Infertility is a growing problem in the today’s scenario of stressful life, both husband and wife working in high pressure jobs and growing career ambitions. In all these, there is very little time devoted to developing a family, early in life. Eventually when the couple plans for a baby, it turns out to be prolonged battle. Usually in desperation, the couple is ready to take any step to fulfill their dream of having a child now. Now-a-days most of these cases are referred for an IVF treatment, rarely depending on the exact cause of their fertility problem. I had previously written about why IVF should be the last option and never the first.
Today I am writing about the most searched topic on Google – the cost of IVF?
I will divide the topic into two – financial cost and the cost on your health of an IVF.
With IVF, a method of assisted reproduction, a man’s sperm and the woman’s egg are combined in a laboratory dish, where fertilization occurs. The resulting embryo or embryos is/are then transferred to the woman’s uterus (womb) to implant and develop naturally. Usually, two to four embryos are placed in the woman’s uterus at one time. Each attempt is called a cycle.
The average IVF cost in India is Rs. 2,50,000 for one cycle, but it can be as much as Rs. 4,50,000 or more. It may be as low as Rs.1,50,000, but it’s rarely lower than that. These prices are for one cycle of IVF.
If a fertility clinic tells you that their IVF costs less than Rs.1,50,000, they are probably leaving something out from their price quote. Ask them if their price quote includes everything, including fertility drug purchases, ultrasound and monitoring costs, blood work, and any options they consider “extra”.
Going for In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)? STOP !! Read this before you proceed !! (click here)
Additional Costs for IVF Options
While basic IVF costs around Rs. 2,50,000 for one cycle, if you need additional assisted reproductive technologies, the cost will be higher.
For example, ICSI treatment (where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg) may be an additional Rs. 1,50,000 - Rs. 2,50,000.
If you have frozen embryos from a previous cycle and want to use them, doing so is significantly cheaper than doing a complete IVF cycle with fresh embryos. The average cost for a frozen embryo transfer (FET), is about Rs.1,20,000.
You also need to be prepared for the fact that it may take more than one IVF cycle to achieve a pregnancy, which is much more realistic. In our clinics we have had patients who have undergone upto 4 unsuccessful IVF cycles before thinking of a natural alternative for conceiving.
Cost on Mother’s Health
Medicines used during IVF cyle, like any drugs you take, come with potential risks and side effects. Reading about potential risks can increase your anxiety during treatment and increase the failure rate in IVF. While you should be educated about the risks, the goal isn’t to scare you out of going through with treatments. Ideally, you should take what you learn here and use the information to make smarter decisions about your treatment.
Twins, Triplets, and High-Order Pregnancies
The use of fertility drugs during IVF cycles may lead to a multiple pregnancy. Some people mistakenly think that multiples are only a risk with IVF treatment. This isn’t true, and actually, with IVF you can choose to have only one embryo transferred into the uterus (which in some women may be a good choice.)
Your risk of multiples is dependent on a number of factors, including which medication you’re taking, what dosage, and how sensitive your body is to the drugs.
If you’re taking medications that mimic the hormones FSH and LH, even with monitoring, your risk of getting pregnant with multiples is higher. As many as 30% of pregnancies from these fertility drugs are multiple pregnancies.
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
Another risk that comes with fertility drug use is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS occurs when the ovaries become unusually enlarged, filling with fluid. When ovulation occurs, the fluid is released into the body, causing complications.
Past studies have shown increased incidences of breast & ovarian cancers in females undergoing IVF . The studies are vastly inconclusive as contradictory reports are mentioned in various studies. They found that the risk of uterine cancer increased if higher dosages were used and if the drug was taken for six months or more. Notably, they found that the risk of developing uterine cancer was even stronger if the women were obese or never became pregnant, with a combination of these two factors raising the risk even higher. But if more than one study across the world has concluded the increased incidences of breast & ovarian cancers after fertility drugs, you should weigh your options carefully.
Drugs and hormones used to treat infertility may cause a variety of psychological side effects. For example, the synthetic estrogen clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene), frequently prescribed because it improves ovulation and increases sperm production, may cause anxiety, sleep interruptions, mood swings, and irritability in women. (These side effects have not been documented in men.) Other infertility medications may cause depression, mania, irritability, and thinking problems. Patients and clinicians may find it hard to figure out which reactions are psychological and which are caused by medications
Patients may experience serious mental health problems on a transient basis, as they deal with the emotional and physical roller coaster typical of IVF treatment especially failed IVF treatment.
Infertility treatment can also exacerbate existing psychiatric conditions.
Infertile women with a history of depression, for example, are more likely than other infertile women to become depressed during treatment.
The financial cost of IVF is still comparatively bearable with the outcome expected but are you ready for the cost you or your partner may have to pay in return for the hormones and fertility drugs that are put in your body during the IVF cycle?
Think & choose wisely !!
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