The single biggest factor that drives people to seek infertility treatment abroad is the cost. The price of infertility treatment abroad can be less than half the cost of similar treatment in your home country, even when you include the price of flights and accommodation.
There are many different aspects to the overall cost of infertility treatment, however, and it is important that you consider all of these when working out the final price and comparing infertility clinics on cost. These include:
The cost of infertility treatment abroad varies widely across the world, from up to $8,000 (approximately £5,000 or €6,000) per IVF cycle in the United States, to as low as $2,500 (approximately £1,600 or €2,000) in the Czech Republic and Latvia. On average, IVF treatment in the major infertility treatment destinations costs between $3,000 and $6,000 (£2,000 to £4,000 or €2,300 to €4,600) per cycle. See our table of typical IVF costs for more details on 25 top destinations.
In addition to this cost, you will normally have to pay for hormonal treatment that is used to promote the production of multiple eggs for in vitro fertilisation. Again, these will vary in price, from as little as $600 (£400 or €460) in Turkey to over $3,000 (£2,000 or €2,300) in Canada.
If you are using donor eggs or sperm this will add extra costs to your treatment. Donor sperm is significantly cheaper than donor eggs, since the process of retrieval is so much simpler and does not require fertility drugs or complex harvesting techniques. Donor sperm can cost as little as $300 (£200 or €230) whereas donor eggs, including medication and treatment, can add upwards of $2,000 (£1,300 or €1500) to your bill.
As with most things in life, you will get what you pay for with infertility treatment abroad. Infertility clinics in Eastern Europe and Asia have significantly lower prices, but they may also have lower safety standards than you might expect in your home country. The more you are prepared to put up with in terms of unfamiliar environments, the more you will be able to save.
On the other hand, if you want to feel at home, with the high standards and facilities you would find in the West, then you will inevitably pay a little more. Infertility clinics that offer luxury facilities, or a particularly desirable location, such as the Caribbean, may cost you more again, but then you could benefit from a top quality holiday there as well as your infertility treatment.
How much you save, compared to prices in your home country, is ultimately up to your own personal taste and budget, but shopping around and comparing prices will help you find the lowest cost for the standards you set, and you should be able to find a happy compromise that offers genuine value for money.
One of the hardest costs to calculate when working out the price of infertility treatment abroad is the time you will be away. If you have infertility treatment at home, then you will be able to continue working in between appointments, taking just a few days off to rest after the implantation of your embryos.
Depending on the treatment you have overseas, you may need to stay for several weeks from the start of your treatment until the embryos have been safely implanted. This is not only expensive in terms of accommodation, but also means an extended time off work. Alternatively, you may be able to return home in between stages of your treatment, but again this will add the cost of multiple flights and transfers to the overall price.
There are many ways to do this. For example, you should always shop around for the best price for your chosen treatment, and make sure that the infertility clinics know this and so give you their best price. Playing two or three clinics off against each other can often generate extra discounts that weren’t originally offered.
Using a medical tourism agency is also a great way to reduce costs, as they often have special deals and relationships with infertility clinics due to the volume of clients they deliver. You may not be able to access these deals directly.
You may also be able to reduce the costs of your treatment by offering any spare sperm or eggs for donation to other clients. Some infertility clinics operate gamete swap systems that help multiple clients to form a chain in which each gets the gametes that they lack in exchange for spare gametes of their own. Whether this is permitted will depend on the individual country's regulations.