcare Costs — International Comparison: https://www.pgpf.org/chart-archive/0006_health-care-oecd
Education Data, Average Medical School Debt: https://educationdata.org/average-medical-school-debt
US Department of State: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35749.htm
Monica Rix Paxson, The Cost of Medical Care in Mexico: Expats in Mexico: