IVF Costs in the UK and Abroad

IVF costs are a lot more affordable than they once were. In the UK however, prices can for a single cycle of IVF often start as high as £5,000, depending on the specific private healthcare provider you choose. Compare this to countries abroad — such as Turkey, where prices start at just €2,800 — and it’s clear to see why travelling abroad for IVF is becoming increasingly common.

Since the breakthrough of IVF back in 1978, medical advancements and innovations have allowed the treatment to become a much more successful and realistic option for many aspiring parents. However, while IVF prices have steadied, it can still be a financially significant procedure to undergo. It’s unsurprising then, that one of the main questions among those considering it is “how much does IVF cost?” 

Answering this question can be tricky though. That’s why it’s important to look into common issues and questions related to IVF regulations, eligibility, insurance, as well as outlining some of the most popular locations that offer high-quality treatment, at an affordable price.

How Much Does IVF Cost in the UK and Abroad?

In previous years, IVF costs in the UK have acted as a barrier to the treatment for many hopeful parents. While it’s true that the treatment has become a lot more affordable over the last few years, prices can still be significant. However, IVF prices do vary depending on a number of different factors. 

Below, we’ve created a table comparing IVF costs in the UK to a few different countries. These prices represent the cost of one IVF cycle and they’ve only been taken from clinics that have been approved and verified by Qunomedical. It’s also worth noting that these prices are not fixed or guaranteed, and may vary depending on individual circumstances.

CountryPrice (EUR €)
Turkey€2,800
Russia€2,850
Cyprus€3,000
Spain€3,500
Greece€3,600
Germany€5,500
Czech Republic€5,900
United Kingdom€7,000

It’s clear from the table above that IVF costs abroad can be significantly lower than in the UK. Cheap IVF doesn’t necessarily mean low quality though. Greece, for example, is home to highly reputable IVF specialists, as well as top of the range facilities. These have made the country one of the most popular destinations for IVF in recent years.

IVF Costs: Why Travel Abroad?

In the recent Fertility Tourism Survey 2020, 527 anonymous survey forms were completed with questions posed IVF costs and other related topics and issues. 97% of respondents said that they were actively pursuing IVF options abroad. There are a few important reasons that could potentially explain this significant interest in treatment options overseas. We’ve outlined them in more detail below.

1. Affordable IVF Costs Abroad

High costs at home have always been a decisive factor for those looking to undergo IVF. In 2020, this was no different, with cheaper prices abroad coming in as the second most important factor for choosing to travel abroad for IVF. Perhaps unsurprisingly, IVF prices are considered the most important factor by the younger age groups and less so amongst the 35-44 and 45+ age groups. 

2. Success Rates

While IVF costs are clearly an important factor, success rates were actually found to be the most important reason for travelling abroad overall. IVF success rates have been increasing recently, especially in some highly-regarded fertility clinics abroad. In line with the trends seen around IVF costs, success rates are considered more important than price by the older age groups.

3. NHS Availability

With ever-increasing NHS cutbacks on IVF treatment, an increasing number of prospective parents are considering other options abroad. Local NHS providers in the UK decide how many IVF treatment cycles to fund. As a consequence, different areas have different regulations. In Scotland for example, women can get three full cycles of NHS-funded treatment, while in England this has been restricted to just a single cycle since the beginning of 2017.

What Are the Regulations Abroad and How Do They Influence IVF Costs?

While travelling abroad for fertility treatment is becoming increasingly popular, these are regulated differently across different countries. Overall IVF prices can be affected by the regulations of the specific country in which you choose for your treatment. Below, we’ve utilised available data from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) to create an overview of the regulations in some of the most popular countries for IVF.

It’s clear from this data that there’s a great deal of variation when it comes to how IVF is regulated in different European countries. The max number of embryos by age is a key point to consider here. Examining this alongside our costs table from earlier, we can see that IVF prices in the UK represent significantly higher overall costs than some other European neighbours since only one embryo transfer is permitted for patients aged 37 or younger. Comparing this to Spain for example, where average IVF costs are lower and there’s no limit on the max number of embryos, highlights the savings that can be made by travelling abroad for treatment.

Eligibility and Other Factors to Consider

As we can see from the table above, eligibility for IVF is dependent on the country that you’re in. Therefore, it’s important to double-check the specific regulations for your country before booking a treatment. However, even if your home country places restrictions or limitations on who can undergo the treatment, the options for travelling abroad have become increasingly accessible for both couples and individuals.

With regards to physical or mental wellness eligibility, the rules around this vary by country. Generally speaking, it’s recommended that women should be in good physical health to be able to support a pregnancy. In addition, couples who have been trying to conceive for at least two years, or who have unsuccessfully explored other fertility options, are usually considered more eligible candidates.

Private IVF Costs and Health Insurance

In the United States, the issue of whether or not IVF costs are covered wholly or partially by your healthcare provider can be complicated. Because IVF is generally more expensive than other fertility treatments, insurance companies are often reluctant to cover the costs. However, in 16 US states it’s mandatory for insurance companies to offer coverage for fertility treatments. Therefore, if you live in any of these states, you’re likely to receive some level of coverage for IVF. Unfortunately, if you live outside of these states, it will probably be more difficult to get assistance from any insurance providers.

The situation in the UK is similar. As mentioned earlier, it’s up to local NHS providers to decide whether IVF costs should be funded and if so, how many cycles can be covered. These regulations do differ across the four UK nations, with only one IVF cycle offered by NHS England, compared to three by NHS Scotland for example. The lack of NHS funding for IVF has pushed many couples towards private fertility clinics. However, private IVF costs in the UK can be extremely high. In cases where you’re not able to get IVF through the NHS, you may be better travelling abroad for the treatment. This will help to cut down your IVF costs, without sacrificing the quality of care that you receive.

Where Should I Go for IVF? Balancing Price and Quality

It’s clear then that undergoing IVF in the UK can be tricky, due to the varying regulations and potentially high costs. It’s for these reasons that an increasing number of patients are deciding to travel abroad for the procedure. But what countries offer the lowest IVF costs together with a high-quality of care? We’ve outlined a couple of options below.

Cyprus

The small Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus is one of the world’s leading locations for IVF. The country is known throughout Europe for its continued contributions to the development of reproductive medicine. IVF prices in Cyprus are typically much lower than in the UK. These lower prices are coupled with clinics that are clean, safe, and packed with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. Cyprus is also home to world-renowned fertility specialists. Dr. Berk Angun, MD for example, has over 22 years of experience in the field of reproductive medicine. A highly-regarded doctor at the Dunya IVF Fertility Clinic, Dr. Angun has performed over 7500 treatments, helping thousands of aspiring parents to start their families.

Spain

Spain has played a crucial role in the development of IVF over the past 30 years. Today, the country is one of the most popular destinations for UK patients looking to undergo fertility treatment. Not only do IVF costs tend to be lower in Spain compared to the UK, but waiting lists are generally much shorter too. Spain’s IVF clinics are world-renowned. Particularly, URE Centro Gutenberg in Malaga, which in 1989 successfully assisted the first pregnancy through IVF in the Malaga province. Today, the clinic offers low IVF prices and unique treatment packages for international patients.

Why Choose Qunomedical?

At Qunomedical, we take a patient-first approach to healthcare, with no exceptions. Whatever your background may be, we are on a mission to ensure that you can access high-quality, affordable care, as and when you need it. 

✔ 100% free, non-binding assessment: We offer a 100% free, non-binding assessment, regardless of whether you decide to book a treatment or not.

✔ Price match: We’ve done the legwork to identify high-quality IVF clinics that offer affordable care. If you find the same treatment at the same clinic cheaper somewhere else, we’ll match the price.

✔ All-inclusive treatment packages: Many high-quality IVF clinics abroad offer all-inclusive packages, specifically geared towards international patients. These often include things like accommodation, airport transfers, and a clinic shuttle service.

✔ Verified doctors and clinics: Our proprietary scoring system, Qunoscore, evaluates doctors on more than 20 data points, including qualifications, experience, number of treatments performed, value for money, accreditations, reviews from past patients, and more.

✔ 24/7 patient support: Booking through Qunomedical ensures that you’ll receive an end-to-end care service. When you’re abroad for your treatment, our team can be reached 24/7 in case of an emergency.

Disclaimer

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and does not replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any treatments.