Medical Tourism is an intriguing phrase that is becoming more commonly used as people from all over the world seek fertility treatment in regions and countries that are favorable to the medical issue they are confronting.
In addition, some fertility problems are extremely complex and some physicians become well known for their specific area of expertise. Patients will be willing to travel long distances to address the problems they face. Examples of such problems in the field of Reproductive Medicine include immune issues, recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), advanced maternal age and severe male factor subfertility.
Dr. Murrain has a subspecialty in Reproductive Genetics and patients of advanced maternal age, or recurrent pregnancy loss, will undoubtedly benefit from his involvement and experience.
Due to its year round favorable climate and magnificent scenery, Palm Springs, and the entire Coachella Valley, is one of the most frequently visited destinations in the world, especially for “snowbirds”. With its own airport, it is ideally situated to treat patients from afar, who may be seeking to escape harsh weather or some relaxation in the sun, while at the same time undergoing advanced medical treatment.
Many of the patients who seek treatment from Dreams Fertility reside outside of the Palm Springs area. Using various hormone treatments, we are able to arrange the timing of a cycle in advance, so patients can be certain that their medical treatment will fall within specific dates and can plan their travels accordingly. Our experienced coordinators will assist with these arrangements.
Typically, patients will do the initial medical screenings and monitoring with either their regular physician close to where they reside, or working with a reproductive specialist we recommend close to where they live. Without compromising treatment, we try to minimize the time they spend in the Palm Springs area and the subsequent interruptions of daily routine that might result from being away from home, work and other family members, for extended periods of time.
Our office will provide a list of the tests required and the results will be forwarded to our office. In general, these tests will consist of the following:
For those patients being treated with Assisted Reproductive Technologies (IVF, Egg Donation, Surrogacy, etc.), they will commence their medications close to home and come to Palm Springs with the expectation of spending about 7-10 days in Southern California, for monitoring appointments and procedures. Egg development will already be well under way by the time the patient is first seen in our practice.
Although not physically present, our doctors will manage the initial monitoring phase of the cycle, prior to arrival in Palm Springs. Instructions and dosage adjustments will be given to the patient or local physician. Upon arrival in Palm Springs, we will usually do an ultrasound and blood test the following day and take over all management until the time of egg retrieval or transfer. We will also be able to address any questions at the first in-person visit.
Our Dream Team has several decades of experience treating complex
cases for straight and same sex couples.
The egg retrieval will usually take place about 4 – 5 days after arrival. We know definitively 36 hours prior to the retrieval. We perform the egg retrieval at an affiliated center in Laguna Hills (Reproductive Health and Wellness). Laguna Hills is about an hour and a half by car from Palm Springs. Therefore the staff at Dreams Fertility can arrange for a hotel closer to that facility rather than driving back to Palm Springs.
After the procedure, patients should plan to return to their hotel to rest quietly for the remainder of the day. It will be necessary to be accompanied from the procedure back to their hotel. Patients can eat regular food but should avoid alcohol due to the residual effects of the anesthesia. It is not unusual to experience lower abdominal cramping. There may also be slight vaginal bleeding. Sharp pain or excessive bleeding should be immediately reported to the on call doctor or nurse. Any dizziness, shortness of breath or vomiting should be reported.
The day following the retrieval, patients will be notified as to the number of eggs that are fertilized. It is not uncommon to experience mild lower abdominal discomfort but driving should not be a problem. Some patients may prefer to go to either Los Angeles or San Diego to enjoy another part of Southern California, rather than return to Palm Springs. Unless there are specific reasons to remain local, patients could in fact return home on the day following the procedure. Therefore please make sure we always have updated contact information.
In the days following the retrieval, light activities are acceptable. Driving is acceptable. You do not have to be confined to bed. You should “take it easy” and not be involved in extensive hiking or other strenuous activities. “Listen to your body” and get plenty of rest. Keep well hydrated. The following are activities that should be avoided during your stay: skydiving, horse-back riding, downhill snow-skiing, and scuba diving. Swimming in community pools or relaxing in a pool spa should be kept to a minimum because of the chemicals and bacteria in the water.
In most cases, embryos will be cultured until the blastocyst stage (5 – 6 days post retrieval), before being biopsied for genetic testing, followed by freezing. While local, our team will discuss plans for the planned embryo transfer. This usually takes place about one to two months following the retrieval. However, the frozen embryo transfer (FET) can be planned for any convenient time in the future. A calendar of treatment will be provided for the FET prior to departure. Our team will remain in contact with you throughout the transition period leading up to your return visit for your FET.
Our office can recommend a variety of nearby hotels, resorts or furnished apartments in different price ranges that will be suitable for your stay. We will work with you to make sure you are housed comfortably, according to your desires and budget. There are many fine restaurants in the area and we will help you with suggestions and/or reservations. You may need to rent a car or you can take advantage of the sprinter van service we will offer to patients who prefer not to drive. We will welcome your visits to the office at any time, to discuss any aspects of your case, medication administration, or making social arrangements to enhance your visit.
Bon Voyage and Best Wishes for a Successful visit!