[Updated 2024]Cost of IVF in Nigeria: understanding the truth of IVF treatment cost
Cost of ivf in Nigeria is the first question childless couples and couples who want to conceive through IVF for whatever reasons worry about or want to know whenever they hear or see testimonies of successful ivf treatment.
Trust me, in-vitro fertilization will still be seen or perceived as only for the “rich and famous” if the cost, price, affordability, success rates and accessibility controversies are not addressed by the various ivf centres in Nigeria or by fertility experts.
I am not saying they should make it free as ivf treatment is not free anywhere in the in the world; all that couples trying to conceive need is information on ivf cost. Many couples have surfed the internet, visited the various fertility clinics in Nigeria for enquiries on the price list of ivf but the answer given to they are most times, misleading, unsatisfactory or at worst confusing.
Some couples end up paying far more than they were told. I know a couple in Abuja who were told to pay #1.5 million naira for IVF but ended up paying close to 5 million naira. This is because some if not all fertility clinics have hidden but essential charges they don’t tell you…some women or better couples have peculiarities that will gulp more money during the course of the IVF than others.
AS already stated, the cost/pricing of ivf publications or advertisements by most centres in Nigeria are often times underquoted as it turns out more expensive when you visit them for fertility treatment.
If you have been battling with information problem on the cost of ivf, this article is for you.
Truth be told, ivf treatment is expensive as there is no special government subsidy or interventions aimed at cost reduction; IVF procedures are not fully covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) – but NHIS now covers some of the procedures and investigations like ultrasound, blood tests, some fertility medications like folic acid and clomiphene citrate etc.
So you have to save for the procedure just as you save to build a house or buy a car.
My personal experience as a medical doctor and with personal interviews of ivf experts in Nigeria, I have been able to come out with the cost and the factors that determines the cost of ivf in Nigeria but don’t expect me to quote a figure. Below are the factors doctors and fertility centres consider before arriving at the price list of ivf:
1. Age affects cost of ivf, how old are you?
Age of the couples especially the woman is the single most important factor that determines the cost of ivf treatment and the success rate. Women are most fertile between age the age of 18-35 years after which their eggs start declining in number and viability.
Studies have shown that the older the woman’s age, the harder it is for her to conceive because of the following important points;
👍Chances of health problems that can interfere with getting pregnant increases with age.
➡️The ability of the release eggs readily for fertilization declines with age
➡️The viability or health of eggs reduces with age
➡️Risk of miscarriages increase with age
About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 years have fertility challenges. For example, this is the success rate of ivf at Nordica Fertility Centre in Lagos, Nigeria is quoted in below:
Less than 35 years——– 40-45%
Greater than 35 years—- 30-35%
Greater than 40 years( using own eggs)—10%
Trust me, testimonies about women of 40, 50 or even 60 years having babies via in vitro fertilization are quite expensive. The older you are, the more the tests or investigations your doctor will carryout on you and the costlier it will be. Your older age will also warrant you to buy egg or sperm from donors and this will increase the total ivf cost.
2. How many cycles? No of cycles determines cost of ivf
Let me share with you the cost of ivf in Nordica Fertility Clinic, Lagos, Nigeria as published in their website in 2020:
1. Single Cycle package: This costs #1,000,000
2.Two cycle package: This costs #1,560,000
3.Three Cycle package: This costs #2,560,000
It is important to note that this fees or price for ivf excludes the cost of drugs, and supplements for ovarian stimulation and tests carried out.
I hope this is self- explanatory. It is not? OK, now let me explain it. The above statement means some women may do just one cycle and get pregnant with a viable baby, while others will have to do about 2, 3 or even 4 cycles to achieve pregnancy and the more the number of cycles, the higher the cost of ivf.
And this money will be different from what you will pay for drugs and supplements for ovarian stimulations. The more the cycles the more the money you will pay.
3. Are you eggs viable? Do you need donor eggs or sperm?
As we discussed earlier, if you are older than 35 years, you stand a chance of not having viable eggs which means you will need to pay egg or sperm donors and this is an additional cost. The cost of egg or sperm donation in Nigeria is quite expensive. It is now a profitable venture which has been hijacked by many Nigerian youths and surrogate mothers.
A gynaecologist in University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) told me that the cost of sperm donation is about #100,000 and egg donation is about is about #800, 000 in Nigeria (it is more tedious).
Sometimes it is the hospital policy to sell frozen donor eggs or sperm to couples directly and this may cost about #350,000- #1,000,000 apart from the other ivf procedures.
Note that a family member, or a trusted friend can donate egg or sperm for you and this will reduce the cost burden of ivf on you.
4.Embryo freezing is factored into the cost of ivf
Normally, during an ivf procedure, multiple eggs are fertilized in the dish at once leading to excess embryos. In order to prevent high order(triplets or more) multiple births, and to provide ‘ back-up’ for couples should the initial fresh embryo not result in pregnancy, excess viable embryos are stored and frozen.
With this the woman can fall back in her stored embyo at little or no cost instead of starting the process all over again. Hence during ivf treatment procedures, the cost of embryo freezing is factored into the overall ivf cost/expenses.
5. Success rate of the ivf centre affects the cost of ivf
Normally, the success rate of ivf worldwide is 40-50% but Nigeria seem to have a much higher percentage of success rates trust me. However, just like a natural pregnancy can fail, an ivf cycle do also fail as nothing is 100% guaranteed in life.
But in recent times, doctors have devised a means of measuring the success rates of ivf in their respective hospitals/centres which they use to advertise to the public.
While most uses the number of successful pregnancy and delivery of a life baby in 10 women, others use successful delivery of 100 women that underwent the the procedure in their clinics. Hence, you hear some fertility clinics quoting 80% success rate if 8 out of 10 women where successfully delivered of live babies as you may have read with popular ivf centres in Lagos.
Now the higher the “success rate”, the more couples will flock the hospital and the forces of demand and supply just as it affects the price of ordinary goods and services also comes to play in affecting the cost of ivf. Hospitals with higher IVF success rate will expectedly charge higher.
Cost of ivf treatment in nigeria is the first most important step for couples before the procedure
Image Credit: Pixabay
6.Cost of drugs
Women seeking to have children are usually placed on fertilty supplements and drugs like clomid for ovarian stimulation to encourage ovulation.
Fertility drugs and supplements are patient specific and so also is the cost. The cost of fertility drugs is between #150,000 to #450,000 or more and this is subject to the patient diagnosis, tests or investigations.
The good thing is, some of these fertility drugs like clomid, folic acids, metformin etc are now covered by NHIS.
7. Cost of ivf is indidualised
You may have wondered why your neighbours had a successful ivf baby in 2016 at a cost of #900,000 but you were told to pay #1,500,000naira for the “same” ivf procedure.
My dear, ivf treatment is a not a “one cap fits them all” thing. Patients have differing personal health conditions and quoted prices often times turns out to be misleading.
A statement from Bridge fertility clinic in Lagos may perhaps explain further; it states: ” please do take note that all costs listed do not necessarily apply to you and your partner. Once you have had your appointment, you will receive and individualised cost plan specific to your needs” The statement above simply means the cost of ivf varies from couples to couples.
8.Competition among ivf centres in terms of ivf promos/price slashing/discounts and bonanzas
Lagos alone is home to over 100 fertility clinics and there are about 155 across Nigeria. The numbers alone have thrown the in vitro fertilization ‘business’ open for healthy competition and knowledge sharing. Many ivf clinics in Nigeria have devised a method of attracting couples to their centres.
Fertility clinics now do ivf promos/price slashing/bonanzas and some offer discounts for “cheap/low cost” ivf treatment.
Ivf treatment during promotions, though are still not cheap, but is more affordable and within the reach of more couples. It gives couples the leverage to try ivf treatment more than once.
Most times the cost of paying egg donors are shared or discounted. Some clinics like the Bridge fertility clinic in lagos will allow you to pay the total cost in instalments even after delivery. You can cash in on the numerous ivf ‘awuff’ that comes in the form of promos, discounts, shared cost and instalments that comes all year round.
I hope this article has finally put paid to common questions couples ask like the cost of ivf in ubth, cost/price of ivf in Lagos, cost of ivf in abuja, price list of ivf in Nigeria, cost of ivf national hospital abuja, and low cost/free ivf treatment in Nigeria.
Latest update on ivf cost in Nigeria!
University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital has carried out their second successful IVF on a 34 year old woman who has been looking for a child for 10years. When interviewed by journalists, the elated mother (names withheld) said she payed 800,000naira for the IVF procedure at the hospital.
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