There is nothing like home…

I think I found where “home” is when it comes to our infertility treatment. But, before I reveal its address, let me put a few things in context…

I was born in Brazil and came to Canada when I was 30 years-old. Therefore, even today, I have lived most of my life accustomed to the Health system in my home country. Brazil has many social and economical imbalances but, when it comes to the Health system, the difference can feel like an invisible abyss. Private medicine is available and is fantastic! I could consult with specialists (including fertility ones) without a gigantic waiting list, I had access to labs that look like research facilities and I was treated in hospitals and clinics that looked like five-star hotels. The abyss, however, became clear at time of payment, as I could only afford such treatment for having private insurance. But that was the medical environment I was used to.

So it was only natural that my wife, who is also Brazilian, and I had a bit of trouble adapting to the publicly funded Health Care system in Canada. I am not arguing that one system is better than the other; I am just saying it is different…

And those differences were pretty evident when it came to our past medical history in Toronto, leading my wife and I to developed very strong feelings about the Heath system in Canada.  Those opinions were no mystery to our friends and family and, unfortunately, were not positive ones either… We have had several adverse experiences since our arrival in 2002, ranging from misdiagnose to poor human interaction to procedures done wrong at about every major hospital in the Greater Toronto Area, including having a terrible first experience with fertility treatment on a cash-grabbing clinic in Oakville, ON.

We had not yet looked at specialized IVF clinics in Canada, but we had very few hopes that they would be any different than those we had experienced thus far. Therefore, frustrated with our options locally, we’ve decided to try our home Country, where we were familiar with the system, where private medicine is in existence, where family would be close by and where we felt Doctors were personable and approachable (they even gave us their cell phone number to call at anytime!).

We have definitely found what we were looking for in Brazil: a much welcoming clinic environment than we had ever experienced in Canada, a more personal relationship with the Doctor and the close support of our family. But we have also found that there is no magic to IVF. That the many elements that need alignment on Mother Nature’s formula for procreation do not change with country or language. That the basis for IVF treatment is the same, no matter where you are at in the globe.

We have done several IVF attempts in Brazil and unfortunately none was successful.

So, was the treatment received in Brazil better? Was it worse? Was it worth it? It is hard to find a simple answer to those questions… We have yet to have our dream of conceiving a child fulfilled so, from that perspective, I would say that going back to our home country was not a success. But, having said that, doing the treatment in Brazil was definitely necessary for us! For as expensive, frustrating and emotionally draining as it was, I am confident that we would have never rested our hearts should we have not tried it…

As I write these words, we are now back in Canada, continuing our journey with the help of a local IVF clinic. And it feels like a great one! Definitely there is no difference between Canada and Brazil when it comes to the IVF clinics we’ve experienced. And the approach and treatment of our local Doctor is, in my opinion, far superior to the one we received in our home country! He is approachable, more practical and scientific about the entire process and his staff is fantastic! So, have we found locally a solution to our infertility issue? I truly hope so, but only time will tell…

What is the lesson learned from this experience? Well, it is easy now to look back and point-out the hits and misses on our “home adventure”, but I believe I learned that “home” is where it feels right. That “home” is where our hearts are at ease and where my wife and I feel comfortable at the time. That the best Doctor will be the one who ultimately would lead us to a successful pregnancy. No matter where he or she is located…

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