IVF patients and doctor shopping

Many IVF patients doctor-shop, but you need to understand the difference between cost , price and value so you can do this intelligently.

IVF patients are often very confused about the costs of an IVF cycle. Obviously , they want to save money , and they read all these full page ads, which talk about how an IVF cycle costs only Rs 25000 ! They are happy to sign up , because that's an amount they can afford.

However, they actually start the treatment, they end up spending more like Rs 200000, because the doctors keep on upselling them !

Sadly, IVF clinics aren't usually honest or transparent about the charges. They advertise a particular cost, but the final price which the patient ends up paying is a lot more , because there are all kinds of add- ons. This is why patients often get sticker-shock when they need to pay the bill . The take-home baby price is far more than they had budgeted for !

IVF clinics know that after the patient has started the cycle, they are stuck and cannot back out. Doctors keep upselling and adding lots of new procedures. They convince the patient to buy this by claiming that these will improve their chances of success. This means patients end up forking out much more than they expected !

To add insult to injury, they don't get value for what they're spending ! These clinics dont bother to even provide photos of the embryos to their patients, which is why the pregnancy rates in these clinics is exceptionally low. This means the cost of a baby is much higher for the poor patient, who ends up paying through her nose a little at a time !

What to find an IVF clinic which respects your time and intelligence ?

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Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.