Fertility treatment abroad is often far cheaper than it is in your home country, saving you as much as 50% to 75% in some cases. However, care is needed when comparing prices for fertility treatment abroad, as the headline price for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment can sometimes be misleading.
It is important to compare like for like when comparing prices, by including all the components of your treatment, such as:
You also need to compare other aspects of IVF pricing, such as:
Fertility clinics abroad do not all calculate their prices in the same way and it is important to ask what is included in the headline cost when comparing prices. The charges made by some fertility clinics will include drugs required for treatment, whereas with others this can be an extra. These drugs cost around $1,000 (approx £635 or €760) or more at most fertility clinics, so it is vital to know if they are included in the price.
When comparing prices even the little extras can soon mount up, adding unexpected amounts to your bill. A couple of blood tests at $100 (£63 or €76) and a $300 (£190 or €230) initial consultation fee can quickly add $500 (£315 or €385) to your bill that you may have thought was already included. Donor sperm and eggs, ICSI, assisted hatching, embryo freezing and storage can each add $200–$500 (£125–£320 or €155–€390), quickly doubling what looked like an affordable headline price.
If possible, you should ask fertility clinics for an all-inclusive price that covers one or more cycles of IVF treatment. This will make comparing prices much more meaningful.
As well as comparing prices, you need to compare the value you get for your money. This means comparing the fertility treatment standards, expertise, experience and success rates in your fertility clinic. You might also want to rate clinics on your own personal criteria, such as friendliness and language skills.
The more you pay, the better the standards and facilities you will get, so it is up to you to find the right balance. Ultimately, when comparing prices, you want to find the fertility clinic that meets all your requirements at the lowest price. You can then compare this to clinics that give you more but cost more, and clinics that are cheaper but offer you less, to find the deal that offers you the best value all round.
You will not be the only ones comparing prices, and the best value fertility clinics will always be the most popular. This can be another consideration when comparing prices. Are you prepared to delay your fertility treatment by joining a waiting list to save money, or are you happy to spend more to get your treatment straight away? The older you are, the more important prompt treatment may be, as fertility diminishes rapidly as you reach your forties.
One of the biggest factors that dilutes the savings made at fertility clinics abroad is the cost of travel and accommodation. For example, India offers some of the lowest prices for IVF treatment, but is a long haul flight from Europe, the USA and Australia. By contrast, if you are based in Europe, then low cost flights to places like Hungary and the Czech Republic can be surprisingly affordable, giving you access to very low cost IVF treatment without high travel costs.
The accommodation in major cities will be more expensive, but that is where the best fertility clinics tend to be, and so once again you will need to find a balance between quality and cost.
If you do not feel confident in comparing prices, or do not have the time to do so, you can engage the services of a medical tourism agency to do this for you. Medical tourism agencies specialise in putting together value for money packages, and competition means that they will work hard to offer the best price deals in the marketplace.
Do remember that comparing prices is not the only factor to consider. You should never compromise on safety to save money, nor should you choose a fertility clinic that you do not feel comfortable with just because it is cheaper. Obtaining fertility treatment is highly stressful and emotional, so you do not want to increase those worries by compromising on quality or confidence just to save a little more money.