Costs of Infertility Treatments - a research finding

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This one just came to my attention (March 30, 2011).  Researchers Calculate Costs of Infertility Treatments Over Eighteen Months, Both Averages and Costs for Successful Outcomes.


Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have published the first prospective study to evaluate treatment costs for a successful outcome across the full range of infertility services during a defined time period.

Three hundred and ninety-eight women treated at eight reproductive endocrinology practices in California were followed  to determine the per-person treatment costs for women whose treatments resulted in pregnancy as well as those costs for women whose treatments were not successful.  While some women had received treatment previously at different fertility centers, none had undergone IVF prior to enrolling in the study.

About twenty percent of participants pursued non-cycle based treatments such as surgery or tests.  Cycle-based treatments pursued by the rest included: medication only, intrauterine insemination with clomiphene citrate (IUI-CC), intrauterine insemination with follicle stimulating hormone (IUI-FSH), IVF and IVF with donor eggs (IVF-DE).    A successful outcome was defined as delivering a child or achieving an on-going pregnancy within the 18 months of the study. 

Treatment was successful for approximately 30% of patients overall, while 46% of women who pursued cycle-based treatment achieved pregnancy or delivery within the study’s time period.

For cycle-based treatments, per person costs averaged from $1,182 for medication-only to $24,373 for IVF and $38,015 for IVF-DE.  Treatment costs for each successful outcome were higher:  $5,894 for medication-only, $61,377 for IVF and $72,642 for IVF-DE. Those who used cycle-based treatments underwent an average of 3.6 treatments. 

Roger Lobo, MD, President of ASRM, noted, “A significant number of women in the US- 12%- will seek services for infertility at some point in their lifetimes.  Although their individual diagnoses and treatment choices will vary, this study enables us to give them more of an idea of the costs they might encounter in infertility treatment.”

REFERENCE:  Katz et al, Costs of infertility treatment: results from an 18-month prospective cohort study, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 95, Number 3, March 2011.


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