You may be interested in reading about the surprising cost of IVF abroad.
In order to calculate costs and compare like-with-like, we have suggested using the following set of criteria below. Using these criteria may make it easier for you to compare the cost at one clinic with the cost at another. In almost all cases, it is assumed that all the tests required to start treatment will have been undertaken at home. If not, then these incur a further expense.
Everyone is different so the amount and extent of treatment you require will obviously change depending on your particular requirements but we hope by accessing our Cost Calculator you will have a better understanding of the likely costs you are likely to witness.
Need to find an IVF clinic to compare IVF costs?
Calculating Egg Donation Costs
For egg donation treatment the criteria which we suggest to compare like-with-like are:
- Initial consultation – this may be deductible from the final price.
- Sperm freezing – required so that there is a backup, or to reduce the amount of time spent abroad.
- Donor stimulation – drugs for the donor are sometimes not included in the price, so check this.
- ICSI – usually always used in treatment.
- Embryo Monitoring
- Cultivation to blastocyst – some fertility clinics do not always include this in the headline price so best to check.
- Embryo freezing using vitrification method – why vitrification? Find out more about embryo freezing here.
- Medication for you as a recipient is rarely included in any price promoted by a clinic.
Calculating IVF Costs
For IVF treatment the criteria which we suggest to compare like-with-like are:
- Initial consultation
- Sperm freezing
- Screening of diseases for male and female partner (mandatory)
- Sedation – check that this is included as sometimes it is an additional cost
- Embryo monitoring
- Cultivation to blastocyst
- Embryo freezing using vitrification method -why? Find out more about embryo freezing here.
- Medication for you is rarely included.
IVF costs – what you need to know
Private fertility clinics are free to set their own costs just like any other private healthcare provider which means that you will find that the same treatments can cost different amounts in different clinics. It is therefore very important that you understand what is included in any quote and compare it against a number of providers to ensure you choose the right treatment at the most appropriate cost.
Some clinics may quote a cost for treatment only (i.e., IVF or ICSI) and not include the cost of medication which can be expensive, freezing and storing surplus embryos or associated administration costs. Others may quote for everything in a set package and although this might seem expensive it might be more appropriate. On the other hand, if you sign up for a treatment package you need to be certain that you need all the included aspects! Put simply, identifying costs can be a time consuming and confusing exercise. In fact, obtaining a quote for a specific treatment will often test the resolve of the most diligent researcher!
Most good clinics will present costs on their website – this is particularly so with countries like the UK, the Czech Republic and Greece. Treatment costs for clinics in Spain which attracts most international patients can be more difficult to ascertain – patients are encouraged invariably to contact the clinic by email or phone to obtain a specific quote.
When seeking IVF costs at different clinics check to see if the provider also offers an IVF Programme Guarantee scheme which offers a number of treatment cycles for a fixed cost that is redeemable at different stages if the treatment is unsuccessful.
Whilst the cost of fertility treatment varies considerably between countries there is a lower differential between providers in the same country. One tip therefore might be to choose a country in which treatment is regulated and available to suit your requirements and then choose a number of options with which to compare IVF costs.
You then choose like for like treatments that are bound by the same regulatory and legislative rules and standards.
The cost of fertility treatment explained
When searching for IVF costs you will generally come across a ‘headline’ figure – for example, ‘one cycle costs €2,500’ – this can refer to a fixed but limited set of activities which could include any scans, egg collection, embryology and embryo transfer. There are however a whole host of additional activities which may need to be factored in when calculating your fertility treatment cost. Some of these activities are indicated below with average, indicative costs which have been collected from clinics across Europe;
- Initial baseline diagnostic tests (male and female): € 500
- Specialist consultation: Many providers offer a free initial consultation but where this is not available expect to pay a minimum of €250
- Donor sperm samples from International Sperm Bank: € 250
- IUI AID – insemination with partner’s sperm or donor sperm: € 500
- Egg, embryo or sperm vitrification and storage: € 250+ for one year
- Medication: € 1,000
- Monitoring scans: € 300
- Embryo monitoring: € 800
IVF costs can therefore soon mount up. Added to this list you have a range of additional services and treatments like Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis testing and endometrial scratching which can add an additional hundreds of euros to the cost of fertility treatment.
Your specific fertility treatment cost might involve none, some or all of the above costs but you need to factor these activities in at the start of your journey to have a realistic and accurate appraisal of the overall cost of your IVF treatment.
How to finance/cover the IVF costs?
Patients employ a variety of means to pay for the cost of fertility treatment. If you are living in the UK you might be entitled to a fixed number of IVF cycles based on where you live – funded cycle provision under the NHS varies considerably region by region. State aid is a feature of many other European countries – discounts ranging from around 90% in Belgium, France, Greece, Netherlands and Slovenia, to 20-30% in Bulgaria, Romania and Spain are available.
In recent years there has been the emergence of many IVF Refund Programmes both for IVF with own eggs and egg donation treatments. These programmes managed by private companies offer the promise of certain refunds if a pregnancy is not achieved within a number of cycles. The price of the programmes are fixed and patients have to satisfy strict eligibility criteria to be able to access them.
Other clinics offer in-house finances packages which are tied to specific treatments. In the UK egg sharing is also offered as a way of reducing costs. Egg Sharing is a process in which a woman (the sharer or donor or provider) going through IVF treatment elects to donate half of her eggs to another woman who needs donor eggs because the recipient woman is unable to produce her own. The sharer then receives a discount on their treatment cost.
Alternatively patients use savings and loans to fund IVF costs and many have had to resort to online funding platforms such as GoFundMe or CrowdFunder to help fund IVF costs.
How to calculate/check costs in particular IVF clinics?
There are country-based differences with regard to what IVF costs are publicly shared. In the UK clinics provide a lot of information online which is freely available but one criticism is that some clinics only promote whole treatment packages and do not provide a breakdown of the costs of individual elements.
Across Spain 90% of clinics don’t publish price lists on their websites and a similar picture exists in other countries such as North Cyprus and Ukraine. Interestingly, countries, where the numbers of international patients are growing substantially, are beginning to embrace online transparency and freely share prices without you having to register an interest. These countries include Greece and the Czech Republic.
It is also difficult to price certain treatments with providers in different countries. A good example of this are the costs associated with Frozen Embryo Transfers. We found during our research that many patients were not informed that the use of frozen embryos might be considered during their treatment and were therefore not told about the cost of the treatment until they were committed to it.
Once again it is important to identify what specific treatments you require and get like for like costs from a number of treatment providers. It might also be a good idea to discuss the cost of alternative treatments which might be considered during your treatment thus avoiding any surprises further down the line.
If you need help choosing an IVF clinic abroad – spare 3 minutes of your time.
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