Ballpark Estimate: $10,000 to $30,000 per cycle
You probably already know that IVF prices are expensive, but if you’re aching to have a baby of your own to hold and other methods of reproduction haven’t been effective, then this procedure could be the answer. Many parents who have used this method with success agree the cost of IVF is well worth the investment.
Factors Affecting Cost
There are a number of steps involved in the IVF process and all of them contribute to the overall cost. When getting price quotes from fertility clinics, check to be sure which of these items are included in their IVF prices. Also realize that everyone is different and your specific situation will affect the overall cost.
Number of Cycles
The IVF procedure is charged by the cycle, with many women needing more than one cycle to get pregnant. Since some clinics have a better success rate on the first try than others, you’ll want to shop around and find a clinic that’s known for getting results. Remember that a clinic that’s cheaper, but also less effective, will end up costing more if you’ll need to pay for multiple tries. This fact should discourage you from shopping by price alone.
The older a woman is, and the more challenged she is in her ability to reproduce, the higher the IVF costs. This is because women who are beyond their peak fertility period and have aging eggs may need more fertility medication for longer amounts of time, or may even prefer to use an egg donor. The latter will increase the likelihood of getting pregnant but will also make IVF prices be considerably higher, so you’ll need to factor this into the equation.
You might be surprised to find out that the cost of living in your area won’t be the driving force for your IVF price. Instead, the number of other fertility clinics in your region will impact how much you can expect to spend on IVF prices. If you don’t have many options locally, expect to spend more for IVF costs. When you have multiple options, you might get a better rate.
Injectable hormones that stimulate egg development are an important step in IVF. The type of medications used, the dosages, and length of time they are needed will all impact the overall IVF procedure cost. The average price of IVF medications will be between $2,500 and $5,000 if you pay for them separately. (Some clinics may also be able to provide free samples to clients, which can bring about a big savings.)
Using a sperm donor will add $500 to $3,000 to IVF costs, while using donor eggs can add $15,000 to $30,000 more. Using already-created donor embryos can be a cost-effective alternative, since this eliminates some of the steps and can lower the price in about half.
Part of the IVF costs involve frequent blood tests, ultrasounds and other forms of monitoring both the mother and the embryo throughout the various stages of the cycle. The more you have done, the higher the costs.
Using other assisted technologies in your IVF procedure, such as ICSI, which implants the sperm directly into the egg rather than letting this happen naturally, can add another $1,000 to $2,000 to the total costs. Assisted hatching (making the egg easier to fertilize) can be up to $1,000 more. Then genetic testing of the embryo can cost about $3,500, but can be an important step for some situations to increase the odds of having a healthy baby. Undergoing an embryo freezing procedure can cost up to $10,000 more. If you want to have a frozen embryo implanted, this will cost about $3,000.
Resolve: The National Infertility Association reports that a total of 15 states (as of Nov. 2012) require some sort of insurance coverage for fertility treatments. But much variation exists as to what qualifies. Therefore, you need to check with your specific state and specific insurance carrier. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine website also offers details about state policies. Even insurers who do cover treatment usually have limits on what’s covered and how many cycles will qualify. If your treatment isn’t covered, it’s worth asking the fertility clinic if they offer any discounts for self-paying customers.
If your insurance doesn’t provide fertility benefits and you’re paying out-of-pocket, you might be tempted by clinics that offer to refund your fees if the procedure doesn’t work. There are a variety of shared risk, refund and guaranteed programs worth exploring. Many of these require you to pay for a certain number of cycles up front. If you get pregnant in the first cycle, you may only get a partial refund or none at all, while if you don’t get pregnant by the time your prepaid period ends, you will be able to get some or all of your investment back. However, there are very stringent requirements to qualify for this so be sure to get all of the facts up front. Some offer the programs only to women under a certain age and who are undergoing their first cycle. Also realize that some IVF candidates may become pregnant but then miscarry, which will disqualify them from getting a refund.
Cost for IVF
On the low end, you may be able to get IVF done in a clinic located in an area where there’s lots of competition. At this price, you can expect the basics to be factored in, including monitoring, egg retrieval and the embryo transfer. Some of the variables may be extra, such as the male and female diagnostic testing, fertility drugs, anesthesia and any extra procedures you need. This can add another 50 to 75 percent more, so be sure you know up front what to expect. Also remember to ask about success rates as well, since the more cycles you need for success, the higher the overall cost.
Average: $12,000 to $17,000
In the average cost range, you can expect to be treated by a fertility clinic with a good reputation for success. Some or all of the fertility drugs may be included for this price. On the upper side of the average price spectrum, you may find some extra services are included, such as a sperm donor, assisted hatching and/or genetic testing.
High-end: $20,000 to $30,000
When you’re older and/or have more fertility challenges, you can expect to spend on the higher end of the range for IVF. This is because you will probably need to use donor eggs and/or may want to have your embryos frozen in case the IVF efforts aren’t successful with your first cycle. In this price range, you might also get a set IVF cost that includes several cycles and offers a partial refund if you don’t get pregnant by the end.
So you can expect to spend between $10,000 and $30,000+ on an IVF cycle.
When your insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatments and swinging the costs of IVF yourself just isn’t possible, there is one other option: a procedure called in vitro maturation or IVM. This is similar to IVF but eliminates some of the steps, requiring less medication and less monitoring, and making it easier to tolerate for younger patients, who are often the best candidates for this. The price for IVM is between $5,000 and $8,000.