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Monday, May 29, 2023

‘A long-awaited moment’: Three Costa Rican couples expecting babies thanks to IVF

Public access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Costa Rica has been a fight decades in the making. For years, couples with infertility issues faced either a total ban on IVF or limited access in private clinics.

Thursday, Costa Rica’s Social Security System (CCSS, or Caja) announced that for the first time since IVF was legalized by a 2016 executive decree, three couples are pregnant as a result of the socialized healthcare system’s services.

“The Unit of Reproductive Medicine of High Complexity that we recently inaugurated just a couple of months ago is already bearing the greatest fruit and is giving couples the dream of having a baby,” said Dr. Román Macaya Hayes, executive president of the institution.

“This is a moment that has been long-awaited and yearned for.”

The Unit of Reproductive Medicine of High Complexity opened in July 2019 after an investment of nearly $8.5 million.

It is expected to deal with 178 cases per year, 38 of which were prioritized by the Caja earlier this year.

As part of the first cycle, nine women were transferred fertilized eggs, and three are now in their 10th week of gestation.

“It’s one of the things that I hoped for the most, what I dreamed of the most,” said Keilyn Molina, one of the three pregnant women. “I look in the mirror and think: ‘It’s true, it’s true, I’m pregnant.’

“It is one of the most wonderful experiences I have had in this life.”

For years, Costa Rica was the only country in the Western Hemisphere to ban IVF. It was re-legalized via executive decree in 2016; at the time, the Costa Rican government predicted it would take two years for IVF to be available as part of the public healthcare system.

Read more about IVF in Costa Rica: 


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