Back in 2010 supermarket chain Asda announced that it would be offering fertility drugs on a not for profit basis saving couples who are enduring private health center fertility treatment around £820 per cycle. Now we have the news that at least one baby has been born as a result of the reduced price drugs.
Carla and Damian Tapping from Bicester, Oxfordshire have announced that their son, Louie, was born after private fertility treatment during which the required drugs were purchased from Asda. The couple had been victims of the postcode lottery in fertility treatment. The number of cycles available on the NHS varies form one area to another but many trusts will only provide one cycle free. If that fails then couples are forced to go private and that can cost up to £6000 per cycle putting the treatment beyond the budgets of many. As success rates for even for women under the age of 35 are only around 32% that leaves a lot of people facing a huge expense to pursue their dreams and the situation is worse for older women.
The drugs account for a significant proportion of the costs for fertility treatment and so Asda’s reduced prices at least go some way to making the process more affordable. To borrow the slogan of another well-known supermarket every little helps! The move by Asda has undoubtedly gained the store valuable publicity and brownie points but other retailers have yet to follow suit.
The Cost of a Child
Whilst the costs of fertility treatment seem rather intimidating they are actually nothing next to the cost of bringing up a child. This is an issue which has been the subject of much research recently. Estimates vary according to what factors are included in the sums but it seems likely that if you include everything from the cost of nursery furniture and baby equipment to the high price of further education, parents are looking at a £220,000 outlay!
Life Long Commitment
The cost of larger housing, children’s clothing, school uniform, Christmas presents, birthdays, hobbies, food, holidays, mobile phones and other gadgets and especially childcare all mount up to a fortune. To make matters worse the costs of both renting property and buying your own home are now so high that many parents have their kids living at home for longer because they can’t afford to leave. People are getting married later in life as well meaning that people often live with their parents until well into their 30’s.
Treatment Costs are Just the Start
Looking at the cost implications of raising a child the £6000 necessary for private fertility treatment seems very affordable! Asda have done their bit to help couples out but that £820 saving looks like small fry in comparison to what comes next. You spend a small fortune to have a child who will cost you a huge fortune to bring up and who may well still be living with you when they have their own children. Parents can be forgiven for wondering when the expense will end.
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