San Diego Fertility Center
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Travel & Treatment Options

Travel & Treatment Options

Information for Out-of-State and International IVF, Egg Donation, and Surrogacy Patients

Our patients travel to San Diego Fertility Center from all over the country and the world. We have provided this page for information on fertility travel. Traveling to another country or region for fertility treatment is often called fertility tourism.

For more details, call our office and speak directly with a member of our staff.
You may reach us at (++) 858-794-6363 or email our New Patient Coordinator.


IVF Patients

We have many fertility tourists from throughout the world who choose to travel to our fertility center because of our reputation for providing the finest comprehensive, state-of-the-art fertility care possible. This page gives you information about combining your In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment at the San Diego Fertility Center with a pleasant stay in sunny San Diego, California.

Here are your plan choices, if you do not reside in the San Diego area:
(To see an example of an IVF calendar, click here.)

Plan 1

You can make one extended trip to our area and have your entire ovarian stimulation and IVF cycle and then return home. This option requires a 2-3 week stay in San Diego. The exact duration of the stay depends on the ovarian stimulation protocol used in your case, the length of time required by your ovaries to respond to the medications, and whether you have a day 3, or a day 5 blastocyst transfer.

Please note: Each case is different. We have you do a "long distance consult" over the phone first so that we can go over your individual care and discuss the options.

Plan 2

You can travel to us for a "initial consult" now and then come back for "Plan 1" above when we do the cycle. This way we meet in person and can perform an ultrasound and "mock embryo transfer" (a trial, or "uterine sound").

Plan 3

You can have a long distance consult over the phone and then be monitored during the stimulation by your OB/GYN at home and come to us when the follicles are almost mature. This will probably be more cost intensive because you will have to pay someone in your area for the ultrasounds and blood tests. With this option, you will need to be in our care for about 6-9 days. US residents may go back home between the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer to further reduce their time away from home.

For most people, the decision of how to have the monitoring of the cycle done depends on how far away they live and what their work and home schedules are like


Egg Donation Patients

Most of our out of state recipients of donor eggs have the monitoring of their uterine lining (usually only 1 ultrasound test needed) done in their home area. Then the couple travels to San Diego Fertility Center a day or 2 prior to the donor's egg retrieval. The couple usually then stays in San Diego until the embryo transfer. The total length of stay in San Diego is 4-7 days.

Plan 1

You can do an "initial consult" first so that we can go over your case in detail and discuss all relevant issues. You can then have the monitoring of your uterine lining performed in your home area. Usually, only one ultrasound is required to document a proper uterine lining.

The husband needs to come here the day prior to the donor's egg retrieval, and the wife needs to come here by the day prior to the embryo transfer. This is the most common scenario utilized by couples living far away.

Plan 2

You can come for a "new patient visit" and come back for "Plan 1" above when we do the egg donation cycle. This way, we meet in person and can do an ultrasound on you and perform a "mock embryo transfer" (a trial, or "uterine sound").

Plan 3

You can make one extended trip to our area and have the monitoring of your uterine lining as well as the embryo transfer performed in our center and then return home. This option requires a 2-3 week stay here. The exact duration of the stay depends on the duration of the ovarian stimulation of the egg donor. In this scenario, we have you do a long distance consult prior to coming in person to make sure the relevant issues are covered.

Visit our egg donation web site for more information
View a sample egg donation calendar

Your Treatment in Greater Detail:

In all cases, the male partner needs to be here by the day before the donor's egg retrieval procedure. We need his sperm on the day of the egg retrieval in order to inseminate the donor eggs. The female recipient needs to arrive here by the day before the scheduled embryo transfer procedure.

We prefer (but do not insist) that you have 1- 2 days of "modified bed rest" after the embryo transfer. Therefore, we prefer that you stay in this area for 1-2 days after the transfer. However, many (successful) couples have traveled home either the evening of the transfer, or the next day.


Surrogacy Patients

We have many out-of-state and international patients who choose to come to our center for our surrogacy program. Here are the primary steps involved before you travel to San Diego, if you do not reside in the San Diego area:

  1. Surrogate selection. A surrogate of your choice may be a family member, friend, or woman chosen through a surrogate agency.
  2. Psychological evaluation. All involved parties must participate in psychological counseling. This is an extremely important requirement as it gives everyone an opportunity to discuss a number of vital and sensitive issues. The couple and the surrogate may travel to San Diego to consult our affiliate psychotherapist or have the counseling done in their home area. A psychological clearance letter must be sent to our office for each person involved before the treatment begins.
  3. Legal matters. All necessary contracts must be created by legal counsel of your choice. A legal clearance letter must be sent to our office prior to initiation of patient care.
Start of the Program:

1. A consultation with one of San Diego Fertility Center's renowned physicians. Both the surrogate and the intended parents must meet with one of our physicians. This consultation may be conducted via telephone for the intended parents. Information concerning specific testing required for all parties will be given following this consultation.

2. After our office has received all the appropriate clearance letters and test results, we will make arrangements to begin the medication for the IVF/surrogate treatment.
Here are your plan choices, if you do not reside in the San Diego area:

Plan 1

The intended parents can travel to us for an "initial consult" now and then come back for "Plan 2" when we do the IVF/surrogate treatment. This way we meet all parties in person and may perform any necessary procedures and educational information is given in a less stressful format. This is our most popular patient choice.

Plan 2

The intended parents and the surrogate can make one extended trip to our area and have the surrogate's entire ovarian stimulation and IVF cycle and then return home. This option requires a 2-3 week stay in San Diego. The exact duration of the stay depends on the ovarian stimulation protocol used in the surrogate's case, the length of time required by the surrogate's ovaries to respond to the medications, and whether the surrogate has a day 3 embryo transfer, or a day 5 blastocyst embryo transfer.

Please note: Each case is different. We have you do a "long distance consult" over the phone first so that we can go over your individual care and discuss the options.

Plan 3

The intended parents and/or the surrogate can have a long distance consult over the phone and then be monitored during the stimulation by your OB/GYN at home and come to us when we approach the time for egg harvest. This will probably be more cost intensive because you will have to pay someone in your area for the ultrasounds and blood tests. With this option, the surrogate will need to be in our care for about 6-9 days. US residents may go back home between the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer to further reduce their time away from home.

For most people, the decision of how to have the monitoring of the cycle done depends on how far away they live and what their work and home schedules are like.

Your Treatment in Greater Detail:

We recommend that the intended parents come to the San Diego Fertility Center for a new patient visit 2-3 months prior to beginning your fertility care. During this visit, the surrogate will meet with one of our fertility specialists and also spend some time with one of our certified nurse coordinators reviewing the use of injectable medications and other important issues regarding the cycle timing, monitoring and procedures involved.

The intended mother should have day 3 FSH and estradiol blood test prior to starting your IVF stimulation. This is a test of ovarian reserve - egg quality and quantity. The blood specimen needed for this test can be drawn by a facility in your home area and the result faxed or mailed to us. We will then run the assay in our laboratory. It can also be run by a lab in your home area.

The intended parents and gestational surrogate will need to come here at least 3 days before the egg retrieval procedure. This allows us to do ultrasound and blood tests to decide on the best day to do the procedures.

We will need a sperm specimen from the intended father on the day of the egg retrieval. This will be used to inseminate the surrogate's eggs.

The embryo transfer procedure is usually performed 3 days after the egg retrieval. In some cases we do a blastocyst transfer on day 5 - this option would be discussed with the couple and the surrogate up front. We then request that the surrogate has 3 days of "modified bed rest" after the embryo transfer. Therefore, we prefer that the surrogate mother stays in San Diego for 3 days after the transfer. However, many (successful) couples and surrogates have traveled home either the evening of the transfer, or the next day.


More Information for Fertility Travel

We recommend (but do not insist) that you to come to our center for a new patient visit within about 2 months prior to beginning the injectable fertility drugs. During this visit, you will meet with one of our fertility specialists and also spend some time with one of our nurses reviewing the use of injectable medications and other important issues regarding the cycle monitoring and procedures.

You should have day 3 FSH and estradiol blood tests prior to starting your IVF stimulation. This is a test of ovarian reserve - egg quality and quantity. The blood specimen needed for this test can be drawn by a facility in your home area and mailed to us. We will then run the assay in our laboratory. It can also be run by a lab in your home area.

If you choose to have your ovarian stimulation for your IVF cycle monitored in your home area, we will need to get the estradiol levels and ultrasound findings faxed to us every day that they are done. One of our nurses will call you later that same day with instructions on what to do next.

You will need to come here at least 2-3 days before the egg retrieval procedure. This allows us to do ultrasound and blood tests to decide on the best day to do the procedures.

We will need a sperm specimen from the husband on the day of the egg retrieval. This will be used to inseminate the wife's eggs.

The embryo transfer procedure is usually performed 3 days after the egg retrieval. In some cases we do a blastocyst transfer on day 5 - this option would be discussed with the couple up front. We then request that you have 2 days of "modified bed rest" after the embryo transfer. Therefore, we prefer that you stay in San Diego for 1-2 days after the transfer. However, many (successful) couples have traveled home either the evening of the transfer, or the next day.

For more details, call our office and speak directly with a member of our staff.
You may reach us at (++) 858-794-6363 or email our New Patient Coordinator.
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