What is the IVF Package in India? And why is IVF so costly?
Due to the substantial cost associated with IVF, the first question that a patient will ask is “what is the IVF package or cost of IVF cycle” at your center.
Patients make it a point to know the cost of the IVF treatment before initiating the treatment and rightly so. Many patients feel that IVF packages are not transparent and they are quoted a different cost while initiating treatment but once treatment commences, the cost changes dynamically and they have to shell out more of their hard earned money. Hence it is in best interest of both parties if the cost of IVF is averaged out and bundled into an IVF Package.
It makes the treatment hassle free when patientsknows the exact amount in question and have no new surprises everyday. We at Indore Infertility Clinic maintain transparency in all our IVF Packages which removes the financial stress related to the treatment and encourages a stress free IVF Cycle for the patient.
So how do we calculate the IVF cost?
For this we first need to understand a few things about cost related to IVF Cycle.
What are the factors influencing the Cost of IVF Cycle?
Let us list down some of the factors influencing the cost of an IVF cycle or IVF Package:
Factor 1:Drugs or Medicines / Injections used during IVF Cycle
- Drugs for Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COH) – COH is a two part process, it involves injections for downregulation (suppressing your brain to stop producing certain hormones) as well as ovarian stimulation (supplying hormones needed to stimulate the ovary to produce mature oocytes). And finally the trigger shot for triggering ovulation.
- Cost associated with Ultrasound monitoring of the ovarian response to drugs at multiple point of time during the IVF cycle. Patient needs to undergo an average of 6 to 8 Ultrasound scans during the IVF Cycle. This includes cost of Ultrasound Machine and cost of appointing an experienced doctor to be able to do justice to the scans.
Factor 2: IVF Lab Disposables and Consumables
- Disposables used for IVF are the items that are used one per case and disposed thereof. Here are a few examples: Oocyte Retrieval Needle, IVF Culture dishes, ICSI Needle, Tubes, Flexipets, Embryo Transfer Catheter etc.
- Consumables used in IVF Lab. Consumables as the name suggests are the items that are consumed or used up during an IVF Cycle. For example Culture Media, Flushing Media, Buffer Media, Oil for Oil Overlays, Freezing and warming media for Embryos / Blastocysts etc.
Most of these Disposables and Consumables are manufactured out of India and have significant import duty associated with them.
Factor 3: OT and Anesthesia Charges
- Drugs used in OT during the administration of General Anesthesia are dependent on the BMI and type of drug used.
Factor 4: Human Resources & Experience
- Cost associated with appointing IVF Nurses who can function 7 days a week for these daily and timely injections. These nurses are specially trained to administer intramuscular oil based injections so that the experience is painless for patients. These nurses are also trained to monitor batches of injections and maintain them in proper temperature etc. IVF nurses are critical for functioning of any IVF Unit as they are responsible for proper administration of drugs which is an absolute necessity for any IVF cycle.
- Cost of experienced Anesthesiologist. An experienced anesthesiologist is the one who makes the entire oocyte retrieval process safe and smooth.
- Experienced Embryologist. Needless to say an experienced embryologist is an asset to any IVF centre and Embryology is a very taxing and daunting profession. It is a meticulous process involving precision and lots of sacrifices. One IVF Egg Collection or OPU means 6 continuous days of execution by an Embryologist, irrespective of a Sunday in between.
- Andrology Lab Technician. They are the frontline workers who help an Embryologist by assisting them in many routine workflow and quality control.
- Finally, experienced Infertility & IVF Specialist. Experienced doctors who have spent years learning and practicing the subject so that their expertise can be utilized to give better and quick result to patients.
Some other factors that indirectly impact the cost of IVF
- Whether the IVF Unit is standalone or located in a multi-specialty hospital. IVF OPU or Egg Retrieval is a very safe process which is performed under General Anesthesia. It involves a minimal risk associated with administration of Anesthesia. Patients often feel comfortable knowing that in case of any emergency, they have an ICU and many Intensive Care specialists’ available if the IVF unit is located within a Hospital.
- Infrastructure and Ambience. Patient care has become a very competitive market. Patients want world class infrastructure yet do not wish to pay for it. Any premises that has a wow looking infrastructure may have some added cost to the IVF Package and rightly so. A doctor is not going to spend money out of this pocket for giving an aesthetically appealing and more upmarket experience to patients. It’s logical.
- Cost associated with Advertisement. For as long as patients will be enticed to window shop multiple centre’s just to compare IVF Package, every IVF centre will have to spend money in advertisement in terms of social media, direct ads in newspaper, google rankingetc just to keep their brand name visible.None of these actions come for free. All these running expenses do add up to the cost of IVF Package of patients without them realizing it.
According to Dr. Gajendra Tomar (Infertility & IVF Specialist at Indore Infertility Clinic, Indore, India), commercialization of medical practice is a two way process.As long as patients ask about the cost of the treatment even before asking who is the treating doctor, IVF will continue to remain a very commercial subset of treatment.
We hope that sooner than later, patients realize the truth and let the doctor spend more time in learning new treatment regimen, than learning new ways of marketing their services.