Edited on June 15, 2012: This has been a very popular post. A fertility doctor in Korea just found this post and would like to offer her services to the expat community so I am adding it to this post and you can find the original post after. Maria Fertility Hospital is one of the largest IVF center in Korea. We perform more than three thousand IVF a year with high success rate. The international clinic offers infertility lectures in English occasionally and the schedule will be posted in advance. Dr. Hyejun Lee and Yeonhee Ku are in charge of the clinic. The address is 103-11 Shinseol-Dong, Dondaemun-Gu, Seoul Tel 02 2250 5515 website: http://www.mariababy.com/eng/aboutclinic/about1.htm By subway get off at Shinseol-Dong station of Line Number 1 or Line Number 2, and get out at exit number 6(Line No.1)or exit number10(Line No.2). * Free parking avaiable Edited on February 19, 2009 to add: My friend (referenced below) gave birth to a baby boy on September 1, 2009. The IVF worked on the first try. Also, a blog reader who found this post last year just wrote me to say that she is due March 12 after a successful IVF at Cha. So a few positive stories and baby dust for all of you reading this post!
If you are a foreigner in Korea and find yourself needing fertility treatments, I have some good news. Infertility treatments can be scary/frustrating/exhausting/physically and emotionally demanding, even if you are in your home country. In Korea, they don't have anything magic to take away that part of it, but it is extremely affordable compared to places like the US. The financial burden can add even more pressure to an already pressure-filled situation. In Korea, however, one round of IUI is 1,000,000 won and 1 round of IVF is 3,000,000 won. With the exchange rate, right now, you can get 5 IVF's for the price of 1 in the US. Now, I don't wish 5 IVFs on anyone, but it is nice to know that you can afford a lot more chances.
From my friend who is currently doing IVF (think positive thoughts for her):
Cha hospital, they are #1 in the country (remember the country is small.) tricare (for military) has a bus twice a day that takes you there. or you can take the subway, green line to Yeoksam, exit 7, go straight (there is a bus that you can take one stop, never have it is a short walk, so i don't remember the number.) Once you are a client they will give you a free parking pass and you can drive. walk about 10 mins and you will see the hospital on your right, in there is the International Clinic, across the street is the fertility clinic. the lady at the International Clinic's name is Julian Kim and her number is 02-3468-3127 or cell 010-9161-3117. the address is 650-9 Yeoksam, Kangnamgu, seoul 135-081
website: www.chamc.co.kr Julian's email is : firstname.lastname@example.org
The doctor speaks ok English, Dr Kim (of course) most of the place can speak enough English to get you around, but you are definitely in Korea when you are there.
I think he told me their success rate was in the 40's for couples in there 30's, something like 42%*
I don't know much about protocol in the US as we never did it there, but i do know that there is no law in Korea about how many eggs you can implant, I think they do about three there, but should know more about that next week.
The cost for iui is about 1 million, and for ivf is about 3 million, however you pay as you go, so you have to carry the money with you each time that is a bit of a pain, unless you use a credit card.
*Back to me: A note on success rates, in the US many clinics advertise a 90+% success rate, but they really push people to donor eggs sooner and there are many factors going into it so you can't really compare rates unless you know everything that goes into coming up with the rates.
I have another friend doing IUI at the same clinic this week as well. I gave her the belly rub for luck. Again, positive thoughts for her as well.