Would you go to East Europe for an invasive medical procedure like IVF? Would you go anywhere outside your home country for any operation?
Curious? Do you have a passport? Well then, it’s possible!
Read on to see if Bulgaria is a destination you would consider for a location where you would freeze your eggs or for IVF.
I’m relatively new to medical tourism. My first experience with medical tourism occurred about 10 years ago when I opted to go to the dentist for a routine check-up at a recommended clinic while traveling in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
While I recognize a visit to the dentist is by no means comparable to a round of egg-freezing/IVF, I think having that experience “opened the doors” to medical tourism. Nowadays Tiktoks feature hair replacement surgery in Istanbul, plastic surgery in Seoul, and cosmetic dentistry in Barcelona.
The money saved in getting the work done by going abroad and the opportunity and for a holiday are also what are influencing people to look abroad for their unique medical needs.
Below I list 6 logical and personal reasons why Bulgaria became my top choice for my IVF cycle.
(And in case you were wondering…yes! Most Bulgarians, particularly the younger people, do speak English!)
Disclaimer: Here I mix logic and personal motivations. You may identify with some of both! For me for example , the cost of each round was a personal reason which then became part of my personal logic in making a choice. I simply wanted to be able to afford as many rounds as possible. For some, the cost may be less of an issue than time.
I was thrilled to journey to this wonderful place, envisioning a time of relaxation and focus without the weight of stress. My goal was to slow down, embracing the idea that if a midday nap due to the medications called my name, I’d eagerly oblige.
Putting self-care first, I carefully lightened my workload. As the owner of a small residential rental property business, I confidently entrusted the bulk of responsibilities to capable property managers. While I did need to handle a few tenant calls, the seven-hour time difference worked in my favor. Mornings flowed effortlessly, and I could always count on things to pick up pace during the lively afternoons and evenings. This rhythm suited me perfectly.
Moreover, this adventure allowed me to reimagine my business approach. By placing it in the hands of a reliable management company, I gained the freedom to shift my focus towards nurturing my coaching career.
I loved this schedule!
They did not “push” donor eggs on me.
They respected the desire to try my own eggs first. I knew I was not the first woman who was 44 to walk into that clinic. In fact, I learned about this clinic from another woman who was the same age as me who also had success at this clinic and spoke highly of the doctor.
In contacting certain clinics within the Czech Republic, the clinics were very quick to push donor eggs in the initial emails. Finding a clinic that will harbor some hope for you is essential. If this happens to you…run the opposite direction! How can a clinic determine whether it is time for donor eggs over email without even seeing your hormone levels? Don’t get mad, accept that they have a different agenda, and feel good knowing that is not the clinic for you and that you should celebrate knowing that you have eliminated a choice! That clinic is someone else’s clinic, not yours!
The clinic was highly recommended.
Within the fertility-related Facebook groups, many women are asking for recommendations for clinics. I actually found this particular doctor and clinic through word of mouth in a Facebook Group, from someone I had several conversations with online with about her ability to have a baby with her own oocytes at the age of 44.
Bulgaria Enjoys A Stable Political Environment
(Believe it or not, at some point in the clinic selection process I was actually looking at a clinic in Ukraine.)
It is best to travel to a country for IVF that enjoys a stable political and war-free environment.
Laws on donor usage within every country differs. If using a donor, be sure to verify that your chosen donor is permitted for usage within the country you select for IVF.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of countries in Europe that permit the usage of a known, or Open-ID, donors that are “popular” as destination countries for IVF. Ukraine is one of the countries that permits the usage of Open-ID donors. Bulgaria also permits the usage of known donors.
How to say it better? Because I am “late to the game” and had to calculate the potential for needing multiple cycles. I needed to keep the costs down as much as possible. A cycle at a particular clinic in Glendale, California estimated (even with my insurance costs) to be around $10k for one cycle without the medicines included. Medicines were to be estimated at around $5k for one cycle. With those combined costs I could have easily afforded several cycles of IVF at the clinic in Bulgaria (with medicines). At the age that I began my first cycle, it was important to consider the cost so that I could afford to be able to “keep myself in the game,” if necessary.
In choosing the right clinic for egg freezing and IVF, it’s crucial to align your decisions with what fits seamlessly into your life and aspirations. Consider what constraints resonate with you and which ones don’t. For some, the idea of extended travel and time away from work may not be feasible. (Perhaps now is the perfect moment to seize that 100% remote work opportunity?) Others may prioritize cost-effectiveness directly tied to the procedures.
As you navigate this pivotal decision, remember that it’s about finding the perfect harmony that matches your unique circumstances and goals. If you’re interested in exploring more factors that could influence your decision or want to delve deeper into this topic, I’ve compiled a valuable resource. It covers various aspects and how they intertwine with your life choices when considering egg freezing. Feel free to access it in the pop-up or down below.
Your journey towards informed choices and empowered decisions is our shared goal!