One of the worst moments — and there were many from which to choose — in my journey through IVF was being handed a price list of the services, as if I was at a day spa. The clinic no doubt thought that the nicely formatted card and glossy brochures would put me at ease.
It was quite the opposite. Being handed a price list for services to conceive a child made me sick to my sluggish ovaries and blocked fallopian tubes. It underscored the fact that the IVF version of baby-making is just capitalism after all, as cold and hard as the stirrups on the clinic bed.
As confronting as it was, my husband Chris and I handed over our credit card without a moment’s hesitation. We were fortunate enough to be able to afford it.
But with each basic IVF cycle in the vicinity of $4000 — that’s after the Medicare rebate but before anything you might get back on private health insurance — not everyone gets the ‘‘luxury’’ of picking services from this price list.
Virtus Health, the first in-vitro fertilisation company to list on the Australian Stock Exchange, has recently launched low-cost IVF clinics in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The Fertility Centre is to traditional IVF clinics what Aldi is to Coles.
“The key behind our significantly lower IVF treatment costs is our simplified and standard IVF treatment model,’’ says the website.