IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cost in South Africa

IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatment is one of the advanced approaches implemented by couples who are unable to conceive naturally. Difficulty in conceiving by intercourse may be due to several genetic or physiological anomaly. However, advanced measures in medical science have made it possible to conceive a healthy baby through artificial methods. The word, in vitro, means fertilization in a laboratory. The process had first been successful in the year 1977 and has henceforth been implemented all across the world.

What is IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)?

In the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment, ovum (eggs) from the mother and sperm from the father are collected and made to fertilize in a culture media, in the laboratory. The sperm and the ovum may also be collected from donors, in case one of the parents is unable to produce healthy gametes. After successful fertilization, the embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the mother, where it gets implanted on the endometrial lining. Multiple embryo transfer to the uterus may result in multiple pregnancies and result in the birth of more than one baby.

Factors Affecting the Cost of IVF

The cost of IVF treatment cost may vary from $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle. However, the cost thus mentioned does not include the price of medications required for the procedure. The cost of medication may vary from $1500 to $3000 and depends on the condition and requirement of the candidate. Besides, the key factors on which the cost of IVF treatment depend are:

  • Number of IVF cycles required for a successful pregnancy
  • The extent of treatment required
  • Type of medication required
  • Underlying, serious health issues, if any, should be monitored and treated
  • Healthcare facilities where the treatment is being sought from
  • Experience and proficiency of the medical practitioners involved
  • A country where the procedure is being implemented
  • Involvement of a donor
Treatment and Cost

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Treatment cost starts from

USD 4600

Hospitals

About the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

The natural process of fertilization involves the conjugation of an egg and sperm inside the woman’s body. In-vitro-fertilization (IVF) is the procedure that involves the conception of an egg outside the body in a laboratory.  IVF comes under assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves the use of advanced medical technology to help with pregnancy in the woman.

Which conditions may need IVF support?

  • Blocked Fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis
  • Advanced age of a woman
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Failure of the treatment with fertility drugs

Types of IVF treatment

The different types of treatments available for IVF are:

  • Natural cycle IVF procedure: In this treatment, the fertility drugs are not administered. The egg released during the normal monthly cycle is collected and then fertilized.
  • Mild stimulation IVF procedure: The lower dose fertility drugs are administered and then the eggs are collected and fertilized.
  • In vitro maturation (IVM): The immature ovaries are collected and then allowed to mature in the laboratory.
  • Embryo transfer: The fertilized embryos are taken and transferred to the mother’s womb.
  • Blastocyst transfer: The embryos are cultured in the laboratory until blastocyst stage and then transferred to the mother’s womb.

IVF with Laser Assisted Hatching

Assisted hatching is a technique used in IVF where a gap or a hole is created on the outer shell of the embryo called zona pellucida before transferring the embryo into the mother’s womb. Before the implantation of the embryo, the developing embryo should “hatch” out of its outer shell (zona pellucida).

Sometimes the embryo is thick, which decreases its ability to hatch on its own. Making a hole or thinning the outer layer may help the embryos to hatch, which increases the chances of pregnancy. Pregnancy cannot occur unless the embryo hatches. Thus, assisted hatching IVF success rates are higher than simple IVF success rates.

Because of the use of additional technology, IVF with laser assisted hatching cost is higher than just IVF cost.

IVF with laser assisted hatching is recommended when:

  • The embryos do not have sufficient energy and nutrients to complete the hatching process
  • The woman is older than 37 years as they are more likely to have thick zona pellucida due to increased levels of follicle stimulating hormones
  • The candidate has had repeated IVF failure
  • The quality of the embryo is poor and demonstrated slow cell division and excessive fragmentation

It is performed by using infrared 1.48-μm diode laser. The technique does not cause any blastocyte damage. Laser assisted hatching has several advantages such as minimal handling of the embryo,  fast delivery, and exact control over the drilling of the hole.

It is performed before transferring the embryo into the mother’s womb on day 3, 5, or 6 after fertilization. An opening in the zona pellucida is created by drilling it with acidified tyrode’s solution.

The embryo is held firmly using holding pipette and a microneedle is applied on the area of zona pellucida. The microneedle is preloaded with Tyrode’s acid using mouth-controlled suction before each micromanipulation.

The acid is expelled over a small area of zona pellucida until it is breached. Suction is applied immediately after the breach of zona pellucida to prevent excess acid entering the embryo. The patients should be provided with antibiotics after implanting the embryo to reduce the risk of infections. 

IVF with Egg Donation

This procedure Is exactly the same as the usual IVF procedure with a difference that the egg used for fertilization comes from a different candidate than the one undergoing IVF. This procedure involves a process known as female egg donation in which a suitable candidate donates an egg for successful fertilization with the retrieved sperms.

The egg donation procedure is similar to how the eggs are retrieved from the womb of the future mother. The only difference is that during egg donation process, the ovaries of the donor are stimulated prior to the collection of suitable number of eggs from the ovaries. All the remaining stems in the donor egg IVF process are similar to the rest of the IVF procedure.

IVF with egg donation is mostly performed in the case of women who have insufficient number of eggs or whose eggs are compromised with respect to quality. The IVF specialist advices the woman to opt for donor eggs in case they believe that there are minimal chances of IVF success because of poor quality of her own eggs.

IVF with ICSI

Intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) is an IVF variation in which the sperm is directly injected into the egg for fertilization. The resulting fertilized egg is placed in uterus of the woman. It is the most successful infertility treatment used to treat sperm-related conception problems in couples.

ICSI procedure does not require the sperm to penetrate the layers of the egg. It is highly useful to treat infertility problems in couples who suffer because the male partner’s sperms are either not able to get into the egg or are unable to fertilize the egg even when they are able to get through it.

During IVF with ICSI procedure, the eggs are extracted and held in one place with the help of a glass tool. A single sperm is injected into each egg using a small glass tube. The eggs are cultured and checked for fertilization overnight. The fully fertilized eggs are selected. A few fertilized eggs selected are placed in the uterus with the help of a catheter. The leftover embryos are preserved for future use.

While in simple IVF, the eggs and sperms are mixed together and allowed to fertilize naturally, in ICSI, a sperm is forced into the sperm for fertilization.

ICSI success rates largely depends on the quality of sperms used for fertilization. Overall, the success rate of ICSI is greater than any other technique used as a variation in the IVF procedure.

IVF with ICSI and Donor Sperms

IVF with ICSI is also performed when the sperms come from a suitable donor and not from the male partner of the female undergoing IVF procedure. ICSI IVF treatment is the same when conducted with donor sperms as it is with sperms that come from the male partner.

ICSI treatment involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the egg from the female partner or a donor. In the case of ICSI with donor sperms, a semen sample from a suitable donor is retrieved. The sperm sample is processed and viable and good quality sperms are extracted from for further procedure.

Next, the entire ICSI procedure is conducted in a similar manner. ICSI success rates are the same whether the sperm comes from a donor or the actual male partner. ICSI treatment cost is separate from the cost of IVF.

 

IVF with ICSI and Optical Spindle View

Optical spindle view is a specialized technique used at the time of IVF and ICSI. This technique helps the fertility specialists view the division of cells carefully to ensure that the entire process goes on smoothly.

The optical spindle view technique is used after the fusion of the eggs and the sperms is complete using ICSI as a part of the IVF procedure. The use of this technique helps ensure that the ICSI procedure is successful and that no DNA damage taken place around the site of injection of the sperm.

 

IVF with ICSI and Testicular Biopsy

Sometimes during IVF and ICSI, the fertility specialist may order a testicular biopsy to assess testicular function in the male partner before using his sperms. During testicular biopsy procedure, a small sample of tissue from just one or both the testicles is removed and examined under a microscope. The specialist confirms whether the male partner is fertile or not and accordingly donor sperms are arranged for IVF and ICSI.

 

How is IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) performed?

The steps through which IVF procedure occurs are:

Step 1: Over-stimulation of ovulation

Stimulation of the ovaries occurs with the administration of fertility drugs. The natural process involves the production of one egg per month, but the fertility drugs hyperstimulate the ovaries to produce more number of drugs.

Step 2: Retrieval of eggs

Removal of the eggs from the woman’s body is done through a minor surgery called follicular aspiration surgery. Pain medications are given to the woman and with the help of ultrasound, a thin needle attached to the suction pump is inserted into the vagina. The needle is directed towards the follicles containing eggs and suctions the fluid and the eggs.

Step 3: Insemination

The inactive cells from the semen are removed. The ovum and the sperms are incubated in the ratio of 1:75,000.

Step 4: Fertilization

The sperm enters the egg and fertilization takes place. If the sperm is found to be weak, then Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is performed which involves direct injection of sperm into the ovum.

Step 6: Culture of the embryo

After fertilization, the egg divides forming an embryo. The embryo rapidly divides within five days after fertilization.

Genetic diagnosis is performed after 3-4 days of fertilization to rule out the genetic disorders.

Step7: Transfer of the embryo

The embryos are transferred into the mother’s womb after 3-5 days of fertilization. This transfer is done with the help of a thin tube containing embryos. The tube is inserted through the vagina, cervix, and to the womb. Pregnancy is resulted if the embryo starts growing.

Recovery from IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

Care to be taken after the procedure

  • You can perform your daily living activities from the next day.
  • Continue to take Progesterone pills for 8 to 12 weeks as decrease in progesterone levels may cause miscarriage.

If you have experience symptoms such as fever, pelvic pain, bleeding, and blood in urine, consult your physician immediately.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cost in South Africa?

The average cost of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa starts from USD 4600 IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa is conducted across several COHSASA certified hospitals.

What are the factors affecting the cost of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa?

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cost in South Africa varies from one hospital to the other. The IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. The comprehensive IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) package cost includes the cost of investigations, surgery, medicines and consumables. There are many things that may increase the cost of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa, including prolonged hospital stay and complications after the procedure.

Which are some of the best clinics in South Africa for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)t?

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa is offered by multiple hospitals across the country. Some of the best hospitals for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa include the following:

  1. Life Kingsbury Hospital
How many days does it take to recover post IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa?

After discharge from the hospital, the patient has to stay for another 30 days in the country for complete recovery. During this time, the patient undergoes medical tests and consultations. this is to ensure that the treatment was successful and the patient us safe to return.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)?

South Africa is one of the most popular countries for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in the world. The country offers the best cost of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), best doctors, and advanced hospital infrastructure. Some of such countries are:

CountryCost
GreeceUSD 6000
IndiaUSD 3500
IsraelUSD 8000
LithuaniaUSD 4200
MalaysiaUSD 5000
SingaporeUSD 11200
South AfricaUSD 4600
SpainUSD 7400
ThailandUSD 8000
TunisiaUSD 5200
TurkeyUSD 3200
United Arab EmiratesUSD 7000
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)?

Apart from the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cost, there are a few other daily charges that the patient may have to pay. These are the charges for daily meals and accommodation outside the hospital. The per day cost in this case may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Procedure?

Some of the cpopular cities in South Africa that offer IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) include the following:

  1. Johannesburg
  2. Cape Town
  3. Lenasia
  4. Durban
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa?

The patient has to spend about 1 day in the hospital after IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) for proper recovery and to get clearance for discharge. During the recovery, the patient is carefully monitored and control tests are performed to see that everything is okay. If required, physiotherapy sessions are also planned during recovery in hospital.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)?

The average rating for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. This rating is calculated on the basis of different parameters such as attitude of the nurses, cleanliness, quality of food and the pricing policy.

How many hospitals offer IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa?

There are more than 1 hospitals that offer IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in South Africa. Such hospitals have the required infrastructure and a dedicated unit where patients can be treated. Apart from good services, the hospitals are known to follow all standard and legal guidelines as dictated by the local medical affairs body or organization.

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

South Africa has several top-quality hospitals, such as:

  1. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital
  2. Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital
  3. Busamed Gateway Private Hospital
  4. Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital
  5. Busamed Lowveld Hospital
  6. Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  7. Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital
  8. Life Bay View Private Hospital
  9. Lenmed Shifa Hospital

Below are some of the parameters which reflect the quality of these hospitals:

  1. Providing clear information about medicines to patients
  2. Effective engagement between nursing staff/doctors and patients;
  3. Suitability of the hospital environment for meeting the needs of patients
  4. Effectively managing pain.

The government of South Africa has strict healthcare regulations in place which all hospitals need to follow to ensure quality treatment. The hospitals have world-class doctors and top-notch infrastructure and provide a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of patients.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

The healthcare system in South Africa is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). COHSASA develops and evaluates standards in all areas and departments of a healthcare facility in order to make sure that integrated and coordinated care is provided. The SafeCare program launched by COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation ensures the implementation of internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. The accreditation bodies ensure that the hospitals are consistent in delivering quality care, so, initially, they grant accreditation to hospitals and clinics only for 2 years which gets extended if the quality is maintained.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Africa?

Affordable healthcare and superior infrastructure are the main reasons for the popularity of South Africa in the medical tourism sector. Medical tourists prefer South Africa for treatment due to many other reasons like world-class facilities provided by hospitals, advanced technology, global exposure of doctors, and accredited hospitals. South Africa’s recent advancement in stem cell therapy has made it one of the most preferred countries for seeking advanced medical treatment. The patient-centric hospitals in South Africa help you with all kinds of organization and administrative tasks and provide a world-class patient experience through all-inclusive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.

How is the quality of doctors in South Africa?

With quality at their core, the well-trained and highly qualified doctors in South Africa provide world-class treatment. Many doctors in South Africa receive their training in foreign countries like Australia and Cuba which provide them global exposure and make them more competent in handling cases with high precision and accuracy. The doctors deliver great results in dental procedures and fertility treatments and provide complete patient satisfaction through a holistic approach. South Africa has world-class doctors due to several reasons like their education at reputed colleges, adherence to global standards, patient-centric approach, and incorporation of the human touch in treatment.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

You can avail a medical visa to South Africa and stay in the country for 90 days to seek treatment. Further extension of the duration of the stay is decided by the High Commission of the country where the patient belongs from. People who require medical treatment for longer than three months must apply for a temporary residency permit. A visa becomes valid the day it is issued by the High Commission and not on the date of departure. Also, an application for a visa is not be accepted more than 30 days before departure. Below documents are required for applying for a medical visa:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport-sized photographs
  3. Online Application form
  4. Full return flight reservation
  5. Proof of stay in South Africa
  6. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  7. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
What are the popular procedures available in South Africa?

South Africa is known to offer some procedures with high success rates, such as total knee replacement, meniscus repairs, hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. South Africa has also gained popularity for delivering excellent results in cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment. Fertility treatment through egg donation has seen a high success rate in South Africa wherein a person can opt for a surgical or non-surgical procedure, with quite low waiting times. Low-cost treatment, fast recovery, use of advanced medical technology, and highly trained doctors are some of the reasons for the popularity of these procedures.

Which are the most popular cities in South Africa for medical treatment?

South Africa has a number of modern urban centers, such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is the medical tourism hub visited by a large number of people from different ethnicity and cultures due to world-class doctors and state-of-the-art hospitals. Most of these cities have an efficient public transportation system, cheap accommodation options, and connectivity through airlines. Johannesburg’s healthcare system is on par with Great Britain and the city’s public and private healthcare industry works closely with South Africa's medical schools to create internationally recognized medical specialists.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to South Africa?

Yes, some vaccines are highly recommended or required for South Africa. WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre recommend the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, yellow fever, rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera. Infants of age 6 to 11 months should get a single dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before they travel to South Africa. It is always recommended that you get typhoid vaccination if you are going to stay with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas of South Africa. Vaccination guidelines change with time, so keep yourself updated with the travel advisory released by the government. You can also check with doctors or hospitals in South Africa for the required vaccines.