The Cost of Artificial Insemination (AI) in South Africa

 

In making your dream of having a baby possible, artificial insemination treatment cannot be valued in money. Nevertheless, this life-changing treatment that has helped so many people become parents, does involve certain costs, as with all medical treatments.

The short answer to the question “How much does artificial insemination cost in South Africa?” is that a cycle of artificial insemination treatment costs R7,570 at Medfem Fertility Clinic in 2019. (Find a detailed list of current treatment costs by clicking here.)

However, it is important to understand that this procedure and its costs are part of a comprehensive treatment plan. In addition, the cost will vary from couple to couple based on numerous variables, such as whether a sperm wash procedure is included and if the sperm used is from the male partner or from a sperm donor.

Bear in mind, too, that fertility treatments require significant expertise in terms of medical, nursing, scientific and pathology staff as well as advanced equipment. In addition, more than one treatment cycle may be required.

What Affects the Cost of Artificial Insemination?

A look at the range of conditions treated with artificial insemination; the variables that affect your fertility treatment plan; the procedure involved; and the possibility of multiple treatment cycles; will provide a more realistic view of what costs may be involved.

Conditions treated by artificial insemination

Artificial insemination is a specialist technique among a range of possible options used to address a variety of fertility issues affecting both male and female partners, such as vaginismus; ovulation problems; mucous hostility; mild endometriosis; low sperm count; and ejaculation problems, including retrograde ejaculation.

It is crucial to your success in achieving a pregnancy that an accurate diagnosis of the exact cause of infertility is made to ensure that the most effective treatment plan is created based on your individual circumstances.

Many of the fertility issues mentioned above could possibly also be treated using fertility treatments other than artificial insemination. A fertility specialist is the most qualified and experienced to accurately determine the cause of your infertility challenges and provide the options regarding the most effective treatment given your unique circumstances.

This is why all fertility treatments – including artificial insemination – start with an initial consultation with your fertility specialist.

Variables that affect your fertility treatment plan

At Medfem Fertility Clinic, you and your partner’s first consultation with one of our highly qualified and experienced fertility specialists will entail a review of your medical history and previous tests, a comprehensive infertility work up including a physical exam, and in-depth explanations and answers to all your questions.

During this first appointment of 30 minutes to an hour, your fertility specialist will also order additional investigations and tests if required to develop with you a personalised fertility treatment plan designed to help you fall pregnant.

The cost of an initial consultation is currently R2,200.00 (prices valid until December 2019) and does not include the cost of further investigations and tests.

Below is an overview of some of the investigation costs, which may be required.

Investigation Costs

* Female blood tests: Up to ±R4,035.00 (depending on the tests requested)
* Male blood tests: Up to ±R4,035.00 (depending on the tests requested)
* Semen Analysis: R1,798.00
(Prices valid until December 2019)

The procedures involved in artificial insemination

Similarly, the specific procedures required in terms of your personalised treatment protocol will also depend on your unique, individualised treatment plan.

Understanding the procedure involved in artificial insemination will help clarify the costs of this specific treatment technique.

In the artificial insemination procedure, warned and washed sperm are introduced into the woman’s uterus through a thin flexible plastic tube which is passed through the cervix.

This is performed in two ways at Medfem Fertility Clinic: in a natural cycle without fertility drugs or in a stimulated cycle with fertility drugs. Should fertility medication be required, it will affect the cost of the treatment. The medications required will also vary from patient to patient, as will the costs.

Artificial insemination can also be performed with sperm from a male partner or from a sperm donor. Medfem Fertility Clinic has a large donor insemination program. Whether donor sperm is used or not also influences the cost of the treatment.

Below are some estimated costs for the common procedures involved in artificial insemination treatment.

* Artificial Insemination – Sperm from male partner: R7,570.00
* Sperm Wash: R1,683.00
* Artificial Insemination – Sperm from Donor: R13,921.00
(Prices valid until December 2019)

The possibility of multiple treatment cycles

The cost of artificial insemination treatment is also affected by the possibility of multiple treatment cycles.

Success rates using the artificial insemination technique vary. In general, a healthy woman under the age of 35 can expect a pregnancy rate of between 9% and 15% per cycle – however, this depends on the woman’s age and egg quality and whether her tubes are healthy, as well as on whether the male partner’s sperm count is within normal limits. It is common for a woman to undertake multiple inseminations.

Fertility specialists might try three cycles of artificial insemination, and if these are not successful, recommend more advanced methods such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Will Medical Aids Cover the Cost of Artificial Insemination Treatment?

Most open medical aids in South Africa do not cover fertility treatments, such as artificial insemination (AI) – which is also known as intrauterine insemination (IUI). In fact, most medical aids in South Africa also do not cover the cost of the initial appointment.

Nevertheless, there are medical aids that will pay for some of the costs and others that pay for treatment of issues related to infertility, such as surgery to address blocked fallopian tubes, the removal of cysts in the womb and treatments for endometriosis. There are also medical aids that offer cover – subject to certain limits – fertility treatments on selected plans.

The best way to find out if your medical aid will cover the costs of artificial insemination is to request your medical aid to confirm in writing which costs related to the treatments required will be covered.

Is There Finance Available for the Cost of Artificial Insemination?

Because fertility treatments are generally not covered by medical aid schemes, covering the cost of procedures such as artificial insemination can place patients under significant financial stress. Finance for fertility treatment, made available by companies such as First Health Finance (FHF) and Incred Medical Finance, may be an option to consider.

Research Your Options

Individual specialists and clinics have varying fee structures. The cost of artificial insemination treatment – like with other medical procedures and treatments – can therefore vary considerably. Some clinics might create a “package” price for fertility treatments, while others may, for example, not include the cost of medications.

Please ensure that you confirm all costs in writing before proceeding with treatments and check whether certain payments need to be made at a specific time, such as pre-payments before treatment begins. Make sure you understand the services provided, what is included in standard charges and what separate or additional fees apply. During your initial consultation at Medfem Fertility Clinic, your fertility specialist will explain the costs of different treatment components. We then provide a written quotation based on a clear treatment plan to ensure you have a full view of the cost implications.

Now that you understand the costs of artificial insemination treatment, as well as the factors that affect the cost, you would want to ensure that you choose the right fertility clinic and the best fertility specialist, to give yourself the best chance for a higher than average success rate. It is also crucial that the clinic you choose is accredited by the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG).

The Next Step

The next step is simply to set up your initial consultation – you can click here or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.
We look forward to meeting you! At the first consultation, you will meet one of our four specialists, and start to plan your journey to parenthood.

 

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