TV 2, Norway. Hanne Taalesen & Anine Hallgren. 2 September 2018
Original video and text on Norwegian here: www.tv2.no/nyheter/10045386/
Translation to English:
Fertility doctor Olga Zaytseff travels to Norway six times a year to inform Norwegian patients about the possibilities of fertility treatment in Russia.
— 'Either you give birth to a child after a few limited attempts, or you get your money back.'
Dr. Olga Zaytseff talks to a fully crowded hall at Litteraturhuset in Oslo.
Together with her team, she travels from St. Petersburg, Russia six times a year to Norway to inform patients about what her clinic can offer Norwegians struggling to have children.
— ‘The money back guarantee will at least make the financial investment correlate with the result’, Dr. Zaytseff informs the audience this evening.
More than 70 people are attending the lecture; many of these are couples with a desperate wish to have children.
Every year 2500 Norwegian children are born because of fertility treatment. Many of these get help through public and private clinics here in Norway. But many, despite several attempts, still do not have a baby so more and more are looking abroad after having tried many times at home.
Story: Monika and Steinar will travel to Russia to fulfill the baby dream
The clinic in St. Petersburg had its first Norwegian patient in 2005 and claims they are visited by approx. 100 Norwegian woman each year!
— ‘Todays methods make it possible for any woman that is physically and mentally fit to have a child’, claims Dr. Zaytseff.
Her clinic in St. Petersburg advertise their baby guarantee, ‘3 IVF attempts with own eggs to achieve a child or 80 percent of your money back’.
— ‘It is not a marketing trick, this is the only responsible way to offer fertility treatment’, says Dr Zaytseff.
— 'Do you take any chances by offering this guarantee?'
— ‘Only by risking losing the money, if we don’t succeed’
— ‘And how are your success rates?’
— ‘Our success rates are quite high and it has made it possible for us to offer this guarantee. If the success rates are high enough, you can offer this’.
Statistics from the Institute of public health estimates that around 390 children were born from different fertility treatments abroad. But the statistics are not exact, as there is no requirement for the mother to register that she conceived through fertility treatment.
The clinic in St. Petersburg feels they succeed with individually focused treatment.
— 'We don't give the same treatment to a big group of patients, with the same, or different conditions', says Dr Zaytseff.
Sceptic to statistics
In Trondheim gynecologist and researcher Liv Bente Romundstad is skeptical to fertility treatment abroad.
— 'For treatment options that are legal in Norway, I have seen no reliable statistics that support that you increase your chances by traveling abroad, says Romundstad who holds a research position at the Institute of public health at the same time as she runs the private fertility clinic ”Spiren”'.
— 'The fact that people go abroad, is that not a sign that the Norwegian system is not good enough?'
— 'No it is not. But it is a sign that there is a market here. Couples are seeking, and there is a steady increase in a number of couples seeking help, so they get captured by companies offering such seminars', she says.
Romundstad finds the offer of baby guarantee strange.
— ‘A good fertility clinic is supposed to do its upmost for everyone in each cycle with, or without guarantee’.
She asks people to ask for advice in Norway before they consider going abroad.
— 'It is easy to go wild in the internet jungle and one is a vulnerable and easy prey in such a situation', says Romundstad to TV 2.
Monika and Steinar will travel to Russia to fulfil the baby dream
This is Monica and Steinar. They have driven for 3 hours from Valdres to Oslo to meet Dr. Olga.
— 'We have a few questions'.
For 8 years they have wanted their son to have a sibling.
— We have a child from before, and therefore we thought that everything would go without a problem when we wanted a child number 2. It did not work.
Etter 4 IVF attempts in Norway, both public and private, without achieving a baby, they are tired of a system they feel are to ”square-headed” That's why they are now looking to Russia.
— ‘We have a child from before, and therefore we thought that everything would go without a problem when we wanted a child number 2. But, It did not work’.
After 4 IVF attempts in Norway, both public and private, without achieving a baby, they are tired of a system they feel are to ‘square-headed’ This is why they are now looking to Russia.
— ‘Steinar never gives up. When I am down, he pulls me up. That’s why we try again. But, I know I will never try again in Norway’.
For Monica and Steinar the personal service the foreign clinics can offer is important, as they experienced the Norwegian system as non-personal.
— ‘It was not the same doctor that followed you, it was one, then another, then a third. You don’t feel taken care of, and I did not like it. It’s a very vulnerable position and it hurts when you don’t succeed. It is very difficult. It is very difficult’.