How Much Is IVF in the UK?
How much does IVF treatment cost in the UK? Might sound a like innocuous questions to ask but for thousands of people who find themselves needing IVF to start or extend their family this is a question asked everyday.
We will also look at the Regulations governing IVF treatment in the UK and the costs of fertility add-ons or as some clinics now prefer the term ‘Extras’.
Finally, we will examine NHS funding for IVF. The cost of IVF treatments is much higher than the costs of other forms of fertility treatment. Read on to find out how you can get the treatment you need on the NHS.
Cost of IVF treatment in the UK
The cost of IVF treatment in the UK is dependent on where you live and your individual circumstances. The NHS provides funding for up to three IVF cycles and freezes good quality embryos. Private fertility clinics usually charge a separate fee for storing embryos for future transfers. Some clinics charge up to £4000 for a single cycle. Depending on your personal circumstances, the NHS may not be the best option for you.
One of the biggest expenses during the treatment is the medication used to suppress a woman’s menstrual cycle. This medication is called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds. These medications are not included in a standard IVF package. During your treatment, you’ll also be monitored closely and undergo blood tests and ultrasound scans. These tests will cost an additional PS300 to $400.
The cost of IVF in the UK varies from clinic to clinic. The average price for an IVF cycle in the UK is around PS5,000. The cost of additional treatments, such as embryo freezing, may be added to this amount. You’ll also need to consider the cost of medicines, consultations, and tests. Some people may choose to travel to another country for their IVF treatment. However, you should consider the safety of the clinics outside the UK. They may not be regulated like their UK counterparts.
The NHS also offers IVF and ICSI treatment at lower costs. However, you need to meet the eligibility criteria for these treatments in order to receive funding from the NHS. You must be under 43 years old and be a childless couple. You must have tried conceiving for at least two years before you can qualify. You should also be under 35 years old, or else you’ll not qualify for NHS funding. If you do not meet these requirements, you can also apply to private clinics. However, these clinics charge up to PS5,000 for each cycle.
The cost of IVF treatment in the UK is largely dependent on the area. Prices are lower in London, but can be considerably higher if you’re living outside the M25. In general, the cost of an IVF treatment in the UK is about PS3,348 for single cycles. In some unlucky areas, the cost can go up to PS4,195. If you’re thinking of getting IVF, be sure to keep in mind that it’s important to find the right clinic.
The HFEA, the government’s fertility regulator, has recently started cracking down on clinics that charge excessive top-up fees for experimental treatments. A new code of practice is expected to be implemented in October. The new rules will ensure that clinics are following good clinical practice and not overcharging patients. It’s also worth noting that there is still no set maximum cost for IVF. A doctor’s fee can be as high as PS5,000, but some clinics charge far more.
In general, the HFEA recommends that IVF clinics do not charge extra for add-on treatments unless they have good evidence. Most fertility add-ons don’t have much evidence to support their use, but women who believe the evidence is important still choose to use them without understanding the risks. Fortunately, there are several initiatives underway to ensure that women get full and accurate information when they choose their add-on treatments.
Some of these add-ons, such as endometrial scratching, are controversial and have very little scientific evidence. These treatments are often used alongside IVF in order to increase the chances of conceiving. While some add-on treatments are safe and effective, others have mixed results. The Welsh MP Alex Davies-Jones has called for more regulation in this industry, and has endorsed the idea that patients should have full information about the risks before spending a large sum of money on IVF.
The Competition and Markets Authority has published guidelines for fertility clinics to ensure that the patients get accurate information. The guidance also notes that these clinics should be transparent about the risks and costs of the extra treatments. These add-ons can add PS2,500 to the cost of an IVF attempt. A few clinics have implemented these extra treatments and have a high success rate. However, there are still some costs associated with these treatments.
Most IVF add-ons do not provide a benefit to women who undergo the procedure. However, it is important to note that the cost of these add-ons can be high. The money you spend on these procedures could be better spent on another IVF cycle or alternative treatments. The best evidence regarding these treatments is from large randomised controlled trials. This means that IVF add-ons should only be considered as a last resort.
Regulations for IVF treatment in the UK
The Regulations for IVF treatment in the UK prohibit gender selection of embryos. Gender selection is allowed only in rare cases to prevent the genetic transmission of certain diseases. Safety is a main concern during IVF, which is why donated sperm is stored for at least six months before undergoing the procedures. Donor sperm is also carefully screened for infections. The regulations for IVF treatment in the UK aim to ensure that patients are offered the best possible care.
The CMA guidance outlines the reasons for this change. The CMA also explains the risk factors and reasons that make certain patients vulnerable to exploitation by clinics. It summarises what clinics must do and the potential consequences of breaching the regulations. Chapter 3 sets out the information that clinics must provide to patients. Clinics must provide accurate and complete’material’ information. It gives examples of what constitutes misleading conduct.
The NHS funds IVF treatment on the NHS only if a patient meets the criteria. People who do not meet the criteria may have to pay privately. NICE recommends that women under the age of 40 undergo three cycles of IVF before they can become pregnant. However, individual CCGs can impose stricter criteria. The NHS does not cover IVF treatment for single women. The NHS also does not provide the service to those under 40.
Despite the fact that these new regulations are a good step forward, many couples still face high costs of the procedure. IUI is an expensive option for single women and queer couples, and Stonewall and DIVA magazine have conducted a survey on these costs. It was found that 36% of queer people had trouble getting IVF. The new regulations aim to solve this problem by eliminating the “postcode lottery” that plagues IVF treatment. For those who have difficulty getting pregnant, comparing the cost of IVF to the rest of the country will be helpful.
NHS funding for IVF
The cost of IVF treatment in the UK can be quite high. In 2016, around 41% of all cycles were funded by the NHS. This means that it is incredibly expensive for the NHS to provide free rounds of IVF. On average, each cycle costs upwards of PS5000. In fact, it costs the NHS around PS77 million every year – just 0.05% of the NHS’s total budget. In addition, IVF is not the most expensive elective treatment available to patients. Knee replacements, for instance, cost around PS585 million a year and each procedure costs up to £5,000.
NHS funding for IVF in the UK differs by region. In England, for example, the NHS funds one, two, or three cycles of IVF. Some areas do not fund IVF at all. In some areas, NHS funding is restricted to women under 35 years of age and to couples who have tried for two or three years to conceive. Another difference between NHS funded and privately-funded cycles is that the NHS will fund one fresh transfer and two frozen transfers. However, this is not a guarantee that couples will be able to conceive.
NHS funding for IVF in the UK is only partially funded and is dependent on the catchment area of the clinic. Many NHS areas only offer free cycles to heterosexual couples, and others base eligibility on previous relationships. Some CCGs do not offer NHS funded IVF in their area, and the number of free cycles is dependent on the catchment area of the hospital. Therefore, this is commonly known as the ‘postcode lottery’, and not a guarantee.
As more couples are turning to IVF to conceive, the government has announced a new fertility strategy to ensure that every couple can access it. The new strategy will make it easier for couples to compare their local performance with that of the rest of the country. However, it will take some time before the strategy is fully implemented. It will be important to continue the campaign until it is fully implemented. It is very important to keep the patient informed of the costs and the outcome of the IVF process.
The Fertility Foundation is a fertility charity in the UK providing IVF Grants, support and education to couples, single women and same-sex couples.
Subscribe to our newsletter for more information on our charity and grants.