For same-sex couples in England, the cost can be even greater, because even if their local NHS Trust funds IVF for same-sex couples, they have to go through at least 6 self-funded, unsuccessful IUIs first (in a private clinic) to prove their infertility.

For heterosexual couples there is no such cost, as their infertility is proven by 6-18 months of trying to conceive through sexual intercourse and being unsuccessful.

How can we find out if we are entitled to funded treatment?

Your GP will be able to talk to you about your plans to start a family and can advise on any tests and medical examinations, as well as having a conversation with you about your medical and family history. They can also tell you about the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines and any extra exemptions imposed by your local NHS Trust.

How much do same-sex couples have to pay for IUI?

IUI is a popular method of trying to conceive for same-sex couples and single women, as it’s less invasive than IVF and cheaper. It can work for women who have no other known barriers to conception. Costs can vary considerably, from hundreds of pounds per cycle, to around £3,000 per cycle and medication may bring additional charges. Donor sperm (enough for one cycle) is around £1,000. Bearing in mind that in most areas of England, same-sex couples have to have gone through at least 6 unsuccessful attempts of IUI before qualifying for NHS funded IVF if they need it, for many this is prohibitively expensive.

How much do same-sex couples have to pay for IVF?  

Privately funded IVF is more expensive than IUI and is around £5,000. Donor sperm for one cycle is around £1,000. Costs will vary according to the clinic and what is included in the package price. 

For surrogacy using IVF, the costs would be the same, plus expenses agreed by the couple and the surrogate in advance of starting the process.  

Is it cheaper to go abroad for IVF treatment?

With the ‘postcode lottery’ approach to IVF in the UK, many people choose to go abroad for treatment. When deciding if this would be the best option for you, it’s important to factor in travel costs, accommodation and travel insurance. Methods used abroad may also not have undergone the same rigorous testing as in the UK, so it’s important to do accurate comparisons. Like with the UK, it’s important to shop around and to find a reputable clinic that can cater for your diagnosis, if you have one. 

Are payment plans available?

Some clinics offer payment plans for their clients and there are clinics which offer unlimited IVF packages, with up to 100% refund if clients don’t fall pregnant within a specified time. It’s important to look at these deals very carefully, to ensure that they work for your budget and to check on what is actually included, as many still don’t include every aspect of treatment in their package cost.

At the IVF network, we understand the challenges faced by people who desperately want to become parents, but who have barriers to conception. 

Finding your way through the masses of information available on the internet can be stressful, challenging, tiring and confusing. 

That’s why we are providing you with clear, concise and up-to-date information, through our dedicated channel of expert talks, our website and our blog posts, covering all aspects of fertility and treatment. We want to help make your fertility journey simpler, by enabling you to make informed choices about your treatment.