In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is an intensive and invasive procedure that requires much preparation and post-operative care. However, most people tend not to consider the costs and requirements of the necessary medical procedures in the months preceding and following IVF treatment.
What costs should you expect prior to IVF?
Your doctor will likely provide you with a thorough physical and pelvic exam to gauge your general health. Infertility testing is mandatory for both you and your partner; this is done to ascertain whether IVF is the appropriate way forward for you.
Once it has been determined that IVF is the best option, you will have to undergo hormone treatments to stimulate the production of multiple eggs.
It is not unusual to need repeated blood tests and ultrasound exams – this is essential to monitor the development of egg follicles.
- Cost – This can vary according to the kind of ovulation drug that is used. The price can range from R100 to about R 5000. This is added to consultation fees and scans, which would cost an average of R 1000 for each appointment.
Egg Harvesting and Transferring Procedure
Complete artificial insemination costs include the harvesting and transfer procedures. The eggs are usually harvested using an ultrasound-guided technique.
In this treatment, a needle is used to remove the fluid and eggs from the follicle, where after they are inspected. Following this, the eggs are immediately placed in a clean, nutritive culture material, while the fluid is kept in an incubator.
Moving to the male donor – between 50,000 and 100,000 of the most mobile, healthy sperm are chosen and mixed with the harvested eggs. Sometimes, a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be recommended to help increase the chances of fertilisation.
The culture dish is kept at normal body temperature inside an incubator for 2-3 days. During this time, sperm are expected to fertilise 60%-80% of the eggs. Once this occurs, early cell division begins and embryos develop.
- IVF cost – The average rate of a single IVF procedure will set you back between R15 000 and R25 000, depending on where you have it done.
- ICSI injection – A costly procedure, this will cost you the same as an IVF.
All these separate factors add to the need for an effective IVF financing system. Talk to your doctor about what procedures will be necessary for you, and which long term post-operative plan is your best option.