Is the IVF industry 'big business'?

17th May 2013 in Advice

The growth of the IVF industry in the UK was recently the focus of a BBC Radio 4 You & Yours programme, examining why clinic prices vary and the expense of undergoing private treatment.

According to the report, HFEA figures show that in the UK we’re spending around £500m a year on IVF, with an estimated one in six couples struggling to get pregnant naturally.

Prices per cycle between clinics can vary hugely – so why is this the case? At Manchester Fertility we have an open and transparent policy regarding our fees. We always ensure that as a patient you understand up front what your treatment will cost and what it includes before you begin your treatment. You will never encounter any ‘hidden’ charges mid way through your cycle, which you suddenly have to fund.

Some clinics do not have this policy and so their prices can appear significantly less than other clinics. They may not include routine HFEA fees, or costs for the necessary blood tests and screening, or the cost of the drugs involved.

Some clinics also charge for ‘extras’ such as Blastocyst transfers where embryos develop for longer in our laboratory before transfer. This is something we offer to all of our patients free of charge. If we think you will benefit from a Blastocyst transfer, then it is offered at no cost to you.

No wonder then the BBC report revealed that many are confused about IVF treatment prices within the private sector. But it’s also important to consider that everyone’s treatment protocol and cycle is different. Whilst there is such as thing as a ‘standard’ IVF cycle, it could be that you may need different fertility drugs and doses, and this can alter costs.

It’s always so very important to get a thorough breakdown of costs from IVF clinics when researching where to go for your treatment. Always find out what is and isn’t included in the cost, whether they charge for extra help such as Blastocyst transfers and what their policy is regarding pricing transparency.

The BBC report also mentioned the growth of egg-sharing and that this can help if you wish to have private IVF as it reduces the cost significantly if you are eligible to share your eggs. At Manchester Fertility, if you become one of our egg-sharers then you receive a cycle of IVF with us for £870, inclusive of all fees and drugs.

But the report also raised concerns however about how egg-sharers may feel if their cycle fails, but the recipient – the woman who receives the donated eggs – becomes pregnant.

This is one of the reasons all egg-sharers and egg donors have to undergo counselling with our experienced team. Issues such as this are thoroughly addressed before a person can be an egg-sharer or donor with Manchester Fertility, to ensure that are fully aware of the implications and how they may feel both now and in the future.

 The report concluded that more pricing transparency was needed from clinics – something which we consistently pushed at Manchester Fertility. We hope that when you visit us you will understand why so many people trust us to help them have a family not just from around the North West region, but from all over the UK and even abroad. Contact our team today on 0161 300 2737 to find out how we can help you.

Last updated: 20th January 2020