Who should undergo IVF?

Artificial fertilization -
Procedure, risks and costs

Artificial Insemination: Chances of Success

This is probably the most important issue that preoccupies many unintentionally childless people. According to the Federal Center for Health Education, the birth rate for IVF and ICSI is around 15-20% per treatment cycle. Across Germany, 20.3% of all IVF and 19.5% of all ICSI interventions ended in successful births in 2016 [1]. After a cryotransfer (transfer of the frozen fertilized egg or frozen sperm) it is still possible to have your own child, but the probability drops to 17.7%.

>> You can find out more about cryotransfer and social freezing here!

However, one should keep in mind that the above values ​​are only intended as a guide and vary from situation to situation. Among other things, the woman's age is decisive for the success of the two treatments. The probability of pregnancy up to 30 years of age is over 40% per embryo transfer, while from the age of 43 it is only 15% [1].

And here is another helpful statistic: Since fertility treatment is usually associated with a high emotional and financial burden, many patients drop out early. However, the latest studies give hope! According to the German IVF Register, the likelihood of pregnancy increases after several treatment cycles. It is 30% after one attempt, 61% after the third and increases to 79% after the fourth transfer cycle [1].

Artificial insemination: cost

The costs of fertility treatment are high and can be up to € 4,000 per IVF and up to € 5,000 per ICSI treatment cycle [3]. And when you consider that many couples need several attempts at the same time, they have to dig pretty deep into their pockets. But if you live in Germany and are legally insured, you share the costs with your health insurance company at 50% and for a maximum of three attempts at IVF or ICSI treatment.

However, the statutory health insurance companies only participate under certain conditions. These are:

  • Artificial insemination must be medically necessary and verifiable.
  • The couple must be married.
  • Only sperm and egg cells from both spouses may be used.
  • The age of the partners must be between 25 and 40 years for the woman and between 25 and 50 years for the man.

Private health insurance companies have different conditions and should be clarified individually.

Artificial insemination: risks

As with any medical intervention, fertility treatment can lead to physical and emotional complications. Therefore, the first step should always consist of detailed advice and weighing up all advantages and disadvantages.

Risks of hormone therapy

Hormone therapy can be both mentally and physically stressful. In some cases, what is known as overstimulation can occur, in which the ovaries “overreact” to treatment, become large and produce too many hormones. It can also lead to water retention in the abdominal area and be accompanied by syndromes such as nausea, shortness of breath and tension.

Multiple pregnancies

The transfer of multiple embryos in IVF and ICSI can also lead to multiple pregnancies and can be more damaging to the woman's health. According to the German IVF Register, the probability of carrying twins to term is 21.1% and 0.5% for a triplet pregnancy. Thus, Germany is well above other European countries.


Psychological and financial burdens are also other important aspects that should by no means be neglected.

Will the embryo implant? How does pregnancy go? Is there a risk of miscarriage? The uncertainty after the embryo transfer can understandably take a toll on the couple and cause a real emotional roller coaster. No wonder, because often all hopes are placed on the treatment!

In addition, the lifestyle, the daily routine and even the sex life must be drastically changed and adapted to the treatment plan.

In order to ease this nerve-wracking phase, it may make sense to resort to professional help and have the treatment accompanied by a psychologist.