How to reduce IVF Cost

cost of ivf reduce

The cost of IVF treatment is one of the biggest reasons that so many couples prefer to try other suboptimal solutions for treating infertility. It takes a financial toll on the couple and adds to the already existing psychological burden of infertility. Through this blog we want to help you find ways to save money the right way without compromising your treatment outcomes.

Minimize the number of visits to the clinic, saves time and money

  • Travel expenses are one of the hidden costs of undergoing IVF treatment. It can be easily forgotten because it is a nonmedical expense. 
  • There is an added cost of missing work, if you travel from a different city or need to take leave because of the in-person appointment. 
  • This cost can be easily reduced by discussing with your fertility doctor, and having-in-person visits for only the most important appointments. First consultations should always be done in person as it outlines the entire treatment plan.
  • You can also plan telephonic or tele-consultations for other minor concerns. It will save you time as well as money.
IVF Consultation

Minimize cost of investigations (avoid unnecessary investigations)

  • Usually, infertility treatment starts with your history of your condition, relevant examination and some investigations.
  • You can save money on investigations, by sharing reports of all previously done tests and procedures. This way, your fertility doctor will get a fair idea about your condition, and will order only the tests which were either not done previously, or need a recent report. 
  • You can also discuss with your fertility doctor about the relevance of the tests being advised. 
  • This will help you understand their reason as well as your health condition. 
  • You can also share your financial concerns with your infertility doctor, and request them to advise or repeat only the necessary tests.

Minimize cost of IVF Drugs

The cost of IVF treatment usually goes up because of the drugs used. Though the drugs used are expensive, keeping the following points in mind while undergoing IVF treatment will help you reduce the financial burden:

  • Try and choose an IVF clinic where the cost of drugs is included in the IVF package instead of billing on MRP: When choosing your IVF clinic, make sure you discuss their billing policies. Ask if the treatment package includes the cost of drugs, and prefer those which include it in their package.
  • Try and negotiate the cost of drugs with retailers if they are sold on MRP: If at all the drugs are sold on MRP basis by your clinic, try and procure them from a wholesale supplier. You can also try and find the retailer and get a discount on your purchase. 
  • Type of Drug – Recombinant gonadotropins vs HMG: Some infertility clinics use recombinant gonadotropins instead of HMG to stimulate the ovaries in IVF cycles. The recombinant gonadotropins are substantially costlier than HMG and can increase the cost of your treatment.

It is important to know that there is no scientific evidence to recommend one over the other. A good quality highly purified HMG has similar efficacy, and makes your treatment more affordable. Discuss these points with your infertility specialist while undergoing IVF treatment. You can also go through some scientific literature yourself to have a better understanding.

Invest in vitrification of embryos.

Invest in vitrification of embryos rather than wanting to transfer more embryos in one cycle to save the cost of vitrification. Try extracting more Embryo Transfers per stimulation than trying to save on the cost of vitrification.

  • A common misconception about IVF is that couples presume that more embryos transferred gives better success rate. 
  • It is important to understand that, if you transfer a single embryo, even if the attempt is unsuccessful, you can get more chances at pregnancy by simply cryopreserving your additional embryos. 
  • Though there is an added cost of vitrification in this approach, over all, this is more cost-effective. 
  • If you are not successful and need further attempts at IVF, without cryopreserved embryos, you will need to undergo the whole IVF cycle again and hence the cost will be significantly higher than a FET cycle. 
  • Not only will it double your expense, but it would cause the discomfort of going through the ovarian stimulation and ovum pick up as well. 
  • Compared to the cost of an extra IVF cycle, the cost of vitrification of embryos is minimal, and more cost-effective.

Avoid unnecessary added procedures over IVF

Avoid unnecessary added procedures like PGT-A or Ni-PGT as these techniques should be performed only in indicated cases. This adds on exponentially to cycle cost.

  • Another area where you can save money would be avoiding unnecessary embryo testing. These tests are generally not recommended unless there are specific indications for PGT. 
  • Before deciding to undergo these tests, it is always better to discuss them with your infertility doctor. 
  • If you are still confused about getting them done, you can consult a genetic counsellor and understand if PGT is necessary for your case. 
  • These are expensive procedures and also have some risks to the embryos, so be mindful before requesting them.
  • You can also go through scientific literature to understand when such tests are really helpful. Please go through this blog to understand when to go for genetic tests.

Avoid adjuvants like microfluidics for better sperm selection

Avoid adjuvants like microfluidics for better sperm selection unless indicated, as there is no conclusive scientific evidence that they improve pregnancy rates. 

  • Some IVF labs recommend using certain sperm selection techniques like using microfluids. They can increase the cost of your treatment. 
  • But it is important for you to understand that there is no conclusive evidence in scientific studies to indicate their usefulness. 
  • Try and choose only those IVF options which are scientifically known to enhance your outcomes. Reading about these methods will help you make an informed choice.

LAH or laser hatching is not always needed. There is no scientific evidence that it improves pregnancy and live birth.

  • Another new technique promoted by some IVF labs is Laser Assisted Hatching or LAH.
  • This procedure is expensive, and will increase your IVF treatment cost. 
  • But be aware that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it improves IVF outcomes, and hence it is not generally recommended. 
  • Be aware of what is known to improve treatment results for sure, and opt only for those methods.
  • It is always good practice to make the effort to read about such methods before agreeing to them. 

Evaluate IVF Failure carefully before trying next IVF Cycle.

In case of IVF failure, try finding out the reason for IVF failure before moving blindly to the next IVF cycle, as many times the reason for failure could be an inherent problem in gametes which can only be resolved by donor gametes.

  • In couples who have previous IVF failure, it could be distressing going through the treatment again as well as bear the cost of another IVF cycle. 
  • It is of the utmost importance that you discuss the possible cause of a previous failed IVF with your infertility doctor. 
  • The focused treatment in the next cycle will give you possibly better result, as well as save money on un-targeted extra testing or procedures. 
  • Sometimes the problem could lie with the gametes. Only a good IVF specialist would know if quality of gamete actually is of concern, sometimes just repeating another IVF cycle resolves the problem. However this should only be done after testing the genetic capabilities of the couple.
  • Replacing the gamete which is of poor quality with donor gametes from the ART bank, could help improve your treatment outcome in these cases.

Known Donors can reduce Egg Donation Cost

In the case of IVF with donor eggs, try convincing your relatives or friends to donate eggs. This will save you the cost of recruiting donors from ART Bank. 

  • In certain cases of diminished ovarian reserve or poor quality of eggs, you might be advised to use donor eggs for IVF. 
  • This can be expensive, as it adds extra cost to your treatment.
  • In such cases, you can ask your family members or friends to donate eggs for you. 
  • This will help you save the cost of recruiting donors from the ART Bank. However there can be emotional and medico legal implications of accepting egg donation from relatives, so it is advisable to weigh in all the options before choosing this option.