Can you really reduce IVF costs? If you are struggling to have a baby and considering infertility treatments, medical bills can mount quickly. This is especially true for couples seeking treatments like IVF, which easily run into thousands of dollars without offering any guarantee of success.
Even with these sophisticated technologies there is no guarantee of success and it might take upto three cycles of IVF to get pregnant and by then you might have exhausted a major chunk of your savings.
While there isn’t much you can do to ensure success in these treatments, you can follow these below tips to reduce the cost of your IVF:
1. Look around and find the right doctor
The best way to reduce IVF costs is to maximize your chances of success in the first go, and for that you must do your due diligence.
The clinic suggested by your best friend or that amiable doctor near your house might not be your best bet for IVF. Also it is imperative that you do not fall for claims of high IVF success rates advertised by some clinics, because they can be manipulated.
A clinic that is selective about cases and only accepts couples with the best chances is likely to have higher success rates as compared to the one that accepts everybody, even though the latter might be more equipped in handling cases like yours.
Read more about how IVF success rates can be manipulated.
Ask for chances of success in your specific case and seek treatment accordingly.
2. Check your insurance
Fertility treatments are considered medically unnecessary so insurers do not usually cover them. But if you have an underlying condition—endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease, etc.—that causes your infertility, you might be able to get them to pay for its treatment.
If you still can’t get your insurance to cover it, see if your company offers some kind of employee benefit that allows you to use part of your pre-taxed income for medical uses that insurance won’t cover.
3. See your GP
It is worth seeing your GP for advice on infertility. Even if he cannot perform the treatment you need, he can conduct some tests (that you don’t have to pay for) and help determine the right treatment for you.
4. Egg sharing program
Sometimes people, who have had successful IVF cycles, donate the remainder of their eggs to help others. This could bring significant financial benefit to your treatment because now you don’t have to pay for the expensive hormonal injections for IVF. Also, if someone has already conceived using those eggs, your chances of a positive outcome are good.
You can also consider embryo adoption and save all the expenses related to egg harvesting and fertilization.
5. Travel for IVF
It might seem a daunting idea at first, but if you go into it with an open mind, you will see that looking for affordable IVF overseas is not such a bad idea. The cost of IVF in India starts around $3,500. In Thailand you can undergo one cycle of IVF for around $7,500, and in Malaysia IVF cost starts from around $4,500.
This means that you can have three cycles of IVF in overseas for the price of one in the US.
Cheap does not always mean the quality is compromised. The overall cost of living in these countries is low, the doctors are not burdened under medical loans, and their fee is not as high as other countries. Consequently, the overall cost of healthcare is lower.
If you are able to find the right doctor and facility, going to Asia for IVF might be your best decision.
The doctors there generally see larger volumes of patients as compared to their Western counterparts, and are thus considered more experienced.
You should look for a doctor who speaks your language and is aware of the international best practices in IVF.
According to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Urological Association, any couple spends an average of around $19,200 for their first attempt at IVF and nearly $7,000 for each subsequent IVF cycle. IVF is expensive. But it is not something you can give up on, if you really want to have a child.
Adopting one or more of the above methods may help reduce your IVF costs and allow you complete your family without having to break the bank.