Affordable IVF treatment made available

One in six couples of reproductive age have a fertility problem, the definition of which is that they have not conceived after twelve months of unprotected sexual intercourse.

Medical breakthroughs over the years has allowed them to opt for in vitro fertilisation (IVF)services, but this is an option left mainly for those who can afford it, as private sector costs can range from R25 000 to R35 000 and is not covered by medical aid.

Using a novel model Dr Thabo Matsaseng, a fertility expert with the Department Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), is able to offer IVF services at a fraction of the price charged by private clinics.

Using this simple model, the fertility unit at Tygerberg Hospital is able to charge between R6000 and R7000 for a cycle of IVF treatment. Only two other university hospitals in the country offer partially subsidised IVF treatment, however these prices are almost on par with that of private clinics.

Matsaseng left his private obs-gynae practice in KwaZulu-Natal in 2008 to sub-specialise in fertility at the FMHS. He said that in his practice he had seen many women struggling to conceive, and witnessed their battles and desperation, and it frustrated him that he couldn’t do anything except to refer them with a hope that they will get necessary assistance. He knew that many of them would not be able to afford IVF and came to Stellenbosch to figure out a way to help these women.

He started by taking a critical look at the process of IVF treatment to see where they could reduce costs. First they cut down on human resources and shared more responsibilities among themselves to save money that would have gone towards staff salaries. Instead of having an IVF co-ordinator to book and confirm appointments, they communicate with patients using SMS, in that way limiting their administrative costs. And through a public-private interaction with the Aevitas Clinic in Pinelands they save on the price of consumables and certain laboratory services.

He also made some changes to the treatment process itself. Generally a patient would receive a large amount of hormone therapy medication to produce as many eggs as possible, but in their model they use less hormone therapy medication to produce fewer, but still a sufficient amount of eggs. When harvesting the eggs he uses local anaesthesia and conscious sedation, instead of the general practice of placing the patient under anaesthesia that requires theatre time and an anaesthetist.

At almost a quarter of the price of private IVF their success rate is fairly acceptable – they have a 25% to 30% success rate compared to the 35% to 40% achieved by their private colleagues.

Listen to Dr Thabo Matsaseng's interview with Kieno Kammies here:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
'Stay away from the Bo Kaap' - residents send angry message to developers

'Stay away from the Bo Kaap' - residents send angry message to developers

There are tensions among residents in Cape Town's Bo Kaap and Saps officers were pelted with stones and petrol bombs in Parkwood.

Spaza shops worth R7bn to SA economy

Spaza shops worth R7bn to SA economy

A report's revealed that spaza shops play a significant role in the retail environment, especially in informal settlements.

#TalkingTech - Say cheese! Opening a bank account just got easier

#TalkingTech - Say cheese! Opening a bank account just got easier

It's now possible open an FNB banking account, simply by taking a selfie.

Drunk in charge of an ambulance: EMS employee arrested for alleged drunk driving

Drunk in charge of an ambulance: EMS employee arrested for alleged drunk driving

Disciplinary and criminal procedures are currently underway following the incident in Cape Town on Tuesday morning.

Equal Education: 'Rumours about sexual harassment around for sometime'

Equal Education: 'Rumours about sexual harassment around for sometime'

The organisation's been banned from schools in the Western Cape following allegations of sexual harassment against senior members.

People cannot depend on the State to do everything for them - WC Housing MEC

People cannot depend on the State to do everything for them - WC Housing MEC

Bonginkosi Madikizela addresses the current housing crisis in parts of the Western Cape.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] Van Breda's call to emergency services: 'My family and I were attacked'

[LISTEN] Van Breda's call to emergency services: 'My family and I were attacked'

The chilling call Henri van Breda made to emergency services on the night his mother, father and big brother were hacked to death.

[LISTEN] Dailene, the lady behind the video from Thursday's heist in Boksburg

[LISTEN] Dailene, the lady behind the video from Thursday's heist in Boksburg

Another heist was carried out in Boksburg on Thursday morning and led to five people being arrested.

CT's desalinated water may have long-term health risks, scientists warn

CT's desalinated water may have long-term health risks, scientists warn

Desalination is not a risk-free solution to the water crisis and could have health implications, local experts have argued.

Hope Ramaphosa: Cyril never lifted a finger to me, he wouldn't beat a woman

Hope Ramaphosa: Cyril never lifted a finger to me, he wouldn't beat a woman

Cyril Ramaphosa's ex-wife says abuse allegations spread by EFF leader Julius Malema are an attempt to tarnish his reputation.

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

Entrepreneur Max Lichaba built his own empire and is the CEO of Lichaba Creations and several other businesses. This is his story.

Is Shakespeare still relevant to SA's school curriculum?

Is Shakespeare still relevant to SA's school curriculum?

How relevant is Shakespeare in SA's English literature which is written in a manner that no one speaks today?

3 reasons for the petrol price hike (and why it will hurt more than you think)

3 reasons for the petrol price hike (and why it will hurt more than you think)

Economist Dawie Roodt says that the petrol price hike is going to boost the cycle of inflation and force interest rates up.