Unpicking IVF costs can be confusing, particularly for those embarking upon their first cycle. It is not uncommon for prospective patients to think that the cost listed as ‘IVF’ on a clinic’s price list is the price they’ll pay. The nasty surprise of extra costs comes during the initial consultation, if it is presented prior to treatment at all. That’s why we’re building comparison tables that take account of all the added extras – be it HFEA fees, blastocyst culture, or blood tests.
As our work is ongoing, we’d recommend asking these questions before you go for an initial consultation. To our mind, it isn’t fair for clinics to argue that they’ll tell you the cost when you’ve already paid them c.£200 for a consultation – they should be able to give you an approximation up front as some costs, such as HFEA fees, will apply to every patient. They know it. We know it. Now you know it. Ask this:
Understanding full IVF costs
1.Are there hidden extras to consider? Be specific if they aren’t forthcoming, e.g.
- Is sedation included? (some clinics charge separately for this).
- Are you passing on your HFEA fee to me as a patient?
- Are blood tests included?
- Do I have to pay extra for blastocyst culture?
- Are there any other ‘add-on’s you typically recommend, and if so, how much do they cost?
2. Approximately how much will the drugs cost? This does vary considerably by patient but they should still be able to give you a minimum to maximum range.
3. Can I buy the drugs elsewhere? Or do I have to buy them through your clinic? Some pharmacies, e.g. ASDA sell IVF drugs at cost price.
4. Will you refund unused drugs if you are supplying?
5. If I buy one cycle of IVF, can I then extend to a multi-cycle package? At what point do I have to make that decision?
Follow-up IVF costs
6. In the event of success, is a pregnancy scan included and will there be further costs for pregnancy monitoring?
7. In the event of failure, is a follow up consultation included in the package fee? (and how long will I have to wait for a follow-up appointment?)
8. How much of the package cost will you refund if we don’t get to egg collection?
9. Will you refund part of the package cost if we don’t get to embryo transfer?
10. Is counselling included? If so, what are the limitations (for example, some clinics will offer a counselling session only in the event of failure, some have time limits, some offer multiple sessions at any time).