Understanding the cost of fertility treatments

Fertility treatment is expensive and for most people, it's the first time they have had to pay out of pocket for health care. This makes it hard to know where to start, and what price to pay.

Firstly, clinics approach pricing their treatments differently - some do packages and others price everything individually. Adding to this, some clinics are not very transparent in their pricing, making it difficult to understand your liabilities and what other costs could potentially be coming down the line.

Finally, costs are linked to an individual's specific treatment plan, so some people might need more medication than others or additional scans, for example. All of this impacts the total amount you will pay.

At Fertility Mapper, we're determined to make understanding the cost of your treatment as easy as possible and reduce stress throughout the process so there are no unexpected surprises!

How costs of treatment are structured and benchmark costs

It's best to think of your cost in three stages:

  1. Investigation
  2. Treatment
  3. Post treatment

Across each of these stages, depending on the clinic, there will be a mix of fixed and variable costs. What that means is there will be some parts of your treatment that will be grouped in a package and you will be charged a fixed flat fee, and other parts where there is a charge for every procedure depending on what's required for your individual needs.

1. Investigation:

Once you have picked your clinic, you will be asked to come in for your initial consultation. The doctor will then suggest carrying out a number of tests and scans. Finally, you will have a follow-up consultation and in some cases, more scans will be required - all of which you'll pay for.

Some clinics fix the cost of the investigation phase, charging you one price for the whole experience. Other clinics will change you individually for each scan, blood test, consultation etc. they carry out and the more of them you have, the more you pay.

Some typical costs for the investigation stage:

Initial consultation:
Range £150 - £395

Follow up consultation:
Range £80 - £250

Range £90 - £300

Individual AMH blood test: (some clinics include this in their pre-treatment blood tests, others do not)
Range £35 - £560

Thyroid function blood test: (some clinics include this in their pre-treatment blood tests, others do not)
Range £20 - £140

Semen analysis:
Range £60 - £275

HFEA viral screening blood test package (this typically includes HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea):
Range £90 - £350

The cost for each of the investigation stage tests and scans can vary significantly between clinics, and if your clinic has packages, each clinic will have slightly different things in its package.

So, before making your initial consultation with a clinic, it's important to understand what procedures to expect in the investigation stage, what's included in their packages (if they have them) and how much this stage will cost you in total at that clinic because the differences in all the individual items can add up!

2. Treatment:

The treatment you go through after your initial investigation will be different depending on your individual needs or personal objectives. Irrespective of what treatment you are perusing, your clinic should provide you with a fully costed treatment plan before you start treatment.

Most clinics have created treatment packages with fixed costs, such as IVF packages and egg freezing packages. These fixed packages cover a lot of the costs of your treatment including the doctors time, nurses, surgical instruments, and consulting rooms. However, what's included in a treatment package varies from clinic to clinic, for example some clinics include anaesthetic and scans and others do not. In addition, almost all clinics do not include medication in their packages. Medication is expensive and can vary significantly from treatment to treatment and clinic to clinic. This can have a big impact on what you finally pay.

Typical cost in the treatment stage:

IVF one cycle package:
Range: £2,750 - £12,500

ICSI (the cost is added to an IVF package)
Range: £800 - £1,675

Egg freezing
Range: £2,400 - £6,500

Range: £550 - £2,310

3. Post treatment:

Whilst most of the cost of your treatment will be incurred in the investigation and treatment stages, there will be some additional costs after you have had your treatment, such as pregnancy tests, scans, follow up consultations and counselling. Many clinics will include these costs in their treatment packages but some do not, so it's important to check your fully costed treatment plan to see if these are included.

Potential costs in the post-treatment stage:

Counselling per session:
Range: £70 - £140

Pregnancy scan:
Range: £120 - £250

Annual egg or embryo storage:
Range: £150 - £540

How to think about medication costs

As mentioned, many if not all clinics exclude medication costs from their treatment packages. This is because the amount and type of medication a person needs can vary significantly depending on their treatment and individual needs. The information clinics provide on the general cost of the medication ranges from £250 - £3,000 per cycle! Quite a difference.

However, once you have been given your fully costed treatment plan and your doctor has provided you with a list of what and how much of your medication you need, you can shop around. Whist most people buy their medication directly from their clinics, you can buy your medication from other places, such as high street pharmacies.

To buy your medication from another provider, you will need to ask your clinic for a prescription. The clinic will charge you for this and it will range from £15 - £140.

What to do next

This guide gives you an overview of how fertility treatment costs are structured and the average costs of key treatments and services. Building on what you have read in this guide, you will find an overview of key costs by the clinic in the 'Find a Clinic' section on our site.

In addition, in our 'Find a Clinic' section, you will find reviews by women on how transparent each clinic is on the cost of treatment. This will give you an idea of how good the clinic is at providing upfront and timely information on costs and terms and conditions including refunds.

As you make your clinic shortlist, you can use the information on clinic cost and transparency to help select the clinics that meet your requirements and budget.

One final note. Whilst making costs easy to understand is important to us at Fertility Mapper, the cost is not the only factor you should consider when selecting a clinic. Your experience at the clinic and the quality of care is important too. Read our guide on 'How to shortlist a clinic' to find out more.