So you find yourself living in the Land of the Rising Sun.
You and your partner decide, “let’s have a kid!”
However, a year goes by and a mini-you does not appear. What to do?
It’s time to check out the booming infertility business of Japan first hand. You look up a reputably clinic and book an appointment. Since you and your partner both work, you have to go on a Saturday.
Unfortunately, the clinic you want to visit is super-popular and doesn’t have a weekend slot until three months from now. You’re okay with that. You can wait a little longer.
Well, three months roll around and you get to the clinic, shocked to find every inch of wall lined with a plastic plant or a chair. And every chair is full. Some people are standing.
You go to the nurse and explain you have a booking. She gives you a number and tells you to wait until your called. Lovely.
When they say 1pm appointment that doesn’t mean you see the doctor by 1pm. You will wait your turn. As you stand around in the waiting room, getting to either get your blood drawn or pee into a cup, you see a glorious seat appear and snatch it up.
Ah-hah! You are one of the seated!
No sooner do you enjoy your newfound comfort when you and your partner are summoned to see the doctor. As much as you wanted a female doctor, those are hard to find in your area.
The doctor sees you, but won’t give any definitive answer on what’s wrong. Instead he consults you and suggests more tests and, oh can you come in again two weeks from now.
Yeah, you get to do it over and over again.
Months go by. You get put on clomid and other mild stimulants. You have to take off work. Your boss is displeased. Nada.
In Japanese fertility clinics, you are shown into booths and the walls are thing. The woman sometimes cry softly on the other side. the doctor’s words are too muffled to be sure, but it sounds like bad news.
By now, you know the drill. The doctors won’t comfort you, that’s what the nurses are for.
Finally, you’ve had enough and decide to switch clinics. The next one seems better. The doctor has better bedside manners. However, it’s always the same.
At last it’s IVF. What will that cost in Japan? You’ve read in the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe of figures ranging from $20,000-50,000.
You are relieved that the whole process will cost under $10,000 and then you are floored. That’s still a hefty sum. It’s only if it goes all the way to a transfer, but still…
Ah, the government will help out with your first try. Maybe this won’t be so bad…
Oh, but this is only the beginning of your woes…