TTC couple asks how is IVF in UK

How Much Is IVF in the UK? And What to Do If You Can’t Afford It 👶

For couples in the UK trying to conceive (TTC), modern medicine has blessed you with a variety of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. 

The IVF treatment cost in the UK does depend on which specific one you go with. However, there’s also a large gulf between subsidized and private healthcare treatments. Now, you might be thinking: “How much does IVF really cost in the UK?”

For a clear comparison, we’ll be focusing on the cost of a traditional IVF and how it differs between private clinics and going the subsidized route. 

Read on for the full scoop, and more importantly, what options are available if you can’t afford IVF.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended as medical advice.


2 Common IVF Treatments + 3 Add-On Procedures 👩‍⚕️

For the average person TTC, there are a total of five common treatments and additional processes to customize your IVF journey.

1. Traditional IVF

The traditional IVF, also known as a conventional IVF, has five steps per treatment cycle. This will be used as the basis for the rest of the guide in order to fairly compare between subsidized and private healthcare treatments.

Here’s how it works in traditional IVF:

Step 1

Through the use of fertility drugs, your ovaries are stimulated to produce as many eggs as possible in one ovulation cycle. This is to help increase the likelihood that at least one of these mature eggs can be fertilized and implanted back into the uterus within one IVF cycle. 

Ovulation-stimulating drugs are essentially hormones, such as the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Step 2

The mature eggs are collected from your ovaries via a surgery called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration, aka, the egg-retrieval method.

Step 3

Your eggs are then fertilized with frozen sperm collected from your partner ahead of time or “fresh” sperm from a semen sample before the eggs are retrieved.

This fertilization process is done in a controlled laboratory setting, hence the term “in-vitro” in “in-vitro fertilization.”

Step 4

The culture dish containing the sperm and eggs will be stored in the laboratory for a few days. Eggs that have been successfully fertilized are considered embryos.

Step 5

A number of embryos which pass the clinic’s quality test will then be implanted in your uterus.


2. Donor Egg IVF

The procedure for a donor egg IVF is identical to the traditional one. The key difference is that a donor’s eggs are used instead of your own.

Couples struggling with producing eggs or who wish to work with a surrogate mother will find this IVF type most ideal for their TTC needs.


3. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

ICSI is a popular add-on procedure in traditional and donor egg IVF. Rather than leaving things up to chance, each egg is injected with one sperm.

To be exact, this is done at the step where the sperm are placed alongside the eggs on a culture dish.


4. Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Like ICSI, a frozen embryo transfer isn’t a specific IVF type, but an optional step in conventional IVF. As its name suggests, embryos are first frozen before being thawed and transferred to the womb.


5. Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)

Akin to ICSI and FET, PGT is a procedure that can be tacked onto a traditional IVF treatment cycle.

It involves analyzing the embryos’ quality to suss out any genetic issues before implanting them in the uterus.


2 Factors That Affect Traditional IVF Costs

average cost of IVF in UK

Did you know that one IVF cycle at a private IVF clinic costs around £5,000 or more?

However, if you opt for an NHS-funded IVF treatment cycle, your bill is essentially non-existent. Even if your integrated care board does not subsidize a full cycle, it’s much more affordable than a private IVF clinic.

For couples who prefer the private healthcare route to speed up their TTC timeline, here’s the full lowdown of the two key factors affecting the average cost of IVF in the UK.

1. The Clinic You Select

Given how many private healthcare options are available, the price difference between two clinics can be as much as several thousand pounds.

And this is only for the treatment portion of a single IVF cycle. Throw in the fees for consultations, medications, and other expenses, and the gap for IVF treatment costs in the UK widens even further.

To complicate matters, private IVF clinics are allowed to set their own prices. As such, rarely would you find two clinics with similar or even identical pricing plans.

For example, one clinic might list the price of every single IVF expense, down to the drugs that may be used. Another clinic may just list the lump sum cost of individual treatment packages.


2. Additional Services

Like a cable television subscription, there’s a litany of additional services you can select for your IVF treatment. Think ICSI, FET, and PGT, which we’ve mentioned earlier 😉  

However, adding more procedures to your treatment plan also means a larger bill at the end of the day. So, do your research before deciding whether these add-ons are truly worth going into debt for.


How Much Is IVF in the UK? 🧐

We’ve established that the average cost of one IVF treatment cycle at a private clinic is about £5,000.

However, the true cost can easily exceed £5,000 because of the additional services and various fees highlighted earlier on.

Even the price of an IVF treatment by itself can vary from clinic to clinic. For instance:

  • Clinic A (London): £3,500, without blood tests and medication
  • Clinic B (Cheshire): £4,150, without medication and embryo storage (second year)
  • Clinic C (Wickford): £4,195, without medication
  • Comparing only three clinics in England results in an average price difference of several hundred pounds for just one cycle of traditional IVF treatment.

    But how many cycles do you actually need to get pregnant via artificial insemination?


    How Many Cycles of IVF Treatment Do You Need To Get Pregnant? 

    A study involving 156,947 TTC folks in the UK showed that on average, 6 cycles of IVF treatment are needed to achieve a live birth rate of approximately 65%.

    The same study also concluded that there was efficacy in having more than 3-4 IVF cycles. One IVF treatment cycle takes around a month, so you’ll need approximately half a year or more to conceive through this method.

    As a result, the true cost of a full IVF treatment plan (aka six cycles) at a private clinic can hit the mid five-digit mark once everything is priced in. A ballpark figure would be around £30,000 and up.


    How Much Will the NHS Fund Your IVF?

    If your wallet isn’t able to withstand the hefty expenses at private IVF clinics, you don’t have to worry (too much).

    That’s because UK citizens are entitled to NHS-funded IVF treatment cycles if they meet certain criteria. However, the criteria differs according to your age.

    Age Group

    People Under 40 Years Old

    People 40-42 Years Old


    3 IVF treatment cycles

    1 IVF treatment cycle


    You have been trying to get pregnant for a minimum of 2 years via regular unprotected sex.


    You have not conceived after 12 artificial insemination cycles. At least 6 of them must utilize intrauterine insemination.

    You have not gotten pregnant via unprotected sex after trying for 2 years.


    You have not conceived after 12 artificial insemination cycles. At least 6 of them must utilize intrauterine insemination.


    You have never gone through IVF treatment.


    Your ovarian reserve is sufficient.


    You’ve been clearly informed of the implications of IVF treatment and pregnancy at this age.

    Further complicating matters would be the infamous IVF postcode lottery, which you can read more about here.

    Here’s a TL;DR of the IVF postcode lottery phenomenon in England:

    1. Although there’s a clear criteria for the two age groups, these are just guidelines from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). In other words, your local ICB isn’t obliged to follow them.
    2. In England, how many IVF treatment cycles the NHS covers actually depends on where you live. That’s because your local ICB usually has additional criteria for these government subsidies.

    As such, many people living in England are not eligible for NHS-funded IVF grants.

    Conversely, people living in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are provided IVF treatment cycles in a standardized manner should they meet NICE’s guidelines.


    Can’t Afford IVF? Don’t Worry

    It’s clear by now the average cost of IVF in the UK is high if you were to go the private healthcare route.

    Unfortunately, most TTC folks in England will undoubtedly be frustrated by the nation’s postcode lottery system, as it prevents them from qualifying for government-funded IVF treatments.

    Fortunately, twoplus Fertility’s Applicator Extra and Sperm Guide have helped countless couples conceived the child they have always dreamt of — our Success Stories are living proof of that.

    Our at-home fertility aids can similarly help you work toward pregnancy success in the comfort and privacy of your own home ❤️


    The twoplus Applicator Extra

    twoplus Applicator Extra intravaginal insemination at home

    The Applicator Extra is a sperm syringe designed for intravaginal insemination at home.

    All you need to do is draw ejaculated or donated semen into the syringe and deposit it in your vagina. The whole self-insemination process happens in under 15 minutes, without the need for procreative sex.

    But why should you use the Applicator Extra instead of a normal syringe?

    Applicator Extra sperm syringe vs normal syringe

    At 13.7 cm long, the Applicator Extra’s design is longer than your usual syringe, allowing it to deposit sperm deep in your vaginal tract near the cervix.

    Plus, its rounded barrel comfortably hugs your vaginal contour while ensuring more than 90% of semen leaves the syringe to minimize wastage. 

    What’s more, its unique Soft Tip accessory is made of 100% medical-grade silicone to maximize comfort during vaginal insertion and prevent immediate semen leakage after self-insemination.

    Keen to try out the Applicator Extra? Check it out 👇

    Try the twoplus Applicator Extra


    The twoplus Sperm Guide

    twoplus Fertility Sperm Guide

    If you prefer the intimacy of procreative sex, you’d love our Sperm Guide.

    This at-home conception aid is fully constructed from medical-grade silicone and tested for human sperm survival. It helps reduce semen backflow post-sex while keeping sperm nearer to the cervix.

    Simply pinch the Sperm Guide before inserting it into your vagina with its tail sticking out for easy removal. After the Sperm Guide is in you, go ahead and have sex! It might even make your experience more pleasurable 😏

    Check Out the Sperm Guide


    Where There’s a Will, There’s Always a Way 😇

    happy TTC couple budgets for IVF treatment costs in UK

    IVF treatment costs in the UK at private clinics can be prohibitively high. You’re going to have to set aside approximately £25,000 to £30,000 for 5-6 cycles of traditional IVF, especially if you aren’t eligible for NHS fertility grants.

    Even if you can offset some of the costs with government-funded IVF cycles, how much you save really depends on where you live.

    On the bright side, there are always home fertility aids like the Applicator Extra and Sperm Guide to give you a leg up in your conception journey.

    These are affordable tools you can use discreetly at any time. No medical assistance is needed for either the Applicator Extra or Sperm Guide, and the latter even allows you to remain fully intimate with your partner.

    When you’re trying to conceive, rest assured there’s always a solution available, even if you cannot afford the full IVF treatment cost in the UK.

    Remember, IVF is not the end all and be all — because where there’s a will, there’s a way 🤍