Two research studies released at the 2012 ASRM convention compared the cost effectiveness and success of IVF compared to low-tech IUI, concluding that IVF tends to be most efficient.
Doctors at Boston IVF analyzed 49,530 fresh and frozen IVF cycles from 21,155 patients treated in the clinic between January 1995 and December 2011. The treatment costs calculated for fresh IVF cycle was $8,300, and $3,000 plus $65/month embryo storage since the last fresh cycle for each frozen cycle.
IVF age factor
They determined that a patient under the age of 30, after spending $12K on one fresh and one frozen cycle, had a 32 percent chance of having a live birth.
For patients aged 30 to 35, there was a 30 percent chance of live birth. For patients aged 35 to 40, a 25 percent chance; and a patient over age 40 had a 13 percent chance of live birth after one fresh and one frozen cycle.
The study reports that women over 40, spending the same amount of money as the youngest patients, have a 77 percent lower chance of achieving pregnancy. In order to reach the same level of chance of success as the younger ones, the older patients need to spend 107% more.
In another study, researchers at the University of Toledo College of Medical and Health Sciences compared the cost-effectiveness of approaches to treating unexplained infertility. They compared: 1) up to three cycles if IUI stimulated with clomiphene citrate (Clomid), 2) up to three cycles of IUI stimulated with human menopausal gonadotropin (Bravelle, Repronex), and 3) up to three cycles of fresh IVF.
They evaluated the options for cost, pregnancy and delivery rates, and cost per delivery, and determined that starting with IVF for unexplained infertility was cost-effective compared to starting with either type of stimulated IUI.