Taiwan has achieved a stable, high clinical success rate with single embryo transfer. In other words, the technique of the reproductive medicine physicians in Taiwan has progressed to the extent that they can succeed in fertilization with only one-time embryo transfer. The table below shows that the successful implantation rate (pregnancy rate) of IVF in Taiwan is as high as 36.7%.
The IVF therapy price in Taiwan is about 40% of that in Hong Kong and Philippines and Singapore and 60% of that in Mainland China. The IVF therapy price in Taiwan is about 50% of the world’s average, which is highly competitive in the international market for a very affordable price.
According to the physicians, foreign patients always compliment the high operating efficiency of Taiwan’s medical system and highly appreciate the convenience in the cities when they come to Taiwan for IVF therapy.
Taiwan’s physicians all have bilingual capability, allowing them to communicate freely with patients from English-speaking countries, bilingual countries and Mainland China. Thanks to their being no barrier in communication, the physicians have won the trust of the patients and their families. Especially for patients from Mainland China, the language is a big attraction for them. They can adapt to the environment with a similar cultural background very easily with little anxiety as they are better informed of and feel more secure about the therapy process.
The definition of “success” in vitro fertilization (IVF) is to be pregnant and give birth to a fine healthy baby; hence, the key indexes that patients care the most during the treatment course are “implantation rate”, “pregnancy rate” and “live birth rate”. There are a few huge challenges need to be overcome during IVF treatment, including the 1st index “implantation rate” of IVF therapy—successful implantation at endometrium after embryo transfer—which represents the seed (embryo) will be stabilized in the uterus for growth and development. The 2nd index “pregnancy rate” indicates successful embryo development by a significant increased measurement on blood or urine hCG levels. Even so, it takes almost 10 months from pregnancy to “give birth to a baby”; hence, the “implantation rate” and “pregnancy rate” are only the primary indexes of success of IVF therapy. The “live birth rate”, an index since pregnancy, obstetric care until giving birth to a healthy baby safely, is the real “triumph” to the patient.
According to the statistics published by “ICMART” in 2013, the overall implantation rate of IVF therapy in Taiwan ranked the 2nd place worldwide, which almost equaled to the level in the US and became the leading country in Asia. The stable high success rate derives from updated medical research and enriched clinical experience from the physicians, advanced laboratory facilities and technology as well as patient-centered customized treatment plans (depending on their age, ovarian functions and causes of infertility, etc.).
In Taiwan, the average age of patients requiring IVF therapy is raising due to delayed marriage and childbearing. In order to solve infertility problems for patients with advanced maternal age (> 40 years old), physicians specialized in infertility treatment thereby sophisticate their techniques continuously and communicate with laboratory embryologists closely to increase the pregnancy rate of patients with advanced maternal age in Taiwan.
- Source: Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2012
- Source: American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2014
- Source: Collines AJ, Human Reproduction, 2013: 8;365-277
- Source: Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Bombay, India, November 7, 2013;
- Source: Reproductive BioMedicine Online, May 20
The average medical expenses for IVF therapy per cycle in Taiwan is about 120-180 thousand TWD, which are 60% cheaper than those in Hong Kong, Philippine and Singapore and 40% cheaper than in China. Therefore, the price for IVF treatment in Taiwan is affordable (50% of average price worldwide) and very competitive internationally.
- Source: Collines AJ Human Reproduction, 2013: 8;365-277
- Source: Int J Women’s Health, Published online 2014 Aug 21.
- Source: Ministry of Health, Singapore, 2014
During the treatment of infertility, the prescriptions for each patient depends on individual physical conditions. Therefore, a detailed explanation from the gynecologist and sufficient communication between both parties are the two key factors in the course for the couple to cooperate.
Because of the requirement of self-injection of drugs for ovulation induction, it could be a stress to inexperienced patients during the treatment. They not only worry about the success of the treatment, but also are under double stress of fearing for wrongly injection/administration. Especially when the patient return their hotel, prompt health education, consultation and response of the nursing team becomes crucial. So far, foreign patients were greatly satisfied with high-quality and high-efficiency medical care for infertility treatment in Taiwan. They especially were impressed with the kind and thoughtful attitude of the healthcare team.
In addition, the physicians in Taiwan are all at least bilingual (Mandarin and English); hence, patients from English-speaking countries, bilingual countries or China have no problems at all communicating with the medical team. Based on this, a trustable relationship between the medical team and the patients/family are built successfully. For patients from China, medical services in Taiwan are very attractive due to the advantages of language and similar cultural background. They can easily fit in the environment with less stress and effortlessly learn all kinds of treatment options and procedures with higher sense of security.
Taiwan not only is one of the top ten safe countries worldwide for tourism, but has diverse culture, scenery and attractions for touristsAccording to the report of TAIWAN TODAY published by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Life Magazine “Presscave” in the US selected Taiwan as the 2nd safest country worldwide for tourism in 2015. Moreover, according to the statistics of US FBI published on Lifestyle in July 2014, the security level in Taiwan ranked the 2nd place worldwide. Therefore, Taiwan is a great country for tourists to travel and long-stay.
The website of Taiwan Today from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs：http://taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xItem=227575&ctNode=2183 The special character of IVF treatment is that the patient doesn’t require staying in the hospital for a long time. At the beginning of ovulation induction, she only needs to make an appointment with the gynecologist every 2-4 days for checkups and menotropins dose adjustment. Even during the days prior to ovum pick up, the patient only needs to return to the center at fixed hour on daily basis for ultrasound examinations. In this case, the couple has plenty of free time exploring local culture.
Taiwan has diverse attractions and scenery, well-connected round-island railways as well as convenient high-speed rail to connect the North, Middle and South metropolitan regions a one-day living area. In this case, the couple under treatment may arrange trips to Hualien Taroko at Eastern Taiwan, Sun-Moon Lake or Alishan National Scenic Area at Middle Taiwan, or Kenting Forest Recreation Area at Southern Taiwan at the beginning of ovulation induction program when they have more free time. During the latter phase of daily ultrasound follow-ups and menotropins dose adjustment, the couple can arrange short trips such as one-day MRT tour in Taipei for visiting historic relics in National Palace Museum, shopping at Xinyi Commercial Center, or taking a walk at Tamsui Old Street and waterfront, etc. Furthermore the trip from downtown Taipei to North Shore Yehliu Geopark or Jiufen Old Street, it only takes half a day to visit seashore sceneries. The diverse and convenient travel resources are really helpful to relieve stress and anxiety for couples under treatment abroad.
Reproductive medicine community in Taiwan not only frequently publishes advanced study results in prestigious international journal, but also repeatedly hosts all kinds of large-scale international reproductive conferences. Therefore, the technology development of infertility treatment in Taiwan is advanced enough to keep pace with advanced countries in the Europe of US. The basic ovulation induction program includes the long protocol, the short protocol, the antagonist protocol, minimal ovarian stimulation, and dual-stimulation. Each protocol has its advantages and the physicians in Taiwan will recommend the best option and medication for individual patient depending on their physical conditions.
The most updated technology (e.g. PGS/PGD) has been studied and practiced for years in Taiwan, hence most of the reproductive centers can perform such procedures. PGS/PGD assures transplantation of healthy embryos, so it helps people with familial genetic diseases.
As to the medication, the prescriptions in Taiwan are based on gene engineered reagents, including Gonal-f® RFF* Redi-ject™, FSH/LH compound injection or long-acting FSH injection, which are all already approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
For luteal phase support after ovum pick up, the centers in Taiwan can provide advanced vaginal gel for patients in order to help them free from progesterone injections and greatly improve friendliness of infertility treatment.