Is Traveling For Fertility Treatment Right For You?


This guest post is from Fertility Planit Show 2013 sponsor, Global IVF. Global IVF, Inc. is a free, informational website designed to help intended parents and others in the fertility field learn about cross-border reproductive care. We offer informational articles, expert videos, and an interactive map, along with personalized journeys from people (aka Journeyers) just like you, who’ve picked up their passports to fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Global IVF also has a fee-based concierge service, for those who would like personalized assistance on their fertility journey. Please see special contest for a free fertility consultation available to show attendees after the post.


FP_Global_IVF_logo_small_300xGlobal IVF founders understand fertility struggles. They both used the help of a gestational surrogate and egg donor to create their own families The two women are also co-owners of Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, an internationally renown surrogacy agency. They personally know how difficult- emotionally, financially, and physically- fertility treatments can be, so when patients started asking them about the growing fertility trend of cross border reproductive care, Kathryn and Lauri worried about the lack of dependable information available for those looking into traveling for treatment. So, Kathryn and Lauri sought to solve the problem and recently launched Global IVF, Inc. a free, unbiased informational website focused solely on fertility travel. As experts in the fertility field, they know exactly what questions to ask and information to obtain as they travel the world to bring Global IVF’s visitors the best information on international clinics and fertility services.


Why would Americans want to travel overseas for fertility treatment rather than staying close to home? The most popular reason Intended Parents look at overseas options is cost. For example, in Thailand it is estimated that cost of an IVF cycle and surrogacy is ¼ what it might be in America approximately $40,000. This is an estimate and may not factor in incidentals. Another advantage includes taking a stressful, not all that pleasurable experience – an IVF cycle – and combining it with a memorable vacation. Globally, spa wellness programs are becoming popular in conjunction with medical treatment, including IVF and other fertility services. So, you may be able to find travel/medical packages already in place. One surprising thing people may discover is that the U.S. is not the be all. Finally, many people have family in other countries, and therefore there is a familiarity with the location and culture. As you can see there are a variety of good reasons and more for considering traveling abroad for your treatment.


If traveling for fertility treatment is something that interests you, we have outlined a few of the major aspects that are important to research while planning your trip. Of course, as with any medical decision, we encourage all patients to do extensive research on clinics and locations.


  • Legal Restrictions: The first step in choosing a location is learning about the fertility laws in the countries that you are interested in traveling to. Global IVF’s website offers an interactive map with detailed information on fertility laws around the globe. (


  • Success Rates of Clinic: When researching possible overseas clinics we always recommend that you request to see statistics on success rates. These statistics should be as specific to your own demographic as possible. For example, if you are using your own eggs, be sure the statistics you are shown are not specific to egg donors. Do know too that they are “self reporting” and we have found that the numbers will be slightly elevated - but still within the actual range of their success rates


  • Personal Recommendations and Testimonials: We always recommend you speak with others who have worked with the clinic, and, if possible, with patients who traveled to the clinic. Ask about their experience pre, during and post cycle in order to give you an honest sense of the journey. It is always good to ask for a reference from someone who had an unsuccessful cycle, as well as someone with a successful cycle. When clients have positive things to say about a clinic, even without a positive pregnancy test, it speaks volumes about the care.


  • Strong Communication with Clinic: You should have a contact at the clinic that is fluent in your native language and readily available to assist you.  It is important that you feel your questions are understood and answered in full, in a timely manner and that the clinic is responsive.


  • Factor in All Expenses: A final thing to keep in mind is that your overall cost may not end up being as low as you originally planned. Clients often forget to factor in the cost for travel, food and accommodations (as well as taking time of work). Also, additional cycles might be necessary, in which case your travel and accommodation costs can add up.


That said, there are many wonderful, affordable options for fertility treatments around the globe.  But remember that researching and choosing your destination and clinic should be a well thought-out process. There is a lot to consider when traveling for treatment, so you may also want to hire a concierge service to assist with the process. Whether the service just helps you pick the destination and clinic, or assists you throughout the entire process, many people find the extra support is invaluable during this journey.


If you do decide that traveling overseas is the best treatment option for you, Global IVF wishes you the best of success and happy travels!

Sponsor website:



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Pioneering Families of the Future


This is a guest post from Ivan Fatovic, Founder/CEO of Modamily, Inc. and a Community Partner with the Fertility Planit Show 2013. Modamily provides a network where members can meet like-minded people who dream of becoming a parent. It's the go-to resource for information about co-parenting and sperm donor laws, fertility options, pregnancy health and well-being, and best practices & recommendations for how to embark on this journey. Ivan and Modamily have been featured in BBC News, ABC News, Fox News, the Huffington Post and more.

One of the questions people always ask me is why did I start Modamily. Don’t I believe in marriage?


I am fortunate enough to come from one of those rare families where my parents are still happily married. At the time I didn’t realize it, but it was blissful to grow up in such a stable, loving environment. There is no doubt that a traditional family is a great way for a kid to develop, but it is not the only way.

I believe that the loving support system that all children need when growing up can be found in many of the modern family structures that exist today. The fact is that the traditional family structure is not available to everybody; for those who don't have this option co-parenting is an answer.

Co-parenting is the shared raising of a child without romantic involvement. At Modamily we provide co-parents a social network where they can find like-minded people and help them achieve their dream of becoming a parent on their own terms. Traditionally co-parenting has been the domain of parents separating or divorcing; the LGBT community has also been successfully raising children by co-parenting for years.

More recently, co-parenting has become a parenting option for single women and men who are feeling the pressure of their biological clock, or who have no romantic partner but do not want to raise a child alone.


People that want to have children and do not have a romantic partner, usually consider being a single parent or ‘settling’ with the person they are in a romantic relationship with and for many this option is not appealing.

Modamily gives people the freedom to find a compatible co-parenting partner and who shares your beliefs and visions for how you want to raise a child. Using a known donor has many advantages primarily that it allows a child to understand its identity. Eventually a child is going to want to know where they come from and it is important that they have a relationship with both biological parents on some level.

The level of involvement that the co-parenting couple will have with each other can be anything from occasional visits to sharing a residence. The fact is fifty percent of marriages end in divorce and the children grow up in two homes. The difference with co-parenting is the individuals or group starting this modern family arrangement wants the child from the start - the child is the priority and the parent is not doing it alone.

For many co-parenting will sound like a pretty radical concept; for those without the option of a traditional family Modamily is a dream come true. Modamily is proud to have is started a national conversation about co-parenting and raising the profile of this seismic shift happening in modern family arrangements.

This is just the beginning!


Freezing Your Fellows


Fertility Planit Show speaker and advisory board member Dr. Paul Turek, is a premier male reproductive health expert that combines innovative and cutting edge techniques with the wisdom of old-world medicine to treat the problems of men aged 21 to 55 years. Dr. Turek is a recipient of a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for research designed to help infertile men become fathers. A former Professor and Endowed Chair at the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Turek has pioneered innovative techniques for treating male infertility including Testicular Mapping, and has helped to popularize the No-Scalpel Vasectomy. Dr. Turek has achieved some of the highest success rates worldwide for vasectomy reversals. Dr. Turek sits on the board of several high-profile organizations and is an advisor to the the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). He donates his time to help the working poor of San Francisco receive medical treatment as Chair of the Medical Advisory Board for the non-profit Clinic by the Bay. Dr. Turek blogs on a weekly basis about common medical issues, solutions and innovations at


One way to get sperm where it needs to go! (Courtesy:

Looking for a great investment in dire times? Our national fertility organization just declared that the technique of freezing a woman’s eggs now safe and effective.

Banking fertilized eggs or embryos after IVF procedures has been de rigueur for three decades. However, freezing unfertilized eggs from the ovaries of young women to maintain fertility later in life is a relatively recent concept, but one that is now routine clinical practice and no longer experimental. Advice for surviving the upcoming fiscal cliff? Invest in commodities: save eggs not money.

What About Sperm?

If woman are now cleared for egg banking to protect their fertility, should men do the same with their sperm? Possibly, but the outlook is different with sperm. Women are born with all the eggs that they will ever have, whereas men normally make 1000 new sperm per heartbeat. Sperm are regenerated throughout a man’s life whereas eggs lie dormant in a bank that is slowly (but dramatically) losing balance and interest. If you’re wondering why so many sperm are needed, well it’s because men don’t like to ask for directions.

Reasons to Bank Sperm

Successful freezing and thawing of sperm was first reported over a hundred years ago: it is tried and true technology. Here are reasons to consider banking sperm as a young man:

  1. Your future fertility is threatened. Things like brittle diabetes, cancer treatments and long-term anabolic steroid use can deal serious if not lethal blows to future fertility. Sperm banking is strongly recommended in the face of these threats.
  2. Sperm counts decline with age. Honestly, semen quality doesn’t change all that much as men age. Semen volume and sperm motility fall, but at rates <1% annually. Not a great investment choice.
  3. You’re not sure that you want kids. You’re finding condoms to be “so high school” and the idea of having a vasectomy has crossed your mind. But, you don’t want to shut the door completely, in case Mrs. Right comes along. Unfortunately, there is no truly reversible male contraceptive (although vasectomy reversal comes pretty close). Banking sperm is a good investment here.
  4. Older sperm lead to unhealthy offspring. Now here’s a hot topic. New studies are suggesting that there are solid relationships between diseases in offspring and older paternal age. Issues like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism have all been convincingly linked to older paternal age (>50 years). In addition, offspring with chromosomal issues and single gene diseases increase with a father’s age. What’s comforting though is that these conditions in offspring are very uncommon, even with older fathers, occurring at rates much less than 5% among 70-year old fathers. Furthermore, there is no proactive testing currently recommended for older men to check for the potential of handing off these conditions. For these reasons, banking sperm for paternal age issues is a very personal decision.

Although cheaper, easier and much more fun to bank than eggs, sperm is an equally precious resource if you ask my patients. To many, in the words of Monty Python: “Every sperm is sacred.” Ponder this as you freeze your fellows.

Read the original blog post here.

Space is limited. Register for Dr. Paul Turek's session now >

Man Up and Feel Bad


This is a guest post from Greg Wolfe, author of How to Make Love to a Plastic Cup: A Guy’s Guide to the World of Fertility. Greg grew up in the San Fernando Valley and worked with the Groundlings and Acme Theater improv groups in Los Angeles while earning his master’s degree in education. Currently residing in Valencia, California, Greg and his wife Julie went through five IVF cycles before joyfully welcoming their son, Connor, into the world in March, 2009. Connor owes them big-time.

Greg Wolfe

Greg Wolfe

When people find out I’m infertile (I mean, it’s not like I’m proud of it or anything, yelling it from the rooftops, but occasionally, after a few drinks and I’m feeling comfortable…. Anyway, the main question they ask is “How do you feel about it?” The answer? Oh, I feel it’s truly a blessing. Please! IT SUCKS! Obviously. Especially if you’re a man.

See, I know from experience that one of the few things we men feel we are biologically pre-programmed to do besides kill spiders and move heavy furniture is to become daddies, and when that doesn't go according to plan, well, we tend to take it personally. VERY personally.

At the risk of sounding stereotypically guy-ish, when we see something broken, our instinct is to want to fix it. When it turns out the fixing is out of our control, we tend to feel like failures... whether it's warranted or not. And whether we actually SHOW IT or not.

Even in today’s world where vampires are sparkly emo-boys, men get calf implants and Matt Damon passes for an action hero, we men are still expected to act like men, as in “suck it up, don’t complain, no one wants to see you cry.” But when something like infertility comes along, we feel BAD.

Bad for ourselves and our situation, and REALLY bad for our wives, who have to endure the pain of weeks of injections and hormone treatments because of OUR problem! We’re sure they hate us, when really they’re just acting like women who, well, have gone through weeks of injections and hormone treatments.

We feel like we have no one to talk to: we can't talk to our guy friends: "Hey, Bob, so my sperm is crappy." "Yeah, that’s too bad. Hey, pass the buffalo sauce.” And we can't talk to our wives, since in mens minds, we're supposed to be the emotional rock in our relationship, there to comfort our women. I never said we were smart, just men.

So what do you do? You talk. Men, talk with your wives. Tell them how you're really feeling. How your ego is crushed, and how you feel bad. She won't laugh. I promise. And women, talk to your husbands. Tell them you know just how they feel. Use a lot of sports references like "team" and "rebuilding year." They'll love that - and maybe think all those hormones you took gave you some creepy psychic ability.

The main thing is never to stay down, never to let infertility beat you. If you want to have children badly enough, know that you will. It may not happen the way you planned, but it will happen.

Space is limited. Register for Greg Wolfe's session now >


Working With the Miraculous


This is a guest post from Randine Lewis, MSOM, Ph.D., L.Ac., FABORM, a Speaker at Fertility Planit Show 2013. Dr. Lewis' approach combines Western medical knowledge, Chinese medicine and natural therapies. Her primary message is one of empowerment - discovering and maximizing your inherent fertility. Dr. Lewis utilizes multiple experiential modalities to bring you to an inner recognition of the source of your fertility. While some have considered her approach radical, it yields powerful results in otherwise intractable cases. Her retreat work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, among others.

HandsWouldn’t you agree that the coming of a child is a miracle?

Wouldn’t you also agree that you cannot force a miracle?

And yet, haven’t you tried? In fact, haven’t you tried multiple times – over and over again to force this hoped for miracle into existence?

Wouldn’t you agree that what you want most right now is hope?

If there was a spark of assurance that your miracle would come, you could be at peace. Yet, because somewhere inside you don’t believe it will come unless you try to force this miracle into existence, you are not at peace.

I’ll bet right now your system is coursing with stress hormones caused by unmet expectations, fueled my fear. Who can I see next? Who can offer me the next sliver of hope? The cycle of hope and despair make the infertility journey almost unbearable.

Here are a few radical notions that few want to hear:

  1. You cannot force your fertility.
  2. Nobody else can.
  3. Hope is not required.
  4. Your desire will not help you conceive.
  5. There is no recipe for life.

Hope feels good. So does desire. We are biologically hooked up to move toward that which we think will make us happy. We thrust ourselves toward the object of our desires with hope and a great deal of effort. You can look back over your entire life and find this to be true: Your first “A” on a school exam; the first time you won a ballgame; a degree; a profession; a boyfriend; a car; a house… the objects of desire were fueled by hope and effort.  You may have even overcome great odds to achieve these goals.

Let’s look at what was going on biochemically during these achievements: Your endocrine system responded to the hopeful desire by diverting blood flow away from your reproductive organs. Beneath the hope was fear that you would not achieve your desired result. This fear activated the adrenal glands which flooded your bloodstream with norepinephrine and cortisol. And it felt good! You felt charged and strong, as you powered toward your goal. You became your own inner cheerleader. “You can do it; if only you try hard enough!” Your cells, meanwhile, down regulated the reproductive hormone receptors, so, God forbid, you wouldn’t became pregnant while you were in pursuit!

And now you try to achieve a baby in the same way – fueled by hope and desire, running away from the fear of non-achievement. You find the top-notch reproductive clinic. You eat right.  You try acupuncture and herbs. Maybe you go to yoga and meditate; your body alternates between stress and relaxation like a yo-yo. And it wears on your system because it isn’t good for you.

Let’s try a little exercise here.

Let your mind tell your right hand to make a fist and hold it.

Done. Easy.

Let your mind tell your toes to wiggle.

Done. Easy.

Tell your mind to slow down your breath, and muster up a state of hope.

It may take a moment longer, but… Done. Easy.

Now let your mind tell your ovaries to produce a healthy follicle, release it on time, have it be fertilized, and implant into your receptive uterus.

---- ----

You can’t do the last one. Why? Because you cannot force your fertility like you can force a state of hopeful expectation or wiggle your toes. Your fertility operates via the opposite laws of achieving worldly desires. It operates via the laws of receptivity; not of activity.  Bringing the miracle into existence requires your effort to move out of the way. The messages that reach your follicles come from the subconscious response to your environment.

Look at nature. You don’t see squirrels hoping for offspring. These little creatures, like the rest of the mammalian world, don’t reproduce so well when they are in a state of stress, even when their activity is slowed down. Life comes through when conditions are right and when it is allowed, hope and desire aside. Look at animals in confinement. They have all the time in the world to quiet their minds and eat right, but a Bengal tiger in the zoo cannot bring forth life no matter how the environment is altered. Nature knows better.   How many stories have you heard of those who “gave up” and then became pregnant? This isn’t a cruel joke that nature plays; it brings forth a powerful example of what happens when you let go of the pursuit, relinquishing desire and hope. Although many of us try to avoid this state with all of our might, it reveals a potent truth regarding the wisdom of our physiology. While PhDs and worldly successes may not come to crack addicts living on the street, babies do.

I do not mean to squash hope or desire. Yet when they become “practices,” your body-mind tries to perfect them, and actually produces more stress chemicals, reducing the cells’ hormonal receptivity.

Hope is on the spectrum of and contains its opposite – fear. If there is hope, there is fear of no hope. And the further we try to resist the fear of no hope, the more powerful its stressful tug.

There is a force more powerful than hope. It comes from the source of Life itself; you carry it within you. You have access to it at all times. The Tao Te Ching calls it the “Mysterious Feminine” – the origin of creation.

The valley spirit never dies.

It is called the Mysterious Feminine – the doorway through which heaven and earth arise, in the depths of the womb of creation.

Continuous, empty and inexhaustible;

Always on the brink of existence;

You can draw upon it as you will, but it cannot be forced.

Life longs to come forth when you abide the laws of creation, which cannot be forced. So how do we draw upon its force? Find it within. While I use a retreat process to utilize and magnify this force within you, you don’t need any process to find it. It is found in the inner spaciousness of your body’s wisdom. It is found in the circumstances of your life, as it is, right now. When you are in harmony with nature, life is allowed to come through. The way cannot be forced.  Live as if you are a miracle. Live as if you contained the source of life within. Live as if the only directive comes from the wisdom of your own heart.  Give up your practices if you don’t love them; if they don’t make you feel charged and alive.

And you won’t need hope. You won’t need desire. You won’t need diets, methods, doctors or practices to take you “there.” It is right here, within you. Find the miracle within, and live it. Love your own life first before you invite in another. Your future child does not need your hope or desire. It needs you to find the miracle of you, as you are. No hope required.

Space is limited. Register for Dr. Randine Lewis's session now >