Women typically pay between 500,000 yen and 4 million yen to undergo in vitro fertilization treatment, sometimes borrowing money for the procedure, according to a recent study in Oita.

The results of the study, conducted by a team of medical workers in St. Luke’s maternity clinic in Oita, were presented at a meeting this week in Tokyo of the Japanese Society of Fertility and Sterility.

Etsuko Shinaya, deputy head of St. Luke’s nursing department and leader of the study, said in vitro fertilization is a heavy financial burden on patients and she hopes the government will consider covering the procedure under the national health insurance.

The St. Luke’s team, which conducted the study from April through June, surveyed 200 married women aged over 20 who were receiving fertility treatment at the clinic. Half of the women were receiving in vitro fertilization procedure at the time.

The study found that some patients spent more than half of their monthly income or borrowed money to pay for the procedure.

In the most expensive case, the bill totaled more than 10 million yen.

The woman went through the procedure more than 30 times.

In a separate analysis including other methods of fertility treatment such as artificial insemination, about half of the people surveyed said the cost accounted for 10 percent to 30 percent of their monthly income, and 16 percent said it cost more than 30 percent.

The study found that some patients made up the cost by borrowing from financial institutions or from parents, tapping into their savings or canceling their life insurance.

Nearly 40 percent said they had considered giving up fertility treatment because of the financial constraints.

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