In vitro fertilisation, commonly known as IVF, is a medical procedure used to help couples who struggle with fertility issues. The procedure involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries or a donor and fertilising them with sperm in a laboratory. The resulting embryo is then transferred to the woman’s uterus with the hope of achieving a successful pregnancy. While IVF has helped many people’s dreams come true, it comes at a significant financial cost. Especially when you don’t qualify for NHS funding. In this article, we will discuss the real cost of IVF treatment in the UK, including the hidden costs that many people may not be aware of.
The Cost of IVF Treatment in the UK
The cost of IVF treatment in the UK varies depending on several factors, such as the clinic you choose, your age, and the number of cycles required. The NHS does offer funded IVF treatment as long as you meet certain criteria. For example, for women under 40, you may be offered up to three rounds of IVF on the NHS if they have been trying to conceive without success for 2 years or more and when they have been unable to get pregnant through artificial insemination. Women between 40 and 42 may be offered one funded round if they meet similar criteria.
For some people, it’s simply too long to wait, especially when we know that our fertility decreases with age as it is, so the alternative is to go private if you can afford to.
The average cost of a single cycle of IVF in the UK is between £5,000 and £8,000. However, this cost isn’t all-inclusive and does not include several other expenses that patients may incur during the IVF process. Research conducted by IVF insurance company Gaia revealed that the average amount a heterosexual couple spend on IVF is £13,730, and for a same-sex couple, that cost increases to £15,512 due to the requirements of a donor egg and/or sperm.
It was also interesting to read that a huge 78% of those surveyed said they went into debt over IVF treatment. It causes so many people a lot of stress and anxiety as they are quite literally giving the IVF treatment their all – both financially and emotionally.
The financial costs of IVF are considerable, and it’s something that doesn’t get talked about enough. We highlight what additional costs might be incurred through your IVF journey to help you go into the process with your eyes open.
Hidden Costs of IVF Treatment in the UK
One of the biggest hidden costs of IVF treatment is the cost of medications. During an IVF cycle, women need to take a series of medications to stimulate their ovaries to produce more eggs. These medications can be very expensive, with some costing up to £1,000 per cycle. Additionally, some women may require additional medications to prepare their uterine lining for embryo transfer.
Additional Tests and Procedures
IVF treatment may require additional tests and procedures that can add to the cost. For example, women may need to undergo a hysteroscopy, which involves examining the inside of the uterus using a thin tube with a camera. This procedure can cost up to £2,000. Additionally, some clinics may recommend pre-implantation genetic testing, which can cost up to £5,000 per cycle.
Many couples require multiple cycles of IVF to achieve a successful pregnancy. This means that the cost of IVF treatment can quickly add up. While some clinics offer discounted rates for multiple cycles, the cost can still be significant.
Time Off Work
IVF treatment can be a time-consuming process, requiring several appointments and procedures. This can result in significant time off work, especially where your employer doesn’t offer time off for fertility treatment.
We know that IVF treatment can take a toll on your emotional well-being as well as your wallet. The whole process is extremely stressful and emotional. The uncertainty of whether the treatment will be successful when you have invested so so much can be draining and hard to cope with. Although we can’t put an amount next to the emotional cost, it’s so important to have a strong support network around you to help you through the ups and downs that come with undergoing IVF treatment.
There’s no doubt that IVF is an expensive and emotionally challenging process. If you are at the start of your journey, it’s important to consider all of the costs involved in IVF treatment. Including hidden costs when making the decision. While the cost can be daunting, many couples find that the end result – a successful pregnancy – is 100% worth the investment. Whatever you decide, the ladies in the Hoopsy Fertility Community are here to support you, Come and join in the conversation and find your #fertilitybestie.