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US company selling IVF vacations

4 November 2009
Appeared in BioNews 533

US company 'The World Egg Bank' has signed a deal with IVI fertility clinics in Spain to provide US consumers with 'IVF vacations' to Spain. The company, which provides the world largest online registry of egg donors, specialises in services involving the extraction, storage and sale of cryopreserved eggs. The company touts the tours as costing the same or less than the price of IVF in the US but with the added benefit of a vacation in Alicante.

The package tour is priced at $19,500 (£12,000) and involves a 5-day round trip to Spain from the US. IVI, founded in 1990, claims to be the world's largest IVF centre for egg donation, providing 4,000 cycles of IVF a year across its 19 clinics. As with The World Egg Bank, IVI concentrates on frozen egg IVF provision and claims that its thawed egg services have produced a pregnancy rate of over 60 per cent.

Promising customers 'miles of pristine sandy beaches, breathtaking mountains, and year round moderate temperatures', The World Egg Bank coordinates shipping of ready frozen eggs from its corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. By concentrating on the use of these frozen eggs the logistical complexity of coordinating egg donor and IVF recipient, as required for the supply of a fresh egg, is avoided. In a press release the President of the company, Diana Thomas, stated that 'recipients no longer have to synchronize cycles with the donor and the donor can be anywhere in the world.'

Ms Thomas started in the egg-donor recruitment business in 1995 after the birth of her third child using donor eggs. Her company 'X and Y consulting' merged 'Cryo Eggs International L.P' to form 'The World Egg Bank' in February of this year. It announced in March that it had gathered more than a million pounds worth of venture capital funding to support the development of its donor database.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
World Egg Bank Launches Medical Tourism Program With World's Largest Egg-Donation Fertility Clinic
Reuters |  2 November 2009
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