IVF is a high-complexity assisted reproductive technology that encompasses several factors, especially if donor eggs are used. For this reason, the best thing would be checking what is included within the final price and what is not before getting started on this fertility treatment.
Treatment using donor eggs
The cost of IVF using own eggs in Greece ranges from €3,500 to €5,000, depending on the fertility clinic where you are enduring the treatment and each particular case (how many times you have to visit the clinic, if specific tests are required, etc.).
If donor eggs are used, the cost of IVF increases not only because donors are given an economic compensation but also because of the sole reason that now two persons are involved in the process, which translates into more testing, analyses, and examinations, as well as greater amounts of medications and specific tests.
When visiting the fertility clinic, do not forget to ask the medical team if the following aspects are included within the final price of the treatment:
- Egg donor compensation
- Medications and screening for egg donors
- Follicular puncture for ovum pick-up (OPU)
- Semen collection and storage
- Lab procedure (conventional IVF or ICSI)
- Assisted hatching, PGD, and any other lab procedure that may become necessary
- Embryo transfer
- Embryo vitrification and storage
- Medications for the recipient
Usually, everything related to the donor (screening, compensation, and surgical intervention for egg retrieval) is included within the price. The following costs are commonly included in the final price as well: sperm capacitation, IVF process, embryo culture until the embryo transfer (ET) is performed, and the ET itself.
According to Greek law, the egg donor compensation should be nothing more than a reimbursement for the potential expenses derived from the egg donation process. Thus, a maximum amount of €600 is fixed for travel expenses and no more than €800 for the compensation of lost work time.
Leftover embryos can be frozen by means of embryo vitrification in order to remain available for usage in future fertility treatments. Fees derived from this process are often included within the final price. However, determining for how long you want to keep them frozen is important as well.
How long should the embryo be cultured is also a controversial aspect as regards the price, since sometimes an extended embryo culture in an IVF programme, that is to say, from day 3 up to day 5 or 6, counts as an extra fee and, again, is not included within the final price.
Another issue that is not always crystal clear from an economic viewpoint is the treatment for the egg donor recipient. Women who undergo donor-egg IVF have to administer a series of fertility drugs to prepare their uterus for the embryo transfer, aiming at increasing the odds for embryo implantation to occur.
How to cut the cost of egg donation
The cost of egg donation may also vary depending on the number of eggs guaranteed. In this sense, for instance, if 5 embryos are guaranteed (known as mini egg donation), the average price is around €4,000, meanwhile it can be as high as €6,000 if 10 eggs are used.
Finally, another cost-cutting option allowed by Greek law as well is embryo donation. Some fertility clinics include embryo donation and adoption programmes in which patients can reduce the cost of the treatment by using leftover embryos from couples who have already undergone IVF.
This option is particularly aimed at patients who are unable to use their own sperm and eggs, having therefore no choice but to use donor gametes. Even though double-donor IVF translates into greater success rates in general, nonetheless it also translates into higher fees, something that makes many couples choose embryo donation instead of using both donor sperm and donor eggs, reducing this way the final price of the treatment.