Why is the average IVF cost different among fertility clinics?

by Chrysa Karakosta, last updated 02 Mar 2021,

3 min read

The real (and hidden) costs you need to know.

So you are considering fertility treatment abroad and you are trying to create a table comparing your favourite 5 clinics. Where it all gets very complicated is when you try to compare prices. So why does the average IVF treatment cost vary so much between fertility clinics?

To begin with, fertility prices vary from country to country. Cost differences may arise from the actual average cost of living in each country or even from how the whole healthcare cost effectiveness system is organised in each country.
Also what each clinic charges for its services differs and there are also variations in how these costs are expressed (individual pricing of each stage of the treatment or a total treatment package cost). It is, furthermore, important to note that costs depend heavily on patient characteristics and what their treatment will involve and if there is any insurance coverage as well.

If the total cost is expressed as a treatment cycle package (a cycle is the name that is used to describe one round of IVF treatment) then it is important to investigate what is included in this package. Some examples of what can be included in a package cost can be seen below:

  • Initial consultation with the fertility doctor and team and any follow up consultations
  • Back-up sperm freezing (if required)
  • Monitoring ultrasound scans/blood tests (if performed onsite and not in a different location)
  • Medications for stimulation in an own egg treatment cycle
  • Testing and monitoring of an egg donor in donation cycles.
  • Medications for the egg donor in donation cycles
  • Sedation fees
  • ICSI (where needed)
  • Blastocyst culture
  • Embryo freezing and storage

In many cases, the pricing described on websites or brochures does not include the full costs associated with treatment and therefore may be misleading. For this reason, it is important before making your final decision on a specific clinic to speak directly with them and discuss the exact cost breakdown and whether there are any hidden costs that will arise later on.

One thing that shows up right away in a comparative search is the conclusion that every clinic is not the same, and there is no standard cost for IVF.

Moreover, it is of significant importance to note that many IVF clinics offer "add-ons" to allegedly boost success rates. However, the cost of these additional services can be prohibitive for many couples and their effectiveness is far from clear. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, in the UK, has introduced on their website a ‘traffic light’ system to rate the effectiveness of these various add ons to assist patients in making an informed decision.

When making your final decision you have to keep in mind that costs alone should not be the only factor that will determine the clinic you will choose. You also need to understand that the quality of a clinic will also impact the cost of treatment. Cheap services can be alluring, but may end up being a more costly solution if they lead to many repeated failed IVF cycles. Therefore, do also inquire about success rates, experience of the medical and scientific team, how advanced the equipment is in the laboratory, if they have a dedicated International team and all other aspects that may affect your decision and may explain the differences in the cost of your treatment.

Newlife IVF Greece is a clinic that treats a large number of International Patients from all over the world. We are committed to offering the best possible treatment at a price that is affordable and transparent. Our ethos is to offer the best quality of care with our patient’s needs and wants being our priority. Why not arrange a one hour free medical consultation to meet us and discuss your case with our medical and scientific team.

Chrysa Karakosta

Chrysa Karakosta, BSc, MSc

Chrysa is the Lab co-Director at Newlife IVF Greece, in Thessaloniki Greece, from the beginning of 2010 and now heads the International Patient Department.

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