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.
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.
The cost of IVF treatment costs in Spain 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 in Spain depend are:
Following are the treatments related to Infertility offered in Spain:
IVF/ICSI/IMSI: Severe male infertility and failures with conventional IVF, leads to this approach
Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) represent the modern form of ICSI
Egg donation (own donor egg bank): A woman donates eggs to enable another woman to conceive
Donor sperm: Sperm from the donor obtained by the sperm bank
Embryoscope: Uninterrupted viewing of embryos in real-time
PGD/PGS: Genetic screening technologies to reduce the risk of passing genetic diseases
MACS: Technique that enables sperm with the most superior characteristics to be selected
ROPA: Reception of Oocytes from the Partner, where one woman contributes with oocytes and the other with Uterus
TESA: Testicular Sperm Aspiration involves collecting sperm through a small needle injected directly in to the testicles
Assisted Hatching: Assisted reproductive technology, used in conjunction with conventional IVF treatment to improve the results of IVF
Embryo/sperm/egg freezing: Preserving the sperm [require special temperature conditions (-196 degree celcius)]
Embryoglue: Medium developed for the embryo transfer
Embryo monitoring: Allow embryologists to record the development of the embryos inside at timed intervals
ErMap (endometrial receptivity study): Personalised test to diagnose the receptivity status of the endometrium during the window of Implantation
ImMap (endometrial immunological study): Immunology tests identify the cause of the failed implantation or miscarriage
Advanced sperm test: Semen analysis to quantify active sperm cells and examine the motility
Preconception genetic test: Involves blood tests to check whether a woman is likely to conceive a child with a genetic disorder
NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Test): a process of characterizing the threat that a fetus will be born with a definite hereditary deformity
KIR-HLA genotyping: Genetic test that allows assessing the risks of the embryo being rejected by the maternal immune system
In Spain, quite a significant variation can be observed in the treatment costs for IVF. For instance, the cost of egg donation starts around €6,500 but some clinics offer this procedure even at €15,000. Initial headline prices may not reveal the ultimate cost and hence the individual has to be scrupulously careful when looking at prices offered by some clinics.
The cost of initial consultation is around €200, and this is not part of the total treatment cost. If the patient is willing to store the sperm, the cost starts from €150 per year of storage. The Embryo vitrification cost is around €400. In this comprehensive package, up to 4 embryos can be vitrified. An additional €100/embryo represents the cost incurred by the individual to vitrify more than 4 embryos. €1800 is the cost of frozen embryo transfer.
€5000-€6000 is the cost for a single treatment of IVF using its own eggs. The several diagnostic tests recommended by the healthcare professional necessary for the treatment are not part of the comprehensive package. The patient has to settle this cost separately. The cost of these tests on the average ranges around €900-€1200. Quite often the medication cost is additionally unincluded in the overall treatment cost.
IVF is not a single treatment as it seems, but a series of procedures that involve many doctors, nurses, and technicians at each stage of the process. Most of the providers charge a single base fee per IVF cycle which is inclusive of the major costs as charging every particular step separately is quite tedious and confusing. Broadly these costs include Lab tests, ultrasounds, egg retrieval, sperm prep, embryo culture, and embryo transfer.
There are some common costs associated with IVF but are not included in the base per cycle fees are medication, anesthesia, and embryo storage. As each case is unique and the exact procedures necessary for an individual can vary. Apart from the basic IVF protocol, there are a number of supplementary services, procedures, and technologies employed to achieve pregnancy. Few factors that can change the net cost of the IVF cycle are egg/sperm donation, embryo donation, surrogate, assisted hatching, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), Preimplantation genetic screening and diagnosis (PGS and PGD), Testicular sperm extraction (TESE), a success rate of every individual clinic and the non-medical expenses.
According to 2018 data published by SEF, the IVF clinical pregnancy rate for IVF for patients with own eggs: under 38 years of age was 55% those with fresh embryos and those with frozen embryos the success rate was 48%
For patients above 38 years of age – 13% (fresh embryos) and 53% (frozen embryos). The success rate data is submitted to the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society).
The egg donation pregnancy success rate for the fresh embryo per embryo transfer is 67% and 54% for frozen embryo transfer. The egg donation clinical pregnancy rate for fresh embryo per embryo transfer is 62% and 46% for the frozen embryo transfer.
Age remains the most crucial factor influencing the outcome of an IVF cycle. The maximum legal age limit to carry out the IVF procedure is 50. However, age restrictions for IVF treatment vary from clinic to clinic, considering the expertise and treatment options available with them. Generally, women above 40 years of age have markedly lower chances of live birth compared to women less than age 40. Most of the clinics hesitate from treating the patients above 42.
Measurement of a woman’s FSH and Oestradiol levels on cycle day 3 can predict the chances for successful IVF treatment. Elevation in either hormone can lead to failure and hence more elderly women with elevated hormone levels on day 3 are suggested for donor eggs or adoption.
Initially, the IVF doctor or the fertility specialist will evaluate the hormone levels and menstrual cycle. An individual may be sought to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound to ensure the healthiness of the ovaries and the general reproductive system. The doctor may recommend medication or a plan of action if needed.
Once the body reaction to specific medications mapping is done, the doctor may switch on to fertility medications. Fertility medications help the follicles in the ovaries to produce eggs.
Post this, the doctor may proceed with the retrieval of eggs from the follicles of the ovaries. If the individual has decided to advance with the donor eggs the process is carried out with the donor or the frozen eggs are collected. The donor’s/partner’s sperm is also collected.
Post egg retrieval the fertility lab is all set for insemination of egg and sperm. Fertilized eggs become the embryo, and those embryos which are unplanned to be transferred will be frozen. Embryos developed from fertilization, are placed in the uterus normally after 3 to 5 days after retrieval.
If the process is successful, pregnancy will occur and the IVF process will be considered as a success. If this cycle fails, the doctor may use another frozen embryo.
The amount of time consumed at the individual stage is completely dependent on how the body responds to the treatment. Age plays a crucial role in IVF treatments. Supplementary and advanced procedures may be employed at various stages as suggested by the specialists.
The most prominent cities for IVF treatments in Spain are Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, and Valencia.
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