IVF Cost

The Real Financial and Emotional Cost of IVF - Is it Too Much? 

By Paul J.O'Brien B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Adv. Dip. OBB, Cert Clin. Med, Cert.CHM, Pn1, PN-SSR, PN-NCA, M.AFPA, M.ETCMA, M.C.Th.A.

IVF Cost? Are we talking just the straight up financial aspects? If you might find it is actually hard to get a clear answer on this. Are you worried about the emotional cost of IVF, because there is a very real one. In this article I'll give you the break down on the real IVF cost - both in actual dollars and the emotional impact IVF can have. 

IVF is expensive, that’s true. Partly due to the years of specialist training for the medical staff, partly due to the cost of the specialised equipment, insurance and business expenses and, yes, partly to greed. Some fertility clinics are basically just extorting people, it feels at times. And some clinics are particularly unscrupulous…with undisclosed add-on charges appearing from thin air. 

An IVF clinic should be upfront with their costs, and they should be inclusive of everything for the IVF cycle, apart from drugs. Be very concerned about a clinic that bills extra for ultrasound examinations, additional consultations and/or pregnancy tests…  IVF is expensive enough already.

And how do you make payment? Is it covered by insurance?  These are important considerations. While most clinics require you to pay for procedures 100% in advance, many now have programs to help you with the burden and split the IVF cost.

IVF Cost - The Numbers

IVF CostIVF Cost = $12k+

Patients have the expectation that they will conceive with one cycle of the IVF. But that is rarely the case. In fact, research shows that women, especially those over 35, will require multiple IVF cycles, in some cases up to 10 cycles of treatment (1). 

This is due to a number of factors including the poor success rate of IVF (only 20.2%) and frequent clinical errors. 

In the US, an average “fresh” IVF cycle costs $12,000, before medications, which typically run another $3,000 to $5,000

The Physical IVF Cost

And what of the IVF cost to your physical health? IVF has a number of short-term and horrific long term side effects, from the medication to the actual physical procedures.  There are a wide range of IVF side effects ranging from mild, to fatal...the most horrific being:

  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which can result in death.
  • Increased the risk of ovarian tumors
  • Severe infection
  • Increased risk of birth defects
  • Depression
  • Migraine
  • Eye Bleeds
  • Severe stomach pains and bloating
  • Ten-pound weight gain within three to five days

(I cover all these and the complete list of side effects of IVF medications and procedures and what you can do to prevent them, in my book, Before IVF). 

The Emotional IVF Cost

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) involves a significant physical, financial, and emotional commitment on the part of a couple. Psychological stress and emotional problems are common, especially if in vitro fertilization (IVF) is unsuccessful.

Reproduction is very emotive subject and over the years I've become a confidant and counsellor of sorts to the many couples that have been tragically let down by the lack of standards, poor service, gross errors and dehumanising treatment that many couples and sadly women in particular have faced on both sides of the 'industry'. 

And that's what it's becoming - an industry. IVF is a very expensive gamble, and one where the providers of that service be they IVF clinics have become solely concerned with bringing in patients and getting them into a routine of repeat procedures. It's saddening and disheartening for me and it doesn't have to be that way at all. 

The Emotional IVF cost can be wide ranging for a woman. Some women are overly hopeful, oblivious to the realities of IVF success and believing that IVF is a magic bullet to solve their problems - only to be crushed when that turns out not to be the case. 

Equally problematic is the woman whose spirit is crushed by repeated failed cycles. They approach IVF with a “going through the motions” drudgery and have already given up hope. 

It can led to arguments, fights, the breakdown of relationships and the breakdown of marriages. 

IVF is a deeply invasive physical and emotional experience, one that requires compassion, support, understanding and help through every part of that process. And frankly, it’s not a successful process with the average result worldwide of a 20.2% live birth rate.(2) 

And there is a reason for such poor results. 

IVF fertility treatment is a band-aid solution, a quick cut around that fails to address the underlying issues preventing pregnancy. At no time does IVF treatment seek to address the actual underlying issues that have caused the need for IVF. It is not interested in fixing those problems. 

It offers no treatment for the underlying causes of infertility such as:

  • Hypothalamic Amenorrhea 
  • Hyperprolactinemia 
  • Luteal Phase Defect
  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) 
  • POF (Premature Ovarian Failure) 
  • Thyroid Problems 
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Ovarian Failure 
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease 
  • Natural Killer (NK) Cells 
  • Immunological Infertility 
  • Small Eggs 
  • Poor Fertilization 
  • Low Ovarian Reserve
  • Low Oestradiol (oestrogen) 
  • Low AMH
  • Low Progesterone 
  • High FSH 
  • Hyper-stimulation 
  • Premature ovulation 
  • Late ovulation
  • Slow response to IVF drugs 
  • Implantation Failure
  • Repeated Miscarriage
  • Unexplained Infertility
  • Fluid in the tubes

These and others issues NEED to be addressed before IVF fertility treatment. And thankfully they all can be. I do this everyday in my clinic and with my online coaching clients.

For example using traditional treatment methods we can: 

  • Treat Hyperprolactinemia (where body overproduces prolactin, a hormone needed for breast milk, twice as effectively as western medication, enabling a woman to conceive (3) 
  • Achieve an 89.7% total effective rate in treating PCOS.(4)
  • Resolve blocked tubes with "a total effective rate of 90%," leading to a "65% pregnancy rate following treatment" about 3 months after treatment is completed. (5)
  • Achieve a 5 time greater increase in implantation rates.(6)
  • Achieve a total effective rate of 'cured', 'significantly effective' or 'effective' for Endometriosis of 91.9% . (7)
  • And specifically with IVF we can increase the success rate up to 60% (8) and currently in my clinic show an 82% live birth rate! (9)

If you'd like to learn how to do this...what is the best next step you can take? 

What's Your Next Best Step With IVF?

If you’re trying for a family or planning on going through IVF, ICSI IUI, or have been through failed rounds, from poor egg growth, fertilization failure, sperm quality issues, miscarriage etc, and want to give this round the best possible shot of success and dramatically improve your fertility and reproductive health, to have a happy healthy baby, then …

  1. Download my Free "9 Reasons You Can't Get Pregnant" Guide to learn more about what complications may be present and what you can do to fix them!
  2. Subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with the new articles, how to guides, fertility recipes and more.
  3. Get Your Copy of "Before IVF: How it works, why it doesn’t and what you can do to Ensure Your IVF Success!". Over 430 pages, this guide provides answers to every question you could ask about fertility and how to maximise your reproductive health. It will help you beat the numbers in IVF and better still may help you conceive without ever having to go through IVF!
  4. Contact me with your particular questions and concerns and I'll do my best to help. :-)

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(1)  Verit FF, Veritt A. How effective is in vitro fertilization, and how can it be improved? Fertil Steril 2011;95:1677-83

(2) Sullivan EA, Zegers-Hochschild F, Mansour R, et al. International committee for monitoring assisted reproductive technologies (ICMART) world report: assisted reproductive technology 2004. Hum Reprod 2013;28:1375-90.

(3) Hu J, Yan XL & Wang ZX. (2014). Acupuncture and Bromocriptine in the Treatment of Special HPL in Infertile Women. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 30(7).

(4) Qiu HN & Xu J. (2006). Acupuncture, moxibustion and auricular point sticking in treating obese polycystic ovarian syndrome. Chinese Community Doctors. 8(14): 86-87.

(5) Madaschi C, Braga DPAF, de Figueira RCS, et al. Effect of acupuncture on assisted reproduction treatment outcomes. Acupunct Med 2010;28:180-4

(6) Madaschi C, Braga DPAF, de Figueira RCS, et al. Effect of acupuncture on assisted reproduction treatment outcomes. Acupunct Med 2010;28:180-4

(7) Zhu, Xiaoshu, Kindreth D. Hamilton, and Ewan D. McNicol. "Acupuncture for pain in endometriosis." Sao Paulo Medical Journal 131, no. 6 (2013): 439-439.

(8) Wolfgang E. Paulus, M.D., Mingmen Zhang, M.D., Erwin Strehler, M.D., Iman El-Danasouri, Ph.D., & Karl Sterzik, M.D., “Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rates in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy”. Fertil Steril, 2002;77:721-4. 

(9) O’Brien, P., “The Treatment of Subfertility: A Comprehensive Review of the Primary Western Diagnosis of Subfertility and the 9 Primary Corresponding Patterns in TCM; Treatments & Prescriptions”. Lansdowne College Mar 24th 2018 

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