IVF is a method of assisted reproduction in which a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs are combined outside of the body in a laboratory dish. One or more fertilized eggs (embryos) may be transferred into the woman’s uterus, where they may implant in the uterine lining and develop.
During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to a uterus. One full cycle of IVF takes about three weeks. Sometimes these steps are split into different parts and the process can take longer.
When it comes to IVF, there are several speculations on what the cost of treatment is.
Different figures are often thrown around but in this post, you’ll learn what it really cost when it comes to getting IVF treatment in Nigeria.
Cost of IVF in Nigeria
The cost of the procedure usually ranges from N800,000 to as much as N1,900,000 or more. It could be more or less depending on the centre and the treatment plan.
Oftentimes, clients wonder if they can pay instrumentally rather than paying at once for the treatment. Well, in some cases, you can pay 50 to 75% prior to starting the treatment. Then you can pay the balance when the treatment is completed.
Apart from the cost and payment schedule, there are some other things you should know about IVF treatment. For example, the duration of the IVF treatment can affect the overall treatment cost. Usually, a typical IVF treatment takes between 4 to 8 weeks depending on the peculiarity of the case and most time there’s usually no need for admission at the centre.
Apart from the duration of treatment, other factors that affect the cost of IVF treatment include:
Generally, the younger the couple, the higher the success rate of treatment. This is due to the fact that egg and sperm often reduce in viability as couples grow older. As a result, it can be quite expensive if you’re attempting to conceive with IVF as a much older couple.
For couples below 35 years, the IVF success rate is 40-45%. For couples between 35 to 39 years, the success rates fall between 30 to 35%. But for couples older than 40 years, the IVF success rate is around 10% or even less.
If the egg or sperm isn’t as viable as it ought to be due to age, the couple will have to buy the egg or sperm from donors which tends to increase the overall IVF treatment cost. Egg donation can cost up to N500, 000 while sperm can cost up to N120, 000, but you can get a family member or close friend to donate the egg or sperm to you. This will reduce the cost dramatically.
NUMBER OF CYCLES
The number of cycles is another vital factor that should be considered when calculating the cost of your IVF treatment. For example, at Nordica, a reputable IVF centre in the country, the cost ranges from N870, 000 to N1, 760, 000 depending on the number of cycles. Below is an overview of the cost of the ART cycle from the Nordica website:
1. Single Cycle package: N870,000
2. Two-cycle package: N1,260,000
3. Three Cycle package: N1,760,000
COST OF DRUGS
Another aspect of IVF that incurs cost is the drugs and supplements being used. Drugs and supplements can cost up to N200, 000 or even much more.
The drugs usually include prescription drugs and supplements which can cost as much as N500, 000.
In the case of surrogacy, the drugs for both the surrogate and the donor could cost well over N1,000,000.
This is another aspect of treatment that can increase the overall cost of IVF treatment. Usually, embryo freezing is carried out in order to provide backup for the client if the initial fresh embryo fails to result in pregnancy. If this happens, the woman can easily fall back on her stored embryo at little or no cost instead of starting all over again.
There is also the need to pay legal fees if the IVF treatment involves surrogacy. This fee is part of what is paid prior to commencing your IVF treatment and this fee could cost up to N150, 000
It is important to note the cost of treatment is generally specific to individuals so you can’t really evaluate a fertility centre based on cost discrepancies between two different clients.
It is possible to spend less than a million naira on your treatment while another person spends much more than that. It all comes down to the diagnosis and the result of the investigations.
Also, in IVF treatment, the cost often varies because most centres tailor the treatment to fit the unique needs of their clients.
From time to time, some of the fertility centres in the country usually slash their prices in order to assist couples in need of IVF treatment. This discount could be as much as a 50% reduction.
Additionally, some centres have foundation that sponsors couples and assist them in paying for the treatment. For instance, the Bridge Clinic has a foundation called Aspire that showcase free IVF treatments packages offered by the Bridge Clinic.
Also, some centres also offer low-cost IVF treatment but you need to evaluate the reputation of these centres before you choose them. Because the truth is IVF is generally not cheap and if you begin to see fertility centres offering ridiculously low prices then you had better be cautious.
Another option for IVF treatment is using a teaching hospital. Generally, the cost of IVF treatment in teaching hospitals in Nigeria is often much lower than that of private fertility centres. For example, the cost of one ART cycle in any of the teaching hospitals ranges between N400,000 and N500,000 which is about half the price of what you’ll get at any of the private IVF centres.
However, there are only 5 teaching hospitals that offer IVF treatment. These include:
University of Benin Teaching Hospital
Lagos University Teaching Hospital
National Hospital, Abuja
Lagos State University Teaching Hospital
University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital
On the other hand, there are over 40 private IVF centres in the country.
So that’s it. There are several options to explore if you’re looking for a cost-effective IVF treatment.
Overall, it is important to note that IVF isn’t cheap and the success rate of the treatment is not 100%. So you have to be cautious when you hear any IVF centre making certain promises that seem too good to be true.