How Much Does Fertility Treatment Cost?
Millions of couples are having trouble getting pregnant. In the United Kingdom alone, an estimated 10% of trying couples will meet the clinical definition of infertility; according to the Human Embryo Fertilisation Authority (HEFA). HEFA is the governing authority, which oversees the delivery of fertility treatments in the UK. Advances in medical research have lead to effective options to treat infertility—albeit at a hefty price. Although the NHS provides funding for fertility treatments, the long waiting lists and strict criteria, force many to consider other alternatives.
Helping couples overcome infertility begins with identifying the cause of this problem, which can affect both the male and female reproductive system. Medically defined; infertility is the inability to conceive after multiple sustained attempts of unprotected sex for at least 12 months.
NHSNHS provides funding for 1 cycle of IVF for women who have met the clinical definition of infertility, providing they have an identifiable cause to their infertility. Other restrictions include the presence of existing children and age above 40. Even still the trying couple may be subject to further limitations depending on where they attempt to seek fertility care.
Determining the cost of infertility treatment is complicated and often confusing. It is best to get a quote from several different fertility clinics. Even within the private sector, fertility treatment prices differ substantially. Some include the price of medications in their final price, whilst others quote only for the fertility treatment procedure; so it is important to ask what is included in the quote, especially if it sounds too low.
Other options for cost reduction include providing donor eggs to other infertile women when undergoing a cycle of IVF. This “egg donor-sharing program” may not be offered by all clinics but it can reduce the cost of treatment substantially and is something worth looking into. According to HEFA the average cost of 1 cycle of IVF including drugs is between £4,000 and £8,000. This includes fertility testing and consultation fees. Other treatments such as ICIS and GIFT may be more expensive.
Tests Before TreatmentBefore a fertility treatment is initiated, various forms of tests are performed such as blood tests, ultrasound procedures and radiographs. The pricing of these diagnostic procedures range from £40 for the simple blood tests to over £200 for ultrasound tests. For males a basic semen analysis can run around £100, whereas an advanced version can cost over £ 350. Remember these price quotes are not absolute, but they can serve as a guide to get an idea of what may be involved financially when considering such treatments.
Seeking fertility help can be a long and arduous process. Seeking the right care at a reasonable price requires a lot of leg work. It is important to remain educated on what treatments are offered and at what price. Knowing what is included in the fertility treatment package can reduce the stress of an already stressful endeavour and prevent unwanted surprises. Fertility treatment is full of uncertainties, it is best to avoid financial ones wherever possible.