This method has gained increasing popularity over the years, especially because celebrities here and in Hollywood have brazenly admitted to having gone through IVF to treat their infertility. This assisted reproductive technology involves fertilizing eggs with the sperm outside the women’s body and then transferring the resulting embryos to the uterus. The maximum embryos allowed for implantation here in the Philippines are two, according to Dr. Joan Tan-Garcia, endocrinologist, infertility and menopause specialist.
If the woman has blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, fibroids, genetic defects, or ovarian
cysts, IVF is deemed necessary. Dr. Tan-Garcia enumerates the following as prerequisites for IVF: adequate number and good quality live sperm, good cervical health (sperms can only survive at a level of acidity in the cervix; any infection in the cervix is not conducive to sperm survival), a passable, unobstructed fallopian tube, and an egg. Without one of the abovementioned, IVF or any other treatment method will not succeed, she adds. There are presently only three centers that perform IVF in the Philippines, and the procedure is presently limited to married couples only.
According to Dr. Tan-Garcia, “There is no such thing as a standard success rate.” The average success rate for IVF treatment in the Philippines is said to be at about 30% in just one center that handles about 300 cases a year, and around 50% in the U.S. For women with poor quality eggs, Dr. Tan-Garcia adds that the success rate for one cycle of IVF treatment is higher for a woman in her late 20s than for a woman in her late 30s.
The average cost of IVF (in U.S. dollars) is about $14,000 to $24,000 in the U.S., and about $8,000 to $12,000 in Singapore. In the Philippines, it starts at P135,000, plus doctor’s fee (which can range from P75,000 to P400,000). This cost covers just one cycle of IVF and does not include medications, ultrasound, and other possible expenses.
Joan Tan-Garcia, M.D. reproductive endocrinologist, infertility and menopause specialist, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Manila Doctor’s Hospital, and Medical City