Worrying Statistics: Demand For Private Fertility Treatment In Uk More Than Doubles In One Year

  • UK enquires into private fertility treatments have more than doubled (up 112%) in the past 12 months
  • Egg freezing has seen the sharpest annual rise in demand of all fertility treatments, with enquiries up 407% for UK treatments, and to Spanish clinics up 867%
  • The age of women seeking fertility treatments is falling – 49% of traffic to fertility clinics now comes those aged 25-34 years, up from 38% last year
  • UK enquiries into fertility testing, IUI (intrauterine insemination) and embryo donation are up 242%, 188%, and 183% respectively in the past 12 months
  • IVF enquiries in the UK are up 161% but Greece, Cyprus and the Czech Republic are hot spots for Brits seeking this treatment abroad

12 May 2015 – Enquiries from UK patients into private fertility treatments have more than doubled (up 112%) in the past 12 months alone, according to new research from private healthcare search engine, WhatClinic.com.

Topping the list of the most popular treatments in the UK is egg freezing which, in the past 12 months alone, has seen a 407% increase in enquiries. Whilst the treatment is offered to those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or for those who object to storing embryos for religious or moral reasons, it is also sought by those who wish to postpone childbearing. Of all UK users searching for this treatment in the past 12 months, 43% were between the ages of 25 and 34 and more than one in 10 (12.8%) were aged 18 to 24.*

Nearly half (49.3%) of all traffic to UK fertility clinics in the past year was from those between the ages of 25 and 34, compared with just 38.5% the year before.**

Increasing numbers of women are seeking fertility testing privately, with UK enquiries into these treatments skyrocketing by 242% in the past year alone. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – a procedure which separates fast-moving sperm from the more sluggish or non-moving, to be placed in the womb close to the time of ovulation – has also seen a surge in enquiries. These have almost tripled (up 188%) in just 12 months. Closely following this in terms of demand is embryo donation, with more people seeking the donation of remaining embryos from couples who have undergone IVF, which has seen a sharp 183% rise in enquiries in one year.

Private IVF treatment has also seen a rise in demand, with enquiries up 161% in the past year. Whilst the NHS can fund the treatment, only three rounds are offered to women under the age of 40,*** which explains why, for some couples seeking this treatment, going private is the only option.

The following table shows the average costs of fertility treatments in the UK, as well as the change in demand over the past year:

Private Treatment

% change in enquiries over past 12 months

Average price UK (£)

Egg Freezing

407%

£2,084

Fertility Test

242%

£362

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

188%

£718

Embryo Donation

183%

£1,942

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

161%

£2,256

Artificial Insemination

137%

£988

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

89%

£3,279

Egg Donor

68%

£2,623

Fertility Specialist Consultation

40%

£163

Sperm Assessment

15%

£125

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

5%

£3,480

Sperm Freezing

-9%

£380

There’s also growing numbers of Brits seeking fertility procedures at overseas clinics. Egg freezing has not only seen the largest increase in enquiries in the UK, but also abroad. Spain has developed an international reputation as an IVF destination, and UK patients are following this trend with enquiries into egg freezing at Spanish clinics up by 867% in the past 12 months. More UK patients are also seeking IUI treatments there too, with enquiries in the last year rising by 250%.

With private IVF typically costing £2,256 per round in the UK, it’s easy to see why people are shopping around. Other top overseas locations for this are Greece, Cyprus and the Czech Republic, all of which offer cheaper IVF than the UK. IVF treatment in the Czech Republic, which has seen the highest volume of fertility enquiries to overseas clinics from the UK in the past year, costs £735 per session on average, less than a third of the cost of the same treatment at home.

The following table shows the fertility treatments overseas that have seen the largest increase in enquiries from Brits over the past year, as well as the price difference to the UK:

Treatment

Country of clinic

Increase in enquiries (%)

Average cost UK (£)

Average cost local (£)

Savings in cost vs UK (£)

Egg Freezing

Spain

867%

£2,084

£1,887

£197

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Greece

412%

£2,256

£2,173

£83

Egg Donor

India

280%

£2,623

£1,353

£1,270

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Spain

250%

£718

£584

£134

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Cyprus

200%

£2,256

£1,845

£411

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Cyprus

173%

£3,480

£3,874

-£394

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Czech Republic

162%

£3,279

£198

£3,081

Fertility Specialist Consultation

Turkey

115%

£163

£85

£78

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Czech Republic

64%

£2,256

£735

£1,521

Fertility Specialist Consultation

Bulgaria

61%

£163

£13

£150

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

South Africa

50%

£2,256

£1,789

£467

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Poland

44%

£2,256

£1,135

£1,121

Artificial Insemination

Spain

18%

£988

£594

£394

Gynaecologist Mr Kiron Bhal, of Cardiff-based Infiniti Healthcare, comments: “More women are pursuing careers and delaying childbirth to later in life which can lead to difficulties conceiving.

“I am seeing an increasing number of women requesting egg freezing in their 20s and 30s, and choosing to have an IVF cycle when they are in a settled relationship, so there is a trend emerging of younger women, aware they may choose to have children at a later, and less fertile, time of life seeking treatment while they are still young.”

Emily Ross, director of WhatClinic.com, comments: “The cost of private fertility treatment is considerable, especially for those who are not immediately successful. The NHS  does provide IVF but provision is limited. A broad variety of social and economic factors are influencing the increase in demand for private fertility treatment, including egg freezing, demand for embryo donation and IVF.

“Medical tourism has flourished for fertility treatment but, unlike dental work or plastic surgery, cost is not the main driver for looking further afield. While there are significant savings to be made, savvy consumers also travel to avail of the groundbreaking techniques, and to work with worldwide experts at clinics with the highest success rates.

“Fertility treatment can be an emotional, frustrating and expensive process. Finding a clinic that can support you, and deliver the best results while also remaining affordable is no easy thing.”

Methodology:

*Sample data from 78% of all traffic to egg freezing clinics in the UK

**Sample data from 67% of all traffic to fertility clinics in the UK

***http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/ivf/Pages/Introduction.aspx

About WhatClinic.com

WhatClinic.com is a clinic comparison site that lists over 100,000 clinics globally. In the last year over 17.5 million people visited the site to find, compare and book treatments across a wide range of elective, self-pay medical treatments. WhatClinic.com’s mission is to give the patient, as an empowered consumer, access to all the information they need to make an informed choice, including price, availability and reviews. WhatClinic.com was founded in 2007 by tech entrepreneur Caelen King, and is in operation in over 127 countries.