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Ask anyone trying to become a parent what they’d give to bring a new life into the world and you’ll usually get the same answer: anything.

However if traditional methods and NHS fertility cycles don’t result in conception you may want to think carefully about your next step.

If you have been through the NHS system, you will understand the process of fertility treatment and your chances of success, but now you need to fund your own treatment.

On the other hand if you have gone straight to a private clinic, you may still have questions you want to answer about your fertility.

Ultimately how much you will pay depends on the type of fertility treatment you choose, how many times you try and the number of tests you want or need. The cost can also vary depending on the clinic you choose. If you’re eligible, it’s also possible to save up to 40% of the cost of your treatment by accessing fertility finance.

While the final price for a full cycle is different for each patient, you can get an idea of the likely cost by looking at some common services that people undergoing fertility treatment use.

Looking at the cost of private treatment, IVF, for example, can cost from £2,900. At a clinic like the Hewitt this includes all monitoring scans, injection instruction, egg collection, sperm preparation and insemination, use of electronic witnessing, embryo transfer, pregnancy test, pregnancy scan or first follow-up consultation.

To get to that stage however you need to have fertility screenings, pre-treatment screenings and you also have the option to have screenings for conditions like Cystic Fibrosis. Each of these has its own individual cost and your consultant can advise which are necessary and which are optional.

You’ll also need to consider the cost of medication and have some money set aside for unexpected expenses, such as if you require the use of the theatre if any surgical intervention is required.

As a rule of thumb, for each cycle of IVF you wish to undergo you should set aside at least £5,000. Other fertility treatments, like Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and Intra-Uterine Injection (IUI) do cost less. Your fertility consultant will be able to advise on the best treatment for you, but saving enough to cover any treatment keeps your options open.

If you don’t have savings, there is another way to access fertility treatment - fertility finance. Often provided by a finance company that specialises in fertility funding, it’s a way of effectively getting a loan to pay for treatment.

They can be a cost-effective way to access fertility treatment, although you should remember that these are a form of credit and will need to be repaid.

Options vary by clinic and provider. Access Fertility, which provides finance for Hewitt patients, has an IVF refund scheme that, if you qualify, will refund you up to 100% of the cost of your treatment if you do not have a baby.

One real advantage of finance programmes is the packages on offer. If you believe you may need more than one cycle, ask if the finance provider offers a multi-cycle product. This may reduce the cost of a second or third treatment if you think that - in the event of an unsuccessful cycle, you are likely to try again.

If your treatment helps deliver you a baby you will spread the repayments over time and, of course, you will have become a parent - bringing your journey to the best conclusion.

 

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Andrew Drakeley

Mr Andrew Drakeley is the Clinical Director at the Hewitt Fertility Centre, working principally at the Liverpool Women’s site but with managerial responsibility for Knutsford.

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