Pregnancy and Fertility Finance For IVF Treatments
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one of several techniques to help people with fertility problems conceive, but it is expensive and may require multiple attempts. Infertility is more common than you may think as this global health issue affects millions of people of reproductive age worldwide.
According to available data, the WHO suggests that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals from around the world have infertility. In this guide, find out more about IVF and how MediFin’s life-changing pregnancy and fertility loans can help.
What Is IVF And How Does It Work?
IVF is a complicated procedure that involves a number of steps to assist with infertility or prevent genetic abnormalities and help with conception. During In vitro fertilisation, adult eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilised by sperm in a laboratory. From there, the fertilised egg or eggs (embryos) are placed inside a uterus. One IVF cycle lasts around three weeks although the stages are sometimes divided into multiple phases which may extend the procedure.
Who Can Benefit From In Vitro Fertilisation?
While IVF is most often the preferred method for infertile patients, it is also used by many other individuals, including same-sex couples, single women and those with a genetic disease that may result in complications during a conventional pregnancy.
The ultimate benefit of IVF is improving the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby. With the right treatment, this could become a reality for so many people, including the following:
- Patients with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Older patients or patients with a low ovarian reserve
- Male infertility
- Patients with endometriosis
- Unexplained infertility
- Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Those suffering from premature ovarian failure
How Long Does IVF Take?
The IVF cycle takes around three weeks, the same length as a normal ovulation cycle. Treatment will only start after initial fertility testing which assesses the ovarian reserve (egg quality), uterine cavity evaluation and semen analysis.
Since patients should be at their healthiest, the IVF process also involves a medical evaluation to look at potential genetic carrier screening risks to mild or moderate elevations in blood sugar. Patients with certain medical conditions may require lifestyle modifications to increase the likelihood of a future pregnancy.
Including the time it takes for a 90-day preconception health regimen and fertility testing, the entire IVF process can take up to 120 days, or 4 months. Here is a breakdown of what to expect.
Steps In The In Vitro Fertilisation Process
- The best time to start following a preconception checklist is three months before the start of an IVF cycle
- During this time, patients should begin their physician-approved programme which often includes taking prenatal vitamins, increasing water intake, improving sleep hygiene, and eating a balanced and nutritious diet
- 30 days before your IVF cycle, the doctor will start pre-treatment tests
- Since sperm is produced every 64 days, the preconception checklist applies to the male partner as well
- Now, the IVF cycle begins which can take up to six weeks until a blood test can detect a pregnancy
Recommended: Promoting Women’s Health With Life-Changing Loans
Preparing For Your IVF Journey
The IFV journey starts with fertility testing using the AMH or Anti Mullerian Hormone blood test for women. This is a good indicator of the ovarian reserve which should give some insight into the remaining quantity of eggs and the remaining fertile years. For men, a semen analysis is can determine how fertile they are by examining the concentration, shape and motility of the sperm.
The likelihood of patients having a healthy baby using IVF depends on many factors, such as age and the cause of infertility. When trying to conceive, do the following to maximise the chance of success:
- Be in good physical and mental health
- Have a good BMI (body mass index) as extremities in weight can affect ovulation
- Follow a healthy eating plan
- Make healthy lifestyle choices that include regular exercise, no smoking or excessive drinking
When Was The First IVF Baby Born?
In vitro fertilisation has been used for decades with a safe track record. The first ‘IVF baby’, Louise Joy Brown, was born in England in 1978 using natural IVF. Since then, the technology has advanced considerably with refined techniques to help create a safer and more successful treatment.
The Cost Of IVF Treatments
If you are younger than 35 and have been struggling to conceive for longer than 12 months, or 6 months if the woman is older than 35, you should speak to a fertility specialist. Since every patient’s case is unique, the fertility testing and treatment plans are highly personalised. As such, the cost of IVF can vary greatly from patient to patient.
Although you can’t put a price on happiness, when it comes to IVF fertilisation and childbirth, the price tag can be rather daunting. The cost of IVF depends on the type of treatment and the amount of medication required. For example, artificial insemination could cost between R5, 000 and R10, 000 per cycle and IVF treatment R65, 000 to R75, 000 per cycle*.
How To Pay For IVF
Even if a medical aid scheme includes fertility treatments, it may not cover the entire process or may not approve the procedure of your choice. Be smart and plan ahead with MediFin as our medical loans can be used for various treatments and procedures. With easy repayment options and a quick online application process, you can apply for pregnancy and fertility finance to cover your IVF treatment in a few easy steps.
To help patients even further, there are several IVF Clinics and Fertility Specialists on the MediFin Directory. If you are a medical practitioner and want to join our directory, please complete this online form and let us help put your practice in front of more people in need.
* The cost of IVF treatment is not standard and may vary between clinics, regions and based on specific patient requirements