PGT-A (Pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy) is a test which is used to identify abnormalities in the number of chromosomes in embryos. It was previously known as Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) and is a test which is gaining in popularity with patients across the world. The use of PGT-A is debated to this day despite being available for three decades.
Its supporters claim it,
It is cost effective as it reduces those costs caused by multiple pregnancies, failed cycles and miscarriage
It is an accurate test which doesn’t harm the viability of embryos
Its detractors claim,
There is little evidence to demonstrate that it improves pregnancy and live birth rates for all patients
This article considers the availability of the test; why patients choose and its cost.
PGT-A (PGS) General Costs
Average costs for PGT-A will vary obviously between countries and can range from 1,500 to 3,000 euros in Europe to 3,500 dollars in the United States. The use of PGT-A potentially could increase the overall cost of an IVF treatment by as much as 30 to 50% depending on the country in which the test is taken. This substantial cost much be factored in when you are considering your choice of clinic, country or treatment.
It is difficult process however to assess and identify the specific costs of the PGT-A as these are set and advertised differently by clinics. The test itself also depends on a number of variables including how many embryos are tested. In addition,
- Patients do not know in advance (prior to treatment) how many embryos will be created and consequently tested,
- The more embryos that are created the cheaper the tests may be – economies of scale mean that a cheaper price might be offered if a larger number of tests are performed,
- The prices for using PGT-A when the treatment involves an egg donor tend to be cheaper on average as more embryos tend to be created
In addition to the cost involved you should be aware that this genetic testing technique can take some time – this means that in most cases patients will have to accept a frozen embryo transfer. Embryos frozen after a biopsy and then thawed before a transfer will be subject to a higher cost.
Finally, when you start to research potential costs you will note that clinics present these costs in different ways. These could include,
- The cost of genetic diagnosis per single embryo
- The costs of genetic diagnosis per bunch of embryos – usually 4 – plus additional costs for each subsequent embryo
For both options above the cost of the embryo biopsy might be included but do check as this is not always the case.
Why do patients go abroad for an IVF cycle with PGT-A?
Travelling for IVF treatments is as popular as ever and patients travel for many reasons including cost. One of the main drivers for this type of medical tourism as it is known however is to be able to access treatments that may not be accessible in their country of residence.
Patients who travel seeking PGT-A do so for a number of reasons in addition to availability including,
- Legislation in different countries means that the test may not be legal as well as accessible – this is the case for instance in Germany
- Costs of PGT-A may be prohibitively high
- Whilst costs of PGT-A may be considered reasonable as a stand alone test, the cost of IVF treatment as a whole may also mean that patients prefer to travel
- Sometimes both IVF and PGT-A costs may be very high, as is the case in the United States
For other patients the overall package of support offered by clinics (success rates, access, cost and so on) justifies travelling for fertility treatment and PGT-A.
How PGT-A works
The PGT-A test can be carried out on an embryo has reached a blastocyst stage around five days. A number of cells will be taken from each embryo and tested to see if each has the right number of chromosomes to achieve and maintain a successful pregnancy.
If the laboratory is equipped with next-generation sequencing which allows for rapid testing it might be possible to undertake the embryo transfer via a fresh cycle. Invariably however this is not the case.
More often a biopsy is taken and tested in a genetic laboratory and while this is taking place the embryo or embryos are frozen. During testing if an embryo does not have the required 46 chromosomes in each cell it is considered abnormal and known as aneuploidy. As such the embryo will not carry the correct ‘blueprint’ of life and invariably will not implant or miscarry.
When the results from the PGT-A are available a consultation will be undertaken to discuss next steps. If no abnormality is found the most viable embryo(s) are identified and arrangements can be made for the transfer. The results are usually returned within a matter of weeks and then a frozen embryo can take place at a convenient time.
PGT-A Costs Vs Embryos
The clinic of your choice may not give you options to pay for PGT-A but others may offer you alternative payment choices. For instance, you may be offered a single price per cycle, regardless of the numbers of embryos created. Alternatively, you might be offered a price based on a specific number of embryos that will be tested. If you think you may struggle getting a low number of retrieved oocytes or that their quality might be poor you might be better off choosing to pay for a specific number of embryos to be tested. Therefore, when you are considering PGT-A ensure your ask your clinic what options they offer and choose the most appropriate one based on your personal circumstances, it could save you a significant amount of money!
PGT-A: The numbers are important
Why should we be so concerned with numbers? Well, not every embryo with be healthy – according to many pieces of research an average of 50% of all embryos will have Its all So why it’s all about the number of embryos? Patients need to be aware that from the amount of the embryos developed only a part will be healthy. According to different publications up to 70% of all human embryos resulting from IVF contain some aneuploid cells – that means potentially you might only have 1 transfer ready embryo from every three that are tested!
According to Supplementary table 5 – Chromosomal abnormalities according to maternal age presented at “Analysis of a Preimplantation Genetic Test for Aneuploidies in Embryos from Colombian Couples: A Report of Cases” around 67% of tested embryos had aneuploidies.Analysis of a Preimplantation Genetic Test for Aneuploidies in Embryos from Colombian Couples: A Report of Cases
The overall % of aneuploid embryos varies between research papers but there is no doubt that this figure is significant.
So when planning an IVF cycle with PGT-A testing please bear in mind the potential difference in numbers between the number of embryos obtained against those available for transfer after the testing.
PGT-A (PGS) costs in popular countries – A comparison
For those considering travelling for IVF treatment, comparing countries and clinics by price is a necessity. For those considering a PGT-A we have put together the following table which provides information on indicative prices you are likely to pay in different countries.
|IVF Country||Average PGT-A (PGS) Cost*|
|Spain||€1,800 - €3,000|
|Portugal||€2,000 - €2,400|
|Czech Republic||€1,500 - €2,000|
|North Cyprus||€2,000 - €2,500|
|Greece||€1,500 - €2,000|
|Denmark||€1,500 - €2,000|
|Latvia||€2,000 - €2,400|
|Poland||€1,000 - €2,000|
|Ukraine||€1,500 - €2,000|
|Russia||€1,000 - €1,500|
|United Kingdom||£1,200 - £2,500|
|Mexico||$2,000 - $5,000|
|USA||$4,000 - $12,000|
|India||£150 - £500|
The average costs of PGT-A is between 1,800 and 3,000 EUR for 4 embryos tested (including the embryo biopsy). Testing is widely availability and the country has a long history of offering the test.
PGT-A costs can hover around the 2,000 EUR figure and this cost will include the embryo biopsy and with up to four embryos.
The PGT-A test is widely available across the country at a cost between 1,500 EUR and 2,000 EUR and tends to cover both biopsy and up to four embryos. The country is fast becoming one of the top destinations in Europe for PGT-A.
Widely available at around 2,000 – 2,5000 EUR the PGT-A test is usually undertaken at an external genetic laboratory. North Cyprus has 17 clinics which provide the test.
PGT-A is offered by the majority of clinics and the testing is invariably undertaken by external laboratories. Prices are slightly below the European average of 2,000 EUR’s in most cases. Patients are encouraged to travel to Greece and combine treatment with a holiday.
There is limited access to PGT-A in Denmark and where available the tests are carried out with an external genetic laboratory.
PGT-A is only offered at one private genetic centre in Latvia which costs in the region of 2,000 EUR – despite numbers of providers the quality of testing is reported to be very good..
Like the vast majority of European countries PGT-A is offered to patients with the exception of it being used for sex selection. The average cost is competitive at around 1,500 EUR.
PGT-A is offered in Ukraine and it can be used to determine the sex of the embryo. The costs average 2,000 EUR.
The price of PGT-A is low, around 1,000 EUR and many clinics have a set price for unlimited number of tests.
PGT-A is available via private and public clinics (although access in the latter is subject to certain eligibility criteria) at a cost of around £2,000.
As there is no specific legislation guiding treatment providers in Mexico PGT-A is available and can be used for sex selection. The cost for the test is approximately half the cost offered by providers in the United States and attracts patients looking for a cheaper alternative.
It has been estimated that over a third of all IVF cycles now employ the use of PGT-A and consequently it is offered at all the major clinics. The price of PGT-A which can be over based on a number of cycles or embryos is one of the most expensive in the world.
PGT-A in India costs less than anywhere else in the world but can not be used for sex selection purposes. The cost can cover a cycle or specific number of embryos.
PGT-A Cost Calculator
We recognise that establishing and then comparing the costs of IVF with a PGT-A can be quite difficult. In order to help you identify these costs we have developed a PGT-A Cost Calculator (TCIT-PGT). The calculator is a specially designed excel data sheet in which you can input costs as you collect them from different providers. It is designed to allow you to plan any tests and identify costs based on the number of embryos created and/or the cycles you undertake.
PGT-A and IVF: FAQs
How much does PGT-A cost on average in Europe?
Costs vary depending the number of embryos you eventually have tested and/or the number of cycles you undergo. In Europe however the average cost of PGT-A is around the 2,000 to 2,500 Euro mark.
How much does PGT-A cost on average in the UK?
PGT-A costs on average anywhere between £1,200 and £2,500 in the UK. Despite the UK fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) suggestion that there is insufficient research to back the efficacy of PGT-A at improving the chances of having a baby the test remains popular amongst patients.
How much does PGT-A cost on average in the USA?
The cost of PGT-A in the USA can vary dramatically between clinics. Despite some cheaper (and more expensive) examples, the average price rolls between $4,000 – $12,000 – a reason perhaps for the numbers of patients from the USA who travel to other countries for the test.
How much does PGT-A cost on average in the India?
The cost of an IVF cycle in India is amongst the cheapest in the world and therefore it is no surprise that the cost of PGT-A in the country is also very competitive compared to other countries. The price averages £150 to £500.
How much does PGT-A cost on average in Mexico?
Mexico is fast becoming a popular destination for patients seeking IVF treatments and procedures. The cost of PGT-A is around $2,000 – $5,000 USD so it is no surprise that it receives many medical tourists, particularly from the USA.
What is the cheapest country to do the preimplantation genetic testing PGT-A and the IVF?
Based on our research India remains the cheapest country in which to do PGT-A. With growing numbers of clinics and no waiting lists it is becoming a popular destination for IVF treatment and genetic testing alike. If PGT-A is combined with IVF costs you should expect to pay between £1,200 and £2,000.
Genetic embryo testing – PGT-A – Final Thoughts
Genetic embryo testing is very popular among IVF patients. Many countries now offer the procedure but calculating the cost can be difficult for some. Our advice would be to shop around as prices do differ and after consultation with your clinic opt for either a cost based on a specific number of embryos to be tested or a number of cycles. If you have difficulty planning and working out costs try our PGT-A calculation tool – it is completely free!