Surveys on patients’ experiences of cross-border fertility treatment have reported a range of positive and challenging features. However, the number of such studies is limited, and there is no detailed qualitative account of the experiences of UK patients who travel overseas for fertility treatment. The present study used a cross-sectional, qualitative design and in-depth interviews. Fifty-one participants (41 women and 10 men, representing 41 treatment ‘cases’) participated in semi-structured interviews. The experiences reported were broadly positive with a large proportion of participants (39 cases, 95%) citing a favourable overall experience with only two cases (5%) reporting a more negative experience. Thematic analysis revealed 6 major categories and 20 sub-categories, which described the positive and challenging aspects of cross-border fertility travel. The positive aspects were represented by the categories: ‘access’, ‘control’ and ‘care and respect’. The more challenging aspects were categorized as ‘logistics and coordination of care’, ‘uncertainty’ and ‘cultural dissonance’. The study confirms findings from others that despite some challenges, there is a relatively high level of patient satisfaction with cross-border treatment with participants able to extend the boundaries of their fertility-seeking trajectories and in some cases, regain a sense of control over their treatment.
- cross-border reproductive care
- fertility tourism
- medical tourism
- patient-centred care