How do clinics structure their fertility price list?
What is generally presented on a fertility clinic’s website is a “headline” price of around £3,000 for an IVF treatment cycle. This is a “bare-bones” cost for the treatment, most of the treatment costs are not included in this figure. The total price of the IVF treatment may sometimes be up to double that presented, once medication and other service fees are added in.
It is worth checking with a clinic to see what items are included in their initial treatment package. We have included a list of items to ask about.
1. Nurse consultation or co-ordination during treatment
This is normally included as part of the initial IVF package, but you may want to confirm that this is the case with your clinic.
2. Ultrasound scans during treatment
This is normally included as part of the initial IVF package, but worth checking that this is the case with your clinic.
3. Monitoring blood tests
Not all clinics offer routine blood tests to monitor hormonal changes as part of their IVF package.
4. Egg collection and sedation
This is essential and will often be included as part of the initial IVF package.
5. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
This is for ICSI only. Some clinics suggest you use ICSI even if you have access to healthy sperm. This is normally not included as part of the IVF package.
6. Blastocyst culture
Most clinics don’t include this as part of the standard package, however, it is recommended in over 90% of cases, as it increases the implantation rate.
7. Embryo transfer
Embryo transfer - without sedation - is an essential part of any IVF treatment package and should always be included in the initial price.
If you require sedation, you might be charged separately for it.
8. Freezing (storage and maintenance) of any surplus embryos
Some clinics may offer one year storage of surplus embryos as part of the initial treatment package, some may not.
It is important to check with the clinic and the storage cost for future years (i.e. beyond the first year of storage) as you may want to freeze your embryos for frozen embryo transfer at a later date.
We suggest you check the clinic’s embryo storage policy for:
- How long you can store your embryos
- Whether it is possible for you to move frozen embryos to another clinic for future treatment and the costs (e.g. administrative costs, delivery costs).
- Frozen embryo transfer
Transfer of a frozen embryo is not normally included in the initial treatment package. If a fresh cycle cannot be carried out, for some reason, there might be an extra cost for a frozen embryo transfer.
Some clinics have a policy of not allowing freezing of any surplus embryos, in the case of NHS-funded patients.
It is important for an NHS-funded patient to check whether this is the case with the clinic before beginning treatment.
9. Pregnancy scan
Following a positive pregnancy test, some clinics offer a free early-stage pregnancy scan, which is mainly to check the presence of a heartbeat.
10. Follow-up consultation
It is important to check if the clinic will charge you for a follow-up consultation fee if the cycle fails.
11. Post-pregnancy treatment costs
Some clinics continue to treat pregnant patients up to 20 weeks gestation to reduce the chance of miscarriage. This follow-up will involve medication and further scans.
These “post-pregnancy” packages can result in patients spending around £15,000 for a complete IVF treatment cycle.
12. Counselling sessions
It is helpful to check if your clinic provides counselling session(s) as part of the treatment package.
A number of clinics offer one free counselling session. It is beneficial to attend at least one session, as the counsellors are specifically trained in helping patients with fertility issues.
13. Drug costs
Drug costs are not included in the standard treatment package as patients often require different drugs and dosage levels.
The average cost of fertility drugs ranges from £1,000 to £2,500. It is worth bearing in mind that you can always get a private prescription and source the medication from a cheaper outlet e.g. several supermarket pharmacy outlets, or online pharmacies, sell fertility drugs at cost price.
But you must check that these sources are reputable companies and that they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
14. HFEA license fee
Although this is rarely included in the headline treatment price, an HFEA license fee of £80 is charged, for each IVF cycle.
15. Donor sperm/donor egg
Donor sperm or donor egg will incur a separate cost which you need to check with a fertility clinic.