Cost of Fertility Treatment
If you and your partner have been experiencing difficulty getting pregnant, one thing that may have crossed your mind is the cost of infertility treatment. When it comes to female and male infertility, a coupleï¿½s main concern is usually the odds of getting pregnant associated with a specific type of fertility treatment. However, the costs of fertility treatment, including fertility tests and IVF costs, can pose a barrier for couples seeking help getting pregnant. Considering the financial options available to you and your partner when it comes to fertility treatments and different fertility clinics can help you prepare yourself financially when seeking assisted reproductive technology methods to help treat infertility.
NHS Funding For Fertility Treatment
In April 2005, the government announced that all couples experiencing infertility were entitled to one cycle of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) funded by the National Health Service (NHS) following years of unstandardized regulations regarding fertility treatment in the UK.
Other fertility treatment options are also available under the NHS include fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and IVF using donated eggs or sperm where donors are available.
However, certain conditions must be met in order for a couple to be eligible for coverage under the NHS which vary depending on the Primary Care Trust (PCT) operating in a given region. These conditions are often based on the criteria provided by the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) to determine whether a couple is considered infertile.
Some conditions affecting eligibility for NHS coverage of fertility treatment include the following:
- Age. Some PCTs will not cover a woman over the age of 40, and in many cases a couple must be between the ages of 23 and 39 in order to be considered for infertility treatment. However, some PCTs will only treat women between the ages of 35-39
- Identifiable Cause. In some cases, along with age, an identifiable cause of infertility, such as blocked fallopian tubes or unexplained infertility for at least three years, must be determined. In this case, a couple may be eligible for three cycles of IVF under the NHS
Some PCTs offer no funding for infertility treatment. Furthermore, it is common for couples to require a minimum of three IVF cycles before successfully getting pregnant, in which case the NHS may only provide partial funding.
Long waiting lists are common when it comes to infertility treatment coverage, leading many couples to resort to private treatment even if they do meet NHS eligibility criteria.
Private Treatment of Infertility
Many couples choose to receive a combination of both NHS and private treatment to fund infertility treatment costs.
Private clinics have their own criteria for infertility treatment eligibility and costs can vary by several thousand pounds between different fertility clinics. This makes it essential for a couple seeking infertility treatment to verify the exact cost of each treatment cycle, and what that cycle includes.
Cost of Infertility Treatment
The prices of private infertility treatment range depending on the clinic and regional location. The following represent the common price range of private infertility treatment packages including fertility drugs, scans, and consultations across the UK:
- IVF: £4,000 to £4,500
- IVF and ICSI: £5,000 to £5,500
- With donor eggs: £4,500 to £5,700
- PGD and IVF: £6,000
Fertility treatment packages under NHS funding may cost an infertility patient the following:
- IVF: £2,500 to £3,000
- IVF and ICSI: £2,800 to £3,500
- With donor eggs: £3,500 to £4,200
- PGD and IVF: £4,700
It is also important for a couple to consider the hidden costs of infertility treatment such as time taken from work or any travel expenses involved.
Many couples choose to seek infertility treatment abroad. However this option, while in many cases safe and cost effective, does carry potential risks and disadvantages, such as problematic health regulation standards.
For more information on financing infertility treatment, click here.
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