Fertility Treatment Costs – Three Things To Keep In Mind

A recent article in ELLE.com magazine put under the spotlight again the costs of treatment for infertility. Of course, many highly advanced medical treatments are expensive, including those for fertility; but many common fertility treatments can also be quite affordable.

There is only one way to get the maximum value from the fertility costs you face: making sure every cent is well-spent on the right treatment combinations that will give you as a couple the very best chance of conceiving. Our team at Medfem Fertility Clinic believes in making world-class fertility treatments available for everyone, and in this article, we highlight three things couples should keep in mind when considering the costs of their fertility treatment.

In an article entitled “How Much Would You Pay To Have A Baby? Inside The Life-Changing Cost Of Fertility Treatment” in ELLE.com magazine, the writer Kate Willsky tells of the costs her and her partner incurred undergoing fertility treatment, and their fear of arriving at the point where they can no longer afford further treatment.

Based in the USA, Willsky mentions figures such as $25,000 for one cycle of IVF with medication included; $10,000 to $20,000 plus an annual storage fee for egg freezing; and $100,000 to $150,000 for surrogacy.

In South Africa, the costs are less staggering, with IVF treatment (as at 2023) ±R108,275.00(without PGT-A: Chromosomal testing and ±R123,780.00 (with PGT-A: Chromosomal testing) per cycle and egg freezing at ±R67,834.00. These prices are valid until the end of 2023.

You can visit medfem.co.za/treatment-costs to see our latest fees.

However, even knowing the cost of various types of treatments is not very useful if you want to know how much your specific fertility treatments will cost. This is for a number of reasons, which the writer of the ELLE.com article, also mentions.

These are:

* the cost of fertility treatments varies greatly from one couple to another;

* some of the costs may be payable out of pocket, even for those with medical cover;

* consider all the different options when covering the cost of fertility treatments.

Costs for fertility treatments vary widely

The cost of the fertility treatment required by one couple can be vastly different from that of another, and even similar, couple.

For example, the fertility problem may be due to the female partner (as it is in one-third of infertility cases) or it may be due to the male partner, as it is in an equal one-third of infertility cases. For the remaining one-third of cases, the problem is a combination of both male and female factor issues.

Furthermore, in a quarter of couples struggling with infertility, there is also more than one factor contributing to infertility. To make matters even more complex, there is also a long list of possible causes of infertility in women and still more in men, ranging from genetic causes and autoimmune diseases to lifestyle choices.

This means some couples may require a single treatment or a combination of treatments; some may need medication or other medical procedures; some may be successful on their first treatment, while others may need to have a certain treatment again, or may need to try a different treatment.

The only way that you could know for certain what your unique fertility treatments costs as a couple will involve is to get an expert diagnosis to pinpoint the exact cause of your unique fertility challenges as a couple. This will ensure you only incur costs only for those fertility treatments that will give you as a couple the best chance of conceiving. It will not only save money, but it will also save time, effort, discomfort and disappointment.

A lot of the costs may be out of pocket

According to the ELLE.com article, even in the advanced economy of the US, cover for fertility treatment from medical insurance whether public or private is often limited and difficult to access. And, the level of access is often affected by the geographical area: for example, only in New York is the US Medicaid required to cover fertility treatment, but 17 states have passed laws that require certain insurers to cover infertility diagnosis or treatment, while two states require them to offer at least one plan with coverage.

In South Africa, most open medical aids in South Africa do not cover cost of fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and some also do not cover the cost of the initial appointment. However, some medical aids may cover part of the costs and others may pay for treatment of certain issues related to infertility.

There are also certain medical aids that do cover fertility treatments on selected plans, subject to cover limits and terms and conditions, such as the two top plans on Discovery Medical Scheme, the country’s largest medical scheme.

This is also the case in the US, according to the ELLE.com article, which says: “Most plans have a mountain of requirements and restrictions for coverage-you need to do X IUIs before they’ll cover IVF; you need a specific diagnosis; you must try conceiving for Y years before anything is covered-and certain states specifically exclude IVF, one of the most expensive treatments. There’s also the looming threat of the lifetime max an insurer will pay, which is often less than one round of IVF.”

To be certain if you will have any cover from your medical aid, ask the company to confirm in writing which costs related to the treatments required will be covered.

Explore all the options

These realities mean that many couples likely will have to fund at least some of the fertility treatment costs themselves.

However, parents-to-be are infinitely resourceful and there are options beyond medical cover. The ELLE.com article notes that some couples held donation garage sales, ran side hustles online and even used crowdfunding to raise the money to cover the costs of fertility treatments! It also tells of one woman who saved close to $10,000 by traveling for fertility treatment, obtaining donor eggs and medication abroad, and doing embryo transfers in another country.

Fertility-specific loans offer another option in the US. Here in South Africa, fertility patients can consider finance options such as a personal loan or finance available for fertility treatment through companies such as MediFin, which works with all registered doctors and fertility specialists registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and offers finance specifically for pregnancy and fertility. The pregnancy and fertility treatments and procedures covered includes In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), sperm donors and egg donors, caesarean sections and natural, normal deliveries and miscarriage.

Counting the cost of fertility treatments

As the ELLE.com article puts it so well, the cost of fertility treatments is: “stressful for all, financially taxing for most, and prohibitive for many … But when fertility treatment results in a healthy baby, the number of dollars spent – no matter how high – becomes justifiable.” As some of the moms quoted said: “It was all worth it to finally hear the word ‘Mommy'” and “You can’t put a price on family and love.”

Nevertheless, the cost is a real factor to be considered when planning to get fertility treatment.

It is important to consider all the options available, and at Medfem your fertility specialist will help you with an accurate diagnosis made after thorough fertility testing as a couple, explaining the various treatment options and detailing the costs involved to ensure you fully understand the cost implications of the fertility treatments that will give you as a couple the best chance of having a baby.

Setting up an initial consultation with a fertility specialist at Medfem Fertility Clinic is as simple as clicking here or contacting us on +27 (11) 463 2244.

We look forward to meeting you!



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