IVF in Europe: Is It Cheaper?
Many people email me and ask whether IVF in Europe is actually cheaper than the UK. Spain and the Czech Republic are favourite destinations for many people, especially from the UK and Ireland. Greece is also popular too. If we take a look at the range of the advertised prices for egg donation in Spain it is between 6500-9000 Euros. In the Czech Republic this varies between 4500 and 6000 Euros. Of course, there are differences in what’s included in all prices, however, I have analysed enough price lists to be confident of these ballpark figures.
What about the UK? A quick trawl through some price lists in London reveals that prices range between £6500 and £9000. There will be extras to add on of course too but in general it is slightly more expensive than Spain if you take the exchange rate into consideration.
A treatment like egg donation can be difficult to compare, so let’s look at a technique which is directly comparable – the Embryoscope. The Embryoscope offers embryologists lots more information about embryos compared to the normal practise of taking the embryos out of the incubator to view and check on them at set times. The Embryoscope records information about cell division and timings and so the embryologists are able to make better decisions about which embryos are more likely to progress in development. You can find out more about embryo monitoring here. The cost of using the Embryoscope in both the Czech Republic and Spain is between 300-500 Euros. In the UK, it typically may cost around £750. So you can see that for some techniques there is a real cost saving.
Finally, let’s look at another technique “culture to blastocyst-stage”. First of all, what does this mean exactly? After an egg is fertilised by a sperm it is known as an embryo. The embryo undergoes a series of divisions to increase the number of cells it has. Eventually, at about day 5 after fertilisation, the embryo enters a stage called the ‘blastocyst’ stage. This is a stage where there are now two discernable cell types in the embryo. And is the stage the embryo needs to achieve for it to implant in the womb. More and more clinics are transferring embryos at the blastocyst stage as they then know that the embryo has achieved all it’s milestones and is ready to go back in the womb. Transferring embryos on day 3 means that it is impossible to know which embryos are likely to develop to the all-important blastocyst stage. Culturing the embryos on until day 5 obviously takes more effort and the embryo needs supported with different nutrients, so there is a cost to this procedure. In the Czech Republic, the cost of this procedure ranges from zero (i.e. it is included in packages) to around 300 Euros. In Spain the cost ranges from zero to 500 Euros. In the UK, a browse through price lists of some London clinics show a range of £200-£600.
So, in answer to the question is IVF in Europe any cheaper? I would say that in general treatment is slightly cheaper in some countries in Europe, and significantly cheaper in others. However, you need to consider travel expenses and the stress involved in travelling out of the country and your comfort zone before taking that next step. Our IVF Cost Calculator can provide some help with understanding costs.