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Traveling to the U.S. for Treatment

The Role of the Infertility Consultant When Traveling to the U.S. for Treatment

Undergoing third party reproduction is an emotionally and physically draining process. Then throw the financial expenditures in the mix and it is no wonder that individuals and couples undergoing treatment are overwhelmed, confused and distraught. Adding insult to injury is the fact that there are no guaranteed results for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
The most important thing to consider when pursuing IVF abroad is that you need to build the foundation for treatment. An infertility consultant can be especially helpful in building this foundation before you embark on any treatment plan in an unfamiliar country. In my experience, I've found that there are four key areas that international clients need assistance with, including understanding the differing healthcare systems and the financial, physical and emotional tolerances for your given situation.
Differing Healthcare Systems

It is especially important to understand the differences that exist in healthcare systems and how to use them to your advantage. There are ways to work within the system to best minimize your financial risk when embarking on a surrogacy arrangement. For example, working with licensed insurance agents is the best way to analyze gaps in health care coverage for surrogates. Also, purchasing the appropriate policies for your particular situation is the ideal avenue to mitigate excessive costs. Historically, the combination of this approach has enabled me to help my clients save significant dollars.

Financial

Infertility treatment is expensive. It is imperative to plan and prepare for the end family goal and not just one cycle. I always recommend that my clients consider the total financial resources after insurance benefits that they are able to put towards fertility treatments. With realistic parameters and a budget for financial expenditures, I always suggest that my clients use this as a guideline to steer the course of treatment. For example, how many cycles of IVF are reasonable to explore given a 10% or 20% chance of success before considering the next option which may include engaging an egg donor and increasing the chance of success to 60% or greater?

Physical

Pulling together an unbiased multi-disciplinary team of professionals regardless of location is another important aspect of accomplishing a treatment cycle, especially when the treatment cycle involves a third-party such as an egg donor, sperm donor and or surrogate. Members of the team should include: a reproductive endocrinologist, embryologist, financial and estate planner, licensed insurance agent, recruiting agency, ideal surrogate, egg donor, sperm donor, attorneys and a mental health professional.

A qualified Infertility Consultant should be able to organize this team with unbiased referrals specific to your individual situation.

In addition, your consultant should be able to help you identify available and qualified egg donor and surrogate candidates, and arm you with relevant questions, concerns, state laws and possibly the newly available technologies so that you can effectively address these issues with your physician.
Resources specific to your situation may come from different states across America. For example, your surrogate may reside in a surrogate-friendly state meaning that you can get your name on the birth certificate at birth or shortly thereafter, but your physician may be in a different state. With vast access to resources across the nation, considerable opportunities are exponentially expanded when working with an outside consultant.


Emotional

I also suggest that clients set parameters for treatment options that suit them both physically and emotionally. For example, how many cycles of IVF can and will they endure before turning to a different treatment option that may yield a higher chance of success? Balancing hope with caution is essential in maintaining sanity and making non emotional choices. Clients also need to understand in advance what questions to ask specific to their given circumstance before entering the doctor's office. Once you are face to face with the doctors, it can be difficult to think with a clear head. The answers you get are only as good as the questions you ask.

A qualified Infertility Consultant should have all the resources and information necessary to educate you to be your own best advocate. Ultimately, being your own best advocate will help you maximize your chances of success and minimize your financial expenditure.


Mindy Berkson has more than a decade of experience in the infertility field. As one of the first infertility consultancies in the United States, Lotus Blossom Consulting, LLC was founded to arm consumers/patients with information and education to make the best medical choices. Mindy has guided hundreds of intended parents through the stressful demands of the infertility process by providing professional and compassionate assistance in dealing with the emotional, physical, and financial barriers involved with third-party reproduction. Mindy can be reached at 847-881-2685, [email protected] or on the web at www.lotusblossomconsulting.com and www.theinfertilityconsultant.com.

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