IVF treatments are used to treat infertility which is caused when there is a physical problem preventing sperm meeting an egg. It is not the only type of treatment for this type of infertility; other options include ICSI or IUI. IVF works by stimulating the ovaries to produce a good number of eggs which are fertilised then re-implanted. A variation of IVF is the blastocyst embryo transfer, which is similar to basic IVF but the embryos are grown into blastocysts before being implanted in the woman. The blastocyst is grown for five or six days after the egg is fertilised which is much longer than in traditional IVF.
The can be a huge variation in IVF costs in Europe, with clinics quoting prices from as low as a thousand pounds to over ten thousand pounds. Some countries are cheaper than others, and some clinics which have good international reputations can cost a lot more. As well as the price quoted by the clinic there are many other costs to include when trying to calculate the total cost of IVF in Europe. Medical costs often not included in the quoted clinic price include the cost of drugs and internal scans. Extra non medical costs include travel cost to your destinations and accommodation whilst you are there. There will also be the cost of phone calls to your clinic from the UK and calling home during your treatment. Lastly there are living costs to consider whilst you are abroad. Whilst individually each item may be low cost it can soon mount up.
In mainland Europe, the cost of IVF can be much lower in than in the UK. In Slovakia costs for basic IVF can start at under a thousand pounds, in Greece average costs are usually in the region of two thousand Euros and in Belgium the cost starts in the region of a thousand Euros. When comparing costs the quoted price is not the only relevant figure to look at. It is important to compare this in conjunction with details of the clinics success rates and details of the types of infertility they treat. If clinics are very successful they may charge more for a treatment, and if clinics treat complicated areas of infertility they may also have higher costs.
The drugs used in IVF to stimulate the ovaries, and for post implantation can vary hugely in cost. If a clinic abroad prescribes the drugs you can either buy them form the clinic, or you can visit your GP in the UK to ask them to create a prescription for you. This will probably be a private prescription but shop around when you take this to the chemist as the amount charged for the drugs can vary by hundreds of pounds. There are chemists that specialise in supplying these types of drugs, although it is also possible to use most high street clinics to supply them. Contact details for chemists that specialise in supplying IVF drugs can be found online to help you compare costs.