Sarah’s Egg Donor Experience in Mexico (fertility tourism, part 2)

(see part 1 of Sarah’s fertility tourism journey here)

The doctor I had at the Fertility Center Cancun seemed so sweet and I immediately felt like his heart was in the right place. I had a less than stellar experience with my reproductive clinic in the Bay Area, which felt more like a factory with a preset protocol, than a place that actually cared about me.

I filled out a short form and sent in my medical records so that I could start viewing egg donor profiles.

I also discovered another clinic in Cancun, called IREGA.  They were responsive and wonderful to deal with as well. To cross check my gut reaction, I scoured chat rooms for information and experiences with both clinics. As far as I could tell, everyone who had gone to these clinics had a wonderful experience. No one had anything negative to say. IREGA had slightly better pricing options, but I found a fabulous donor at FCC, so I went with them.

I had to sync my cycle to the egg donor’s, which was pretty easily done, and I booked my flight for two months later. I could have arrived in Mexico for the transfer within about a month of choosing the egg donor, but I built in some extra time to let my donor’s body recover from her last donation and in order to navigate getting my sperm samples into Mexico.

I arrived in Cancun on a Monday for my first appointment, during which they did an ultrasound and checked my uterine lining. At my request, they also did a mock transfer because I had some previous problems with a very tightly closed cervix. (They didn’t charge me extra for the mock transfer even though it was not included in the fees I had paid. I noticed throughout the process that they did not add on a bunch of extra fees. They accepted my sperm samples and are continuing to store them for me at no charge. They incurred several administration fees from customs and the health department for which they did not charge me either.)

On a Wednesday they retrieved my donor’s eggs (one day later than originally planned). And, then I waited five days for the embryos to mature into blastocysts. By the following Monday, I took a private taxi back to the clinic in Cancun to have the embryo transfer. And three days later I flew home.

I only stayed one night in Cancun before my first appointment, and then made my way to Tulum 90 minutes south. But had I stayed in Cancun, the liaison would have arranged all my transportation. She communicated with the clinic about my appointment times and a cab magically appeared before and after every appointment to transfer me where I needed to be. They even offered me a cell phone to communicate with them and the clinic if I needed it.

An Experience in Trust

I loved the experience wholeheartedly. I actually think that being on vacation in Mexico helped me conceive. Not only was I relaxed, but the hot weather and salt water helped open my body. But there were definitely things I had to let go of in order to feel comfortable in Mexico. I found it was an exercise in trust. I had to keep returning to the fact that my gut had told me this clinic was trustworthy.

“The Contract” with my egg donor was a one-page document sent to me by the clinic liaison. Being a lawyer, the “Contract” was laughable. And I was shocked to learn that I needed to pay a deposit of $1300 to the liaison, but I paid nothing to the Clinic until I arrived. When I got to the clinic, they couldn’t find my “Contract” so I had to give her my copy.

I never saw anything in which the egg donor released her rights to her genetic material to me. When I asked the clinic for it, they assured me they had an agreement with her, but did not offer to let me see it.

The Clinic was much less willing to give me updates and hold my hand through the process. I was expecting updates from the Clinic about how my donor was doing — how many follicles she was producing, what her timing was like, etc.  But the clinic gave me no information until I arrived on Monday for my first appointment. When I asked about her progress, the doctor responded, “She’s doing well.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“She has more than 15 follicles,” the Doctor assured me, but would not give me specifics. I had friends who had been through IVF, in which the doctors gave them a detailed blow by blow of the process, the number of eggs, how big, which ovary etc. So, I was expecting more information, but in the end, all I really needed to know was that she had a bunch of follicles.

See Part 3 here….

And note that Sarah is starting a Choice Mom coaching business, related to her own fertility struggles and the search for an egg donor. You can learn more here.

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  23 comments for “Sarah’s Egg Donor Experience in Mexico (fertility tourism, part 2)

  1. Sherry
    September 4, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I am looking for an egg donor. How much will it cost and how should I go about it.

    • September 4, 2015 at 9:46 am

      You can learn everything you need from the “Choice Mom E-Guide: Eggs”… from the e-guide menu.
      — Mikki

  2. Lola
    June 24, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Hi Sarah. I have been trying to schedule an ivf cycle in Mexico using donor eggs. Just to clarify, you never had to go to the clinic prior transferring the embryos, right? the dr I’m dealing with in Mexico wants me to go for a baseline ultrasound, blood work and histeroscoy before starting the treatment, seems like he doesn’t trust lab work form USA (I have done it all with normal results). Perhaps I will consider going to FCC.

    • Sarah
      June 27, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Lola,
      No, I never had to go to Mexico before the embryo transfer. Well, I guess I went a few days before just to check that my lining was ok. I arrived on a Monday. They checked my lining and the transfer was a few days later. I did the blood tests and hysteriogram in the US and the clinic in Mexico accepted it. Let me know if you’d like me to make an introduction to FCC for you.

  3. Pau.
    March 27, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Dear Sarah thank you for sharing your experience, i m from southamerica. Im in touch with FCC , i m in the process of selecting a donor……They were so warm….
    Where i can read your 3 part of your history?

  4. Claire
    January 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Hi Sarah, great post. I am currently thinking about the Egg Donation route after 4 failed IVF. Going down the Egg Donation route what are they key things you should ask your clinic or think about? Thanks

    • Mikki
      January 10, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Actually Claire, I can respond to that. I am literally days away from releasing the Choice Mom E-guide: All About Eggs. It is 47 pages of information, including questions to ask before you choose an agency, fertility tourism, Sarah’s story and others, and much more. As soon as key contributors finish the review process it will be available on the website!

  5. Rose Smith
    December 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Great story, thank you for sharing! I had a horrible experience with Irega Acapulco They lie from the beginning to the end. Very dirty methods and unprofessional. Acapulco is scary and a lot of kidnappings. Try clinics in Cancun.

    • December 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Rose,
      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience at IREGA in Acapulco. That sounds scary. I would love to know more specifics about how they treated you if you’d like to private message me.

      I had the opportunity to go back to Cancun last month and meet with Dr. Gaytan at FCC–my impression is that he is very sweet and runs a good operation. If nothing else, the offices are sparkling white and clean.

      Obviously it can be a challenge to navigate the cultural differences between the US and Mexico as I mentioned in my article. But from my experience, FCC can be trusted. If you or anyone is thinking about going to FCC, please let me know. I can make an introduction and then I am able to help you navigate your experience at FCC since I know the doctors and the staff. I have had no experience with IREGA at all so I can’t comment.

      • Heather Thitte
        January 7, 2015 at 6:27 pm

        I was reassured reading about your experiences! I am looking into FCC and would appreciate any other “insider” information you have. I will be doing IVF with donor sperm.
        Thanks,
        Heather

      • Asma
        September 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm

        Hi
        I am at a priliminary stage of finding a reliable clinic in cancun.
        You were treated in FFC.What does the FFC stands for.
        any idea about irega.
        Are these clinic certified
        Pl let me I am considering donor prog.I do have a healthy child of my own.But now I am 44.so considering donor egg.
        thanks
        Asma

        • Saira Esmail
          January 2, 2017 at 12:33 am

          Hi Asma,

          I know this post is a little old. Could you please advise which facility did you chose in Mexico? I am also thinking of doing donor egg IVF process in Mexico. Please connect with me when you get a chance.

          Thanks,
          Saira

        • Saira
          January 15, 2017 at 1:32 am

          Hi Asma,

          Did you decide on the facility? I am also going to be doing a donor IVF cycle but can’t decide which clinic to pick in mexico. Please email me when you get a chance. Looking for suggestions.

          Thanks,
          Saira

      • Saira
        December 27, 2016 at 4:28 pm

        Hi Saira,

        I just came across your website while searching for an IVF facility in Mexico. Could you please let me know what FCC stand for so I can research this facility? Is there a way to send you a private message as I am thinking of starting a Donor Egg IVF in April 2017. I currently live in Northern CA and really having a hard time figuring out which is the best facility in Mexico for Donor Egg IVF. Appreciate any help you can provide.

        Thanks,
        Sara

      • Saira
        January 15, 2017 at 1:34 am

        Hi Sarah,

        Please advise on the FCC since I can’t make up my mind on which facility to choose in Mexico for Donor Egg IVF. Please private message me if you can.

        Thanks so much!

  6. June 25, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I had an egg donor at placidway.com and It has the best equipment and affordable egg donor package. Indeed they have the best facilities and doctors really worldwide. I would love to share it with you. It is a worth trying for. Any questions about my experience are all welcome to reply. Thanks.

  7. MF
    April 7, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to part 3.

    I’m in the process of making an appointment to have IVF with donor sperm @ IREGA in Oct 2014.

    So far their communication has been excellent.

    • Mikki
      April 7, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Note that Part 3 is also online now too. Currently you can access it from the bottom of the home page, where recent Fertility stories are listed, or use “keyword” or category Fertility. — Mikki

    • Shane Rose
      August 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Nice! I am also now choosing between IREGA or Mexico Surrogacy for my treatment as referred by PlacidWay Medical Tourism. Hopefully i can go to Mexico by November. I am 4 years married and still don’t have our child. What do you think between these two center? where should i go? Both has good records but i need to choose based on others successful experience. Please GUIDE ME.

      • November 5, 2015 at 4:21 am

        Good decision to have it done in Mexico, either of the two will do since there are a lot of good IVF clinics in Mexico and those two are just one the centers which has high success rate and good track records. You can also check Embryos IVF Clinic.

    • Emily Fulton-Fischer
      September 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      I am going to Irega in December 2014. Thank you for sharing your story!!

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