Effortless IVF opens its first low-cost fertility clinic in Canada in Calgary

A traditional IVF treatment can cost upward of $12,000 per cycle, but effortless IVF opened its first Canadian clinic in Calgary in February offering the service for around $6,500, says CEO Jason Broome.

Effortless IVF offers service for about $6,500, which officials say is about half the cost of traditional IVF

A Calgary clinic is offering in vitro fertilization for a much reduced cost compared to traditional IVF.

Couples and women wanting to get pregnant who have considered in vitro fertilization know the process can be expensive.

A traditional IVF treatment can cost upward of $12,000 per cycle. However, the service is now being offered for around $6,500 in Calgary since Effortless IVF opened its first Canadian clinic there in February, CEO Jason Broome told The Homestretch this week.

"IVF is usually delivered in a very large, complex system that requires an expensive laboratory, so we've replaced that whole thing with the woman's own body and a Health Canada approved medical device called INVOcell," said Broome.

"That's really one of the main drivers of the savings. The second is, what we've wrapped around that medical device are systems that allow for reduced monitoring and diminished drug utilization."

The INVOcell device is inserted into the woman's vagina where it serves as an incubator, rather than fertilization being done in a lab setting.

The company has plans to open nine more clinics across the country. There are currently 12 clinics offering the service in the U.S.

"It allows patients broader access to an alternate form of care," he said. "We don't anticipate cannibalizing the traditional IVF market, quite the contrary, we're going to augment it and help enhance the delivery of that service."

Success rates are comparable to traditional IVF, said Broome.

"At the end of the day, you want a baby, it's not about getting pregnant, it's about having a baby," he said.

"We ran a clinical study with our partner in Texas and showed INVOcell could deliver similar live birth rates to IVF."

Not all women are eligible for the INVOcell option.

Clinic officials says the method used has about the same success rate as traditional IVF. (Kacper Pempel/Reuters)

"There are a number of patients who won't benefit or perhaps should consider traditional IVF and that's women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, that would be one class of patient that really requires intensive monitoring and may be beyond what we can offer.

Couples where men have low sperm count are also not good candidates, said Broome.

"It's not for everyone but a large segment of infertile patients certainly could benefit," he said.

There are currently about 200 names on the company's wait list.

Calgary was chosen for the first Canadian clinic, said Broome, because this market is "the most underserviced."

With files from The Homestretch