Low Cost IVF Clinics – Do They Exist?
In a previous post on this blog, Kate Brian discussed why people travel abroad for IVF treatment. The cost of IVF treatment at home is one reason why people do consider treatment abroad. A recent article in The Guardian highlighted the cost of treatment in the UK. According to the author, each private cycle costs between £6000-£10 000 with some London clinics charging up to £15 000. According to fertility expert Robert Winston, people in the UK are paying way over the true cost of treatment and are being “ripped-off”. Searching for a quality low cost IVF clinic abroad may be an option when faced with the cost of a privately-funded treatment cycle at home.
I have travelled to some of the clinics listed on this website (not all) and I was impressed by the facilities. The labs were well equipped and modern and the patient areas were pleasant and warm. I found the staff to be friendly and open, but I understand that being a patient at a clinic will be a completely different experience. However, one common denominator was that the price of IVF treatment in all of the clinics was much lower than private treatment in the UK.
People focus on IVF statistics. Of course IVF results are important, but usually there is not a huge difference between clinics, particularly for egg donation. In my opinion, the most important aspects when choosing a clinic are around the staff. Their professionalism and expertise, their approach and communication and their empathy and understanding. There are various interviews with staff members from IVF clinics featured on this blog to try and provide more insight into some of these areas.
IVF Treatment Cost
The cost of treatment can be difficult to understand at each clinic. Comparing one clinic with another can lead to frustration. Sometimes what is included in one clinic isn’t in another. Some clinics do provide an overall cost with guaranteed no extras added. For some people this provides total peace of mind. It is confusing. I have included a guide to help you if you do want to compare one clinic with another.
Low Cost Options
But is it worth going abroad? Do quality low cost IVF clinics exist in Europe? In my opinion I would suggest that they do. There is a huge choice of IVF treatment centres in Europe and if you are willing to travel you will find a suitable clinic that ticks all your boxes. The obvious choices are Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Bulgaria and other Easter European countries. Compared to the treatment cost in the UK, for example, IVF treatment in the Czech Republic can be up to half the cost.
Some clinics in the Czech Republic offer IVF treatment starting at 2100 Euros. At today’s exchange rate that is just over £1700. Some people worry about the standards abroad. How can the price be so low? Surely it must be because standards are lower. In fact many countries like the Czech Republic have strict laws in place and are regularly inspected by the government authorities. The lower price is due to the lower cost of living in these countries.
Some might argue that when you add in the cost of travel and all incidental costs then there is not much difference between travelling and staying at home. With careful planning and research into all options, I still believe that there are savings to be made on the cost of treatment.
As with everything, you need to research carefully to ensure that the clinic is the right one for you. Although treatment costs can be lower, it may be that you don’t feel comfortable with some aspect. It may be that communication is poor and you are not getting the information in a timely fashion. Or it may be that you have heard via forums that the clinics approach to treatment is not what you want. So cost isn’t everything. It is a huge step to go abroad for treatment and to choose a clinic based on cost alone would not be a good strategy and would not be recommended.