IVF treatment is a very complex process and has many different stages, which vary from patient to patient. Each process has a cost involved. Nevertheless the package for IVF/ Test Tube Baby should include cost of standard drugs, processing, routine blood investigations, ovulation monitoring & professional fees up to Embryo Transfer. In short almost all the basic costs should be covered for a single fresh IVF cycle.
At YASH IVF the basic cost of an IVF cycle varies from 1.0 to 1.25 lac depending upon patient related factors like age, ovarian reserve and cause of infertility.
Those looking for low cost of IVF treatment must keep in mind that an initial low cost can be very misleading and result in a lot of stress when the patient has to deal with the hidden costs.
At Yash IVF we believe in the principle of adopting a transparent and fair approach to costing. With that in mind, we would like to take you through the costs involved in an IVF treatment or, as more commonly known - Test Tube Baby treatment.
It may be better to think in terms of 'cost of getting a baby' by Test Tube or IVF treatment rather than looking at the 'IVF cycle cost' per se. Since success rates across the globe vary from 40 to 50 percent, there is a likelihood that you may require more than 1 cycle to achieve conception. Reputed centers, where there is no ‘corner cutting’ may have a higher ‘cost per cycle’ but probably a lower ‘cost to healthy baby’ because of a faster ‘time to pregnancy’.
Let us examine the elements that determine the cost of IVF / Test Tube Baby treatment
1. The specific cause of infertility and age will largely determine the drugs opted for and therefore the cost of treatment. For example, in a situation where the lady is nearing her forties and has a low AMH count (Ovarian Reserve), the drug cost will be on the higher side and such patients should be wary of offers of cheap treatment. They may end up incurring a much higher cost of getting a healthy baby.
2. Blastocyst Transfer - After fertilization, great significance is attached to the day upto which the embryo is incubated and then either transferred into the womb or cryo-preserved, An IVF cycle involves stimulation of the woman's ovaries to produce oocytes, which are then fertilised with the eggs of the male partner to create an embryo. This is cultivated in an incubator under special conditions, in a sterile environment, until it becomes a stable multicellular organism by Day 5 – called a Blastocyst. Not all centers incubate until day 5, however, because of the additional cost of incubating up to day 5 and the necessity of having the infra structure to do so. At Yash IVF we specialise in 'Day 5 transfers'. At this stage it is typically about 150 to 250 celled organism (Blastocyst) and this stage is considered the most optimum stage for transfer of the embryo into the womb of the mother or freezing for subsequent transfer. Even Day 2 / 3 embryos can be transferred and may yield positive results. But the success rate is lower than the Blastocyst transfer success rate. Blastocysts are the most likely to lead to a positive conception and subsequently a successful pregnancy.
Do all IVF centers follow this practice of transferring on Day 5?
No. There are factors like lack of infrastructure, price compulsions, non-availability of embryologists on Day 5, etc, which leads to embryo transfers at an earlier date. While this doe not rule out a positive outcome, it certainly reduces the success rate. Yash IVF is fully equipped with both the infrastructure required to cultivate the embryo till day 5 and also an in-house team of embryologists to transfer the embryo on the defined day.
3. Embryo Freezing- a world class infrastructure for conducting freezing cycles is essential for every IVF centre. For a variety of reasons and compulsions the embryos may be required to be frozen and subsequently thawed prior to implantation. These are 2 separate processes and they need to be performed with great care. They require special expertise and infrastructure, which we have at YASH IVF.
Obviously, freezing of the embryo and the subsequent thawing results in additional costs, which are payable by those couples who are not likely to benefit from a fresh IVF cycle.
4. Need For Donors: Certain conditions necessitate the use of Donor gametes. This happens when the woman either does not have sufficient eggs or they are of a quality not good enough to generate an embryo or an embryo healthy enough to be transferred. In such cases there are multiple additional costs involved. The cost of hiring a donor is the major cost. The hired donor will then undergo a stimulation cycle of 10 – 14 days followed by a pick up procedure under GA, requiring hospitalisation for a day. The charges will depend upon the specific requirements of the commissioning couple, in terms of the physical attributes expected and other factors.
In some couples the male gamete needs to be sourced owing to issues like insufficient quantity / quality of the sperm. Donor sperms are much cheaper to obtain as there is no medical intervention or prior treatment required to be given to the donor.
5. Successful Delivery- The outcome of any IVF cycle should be the birth of a healthy baby. Cutting costs may not necessarily lead to this outcome. Either there may not be a conception at all in the Ivf cycle or the conception may not lead to a successful pregnancy. There could be a pre-term event or an abortion.
6. The IVF team - The team leader is obviously the IVF consultant. At YASH Ivf our IVF expert is Dr Chaitanya Ganapule, a highly reputed IVF consultant with over 10 years of experience. He has undergone extensive training at the Homerton University Hospital, NHS London - an internationally acclaimed institute for ART training. He has also obtained Diplomas from universities in Germany and France in Laparoscopic and Pelviscopic surgery, essential procedures in determining the cause of infertility in Women.
He is backed up by a team of in-house Embryologists lead by his wife - Dr Ashwini Ganapule, who has also completed a 2 year course in Embryology from Leeds, UK.
7. Success Rate - it is this teamwork and protocol based approach that has resulted in our achieving a success rate of 66%. This effectively means that the patients have a greater chance of attaining a positive outcome in the first cycle itself, thereby reducing their cost of getting a baby. So although our cycle cost may be higher than some other institutes, because of our higher success rate, the cost of getting a positive outcome is lower than the institutes that simply project a lower cycle cost.
8. NABH Accreditation - We are one of the very few NABH certified IVF centers in Pune. This is an accreditation granted by the Quality Council of India, Delhi, based on a very strict evaluation of processes, protocols, manpower and performance.