IVF Treatment Cost

How Much Does IVF Cost?

Last Updated on March 23, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

In vitro fertilization (IVF) offers hope for people struggling with infertility to finally build their family. However, IVF comes at a very steep price, leaving many wondering exactly how much IVF costs from start to finish and whether they can actually afford the treatment.

In this comprehensive article, we will fully explore the average costs of IVF treatment, what specific factors impact pricing, insurance coverage details, ways to make IVF more affordable, and whether IVF is ultimately worth the substantial investment for your family.

Key Takeaways on IVF Costs and Financial Considerations

In summary, here are the key things to keep in mind with regard to the costs of IVF:

  • One complete IVF cycle costs $12,000 to $17,000 on average
  • Fewer than 20% of people have IVF insurance coverage
  • Total costs are influenced by personal medical factors
  • Multiple failed cycles may be required, increasing cumulative fees
  • Financing options can help manage what insurance won’t cover
  • Always check your specific insurance policy provisions first
  • There are ways to reduce expenses through protocols, discounts, etc.
  • Weigh your budget, emotions, and goals before proceeding

How Much Does IVF Cost on Average?

The average cost of one full cycle of IVF is between $12,000 and $17,000 in the United States. This includes:

  • Initial consultations and baseline diagnostic testing: $200 to $500
  • Ultrasounds and bloodwork monitoring throughout ovarian stimulation: $2,000 to $5,000
  • Fertility medications to stimulate the ovaries and prepare the uterus: $1,500 to $5,000 per cycle
  • Egg retrieval procedure and anesthesia fees: $1,000 to $7,000
  • Fertilization and incubation of embryos: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Embryo transfer procedure: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Genetic testing on embryos like PGT-A or PGT-M (optional): $2,000 to $7,000
  • Storage fees if freezing extra embryos for future use: $500 to $1,000 per year

These are general figures, but the specific costs for your unique medical situation may end up higher or lower based on your treatment protocol and how your body responds. Each IVF case is different, so total fees will be made to your particular needs.

On top of the medical costs, you’ll also need to budget for expenses like medications, time off work for appointments, travel, legal fees for contracts, and emotional support.

Additionally, it’s important to know that most patients require more than one IVF cycle to achieve a successful pregnancy. Some need four or more full IVF attempts. So the cumulative costs rise significantly the longer you remain in active treatment.

CNY Fertility notes that IVF costs range from $4,500 to over $30,000, depending on the clinic, “add on” fees, insurance, and more. If one needs multiple cycles, the costs can increase significantly.

An article in Forbes writes that embryo storage costs range from $350 to $600 per year, and genetic testing costs range from $1,800 to $3,000. Some clinics include up to one year of free storage in the base price of IVF.

Verywell Family says that using a donor is less expensive, costing anywhere from $200 to $3,000 extra, or between $13,000 and $17,000 per IVF cycle.

The New York Times reports that the average IVF cycle can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $17,000 (not including medication). With medication, the total cost can be closer to $20,000.

Investopedia talks about the cost of an IVF cycle with fresh eggs, writing that the price ranges from $11,320 to $18,941 on average, while an IVF cycle with frozen embryos costs between $9,815 and $14,345. The initial consultation fee ranges from $200 to $500

What Exactly is IVF?

Let’s go over what IVF treatment involves. IVF stands for in vitro fertilization, which is a complex series of procedures used to help couples conceive.

During IVF, mature eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized with male reproductive cells in a lab environment. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the uterus in hopes of achieving a successful pregnancy.

The IVF process consists of several steps:

  • Ovarian stimulation through fertility medications to produce multiple mature eggs
  • Egg retrieval surgery to collect the mature eggs from the ovaries
  • Fertilization of eggs in the lab through standard insemination or ICSI (direct injection of single reproductive cell into each viable egg)
  • Incubation of fertilized eggs to reach the embryo stage for transfer
  • Placement of selected embryo(s) into the uterus through the embryo transfer procedure
  • Supporting the uterine lining hormonally during implantation period
  • Pregnancy testing to determine if implantation and pregnancy were achieved

IVF cycles may be done utilizing the woman’s own eggs or donor eggs depending on factors like age and egg supply. Cycles involving genetic testing of embryos or frozen embryo transfers have additional steps and costs as well.

Important Factors That Impact the Total Cost of IVF

There are several factors that influence total cost and cause pricing to swing up or down, including:

  • Maternal age – Women over 35 often need higher medication dosages, more monitoring, specialized protocols, and additional testing like PGS which all increase costs.
  • Egg supply and ovarian reserve – Low egg reserves mean more cycles and medications are needed. AMH and FSH levels help assess this.
  • Male infertility issues – Procedures like surgical male reproductory cell extraction or donor male reproductory cells add major costs.
  • Genetic testing – PGS for abnormalities and PGD for conditions add thousands.
  • Frozen embryo transfers – These are significantly less as no egg retrieval is needed.
  • Donor eggs or gestational carrier – Adds agency and legal fees but reduces some testing costs.
  • Fertility clinic pricing – Varies based on location, reputation, technology, amenities, etc.
  • Insurance coverage – From zero to full coverage, what you pay out of pocket fluctuates widely.
  • Response to medications – Some women respond better than others and require fewer drugs per cycle.
  • Complications – Conditions like polyps/fibroids, multiple miscarriages, etc. often increase costs.

The more complex your fertility case, the higher your total IVF costs will usually run both for medical and emotional reasons.

What Does Insurance Typically Cover for IVF Treatment?

What about insurance, you ask? Does insurance cover IVF treatment? Unfortunately, widespread comprehensive coverage for IVF is still limited in the United States. Here is how it breaks down currently:

  • No fertility benefits – About 50% of patients have no IVF insurance benefits and must pay 100% out-of-pocket.
  • Diagnostic testing only – Around 15% have coverage for initial consults and diagnostic procedures only.
  • Partial/limited benefits – About 20% have some coverage but often with restrictions like for medications only or one cycle only.
  • Shared risk programs – Around 10% have the availability of bundled multi-cycle programs paid for upfront with a guarantee of child or money back.
  • Full coverage – Only about 5% enjoy plans that cover most IVF treatment costs but these policies are rare.

Always investigate your individual policy provisions closely, as coverage can vary widely. Do not assume any portion will be covered unless explicitly stated, as lack of IVF coverage remains most common.

Some employee policies offer supplemental fertility benefits, so check with your human resources department about additional options if your base insurance excludes IVF.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a placenta, cord blood banking, or egg freezing.

How Can You Pay for IVF Treatment Without Adequate Insurance?

For the majority of patients who must pay some or all IVF costs out-of-pocket due to lack of adequate coverage, how do they afford treatment?

Here are some options often utilized to pay for uncovered IVF medical expenses:

  • Medical loans – Specialty lenders like CapexMD offer loans ranging from $10,000 up to over $100,000 at fixed rates with extended repayment terms tailored for fertility needs.
  • Credit cards – While not ideal long term, many couples use credit cards with promotional financing periods. It helps break payments into smaller monthly chunks.
  • Flexible spending accountsFSAs allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars that can be applied toward IVF when paired with eligible diagnoses.
  • Grants and fundraising – Organizations like BabyQuest Foundation offer need-based grants of up to $10,000 based on financial, social, and medical circumstances.
  • Crowdfunding – Sites like GoFundMe allow you to fundraise for IVF costs from friends, family, and broader community.
  • Home equity loan – Tap available funds from your home’s value if you have enough equity.
  • 401(k) loan – Allows you to borrow from yourself and repay over 5 years in most cases.
  • Family support – Asking parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. to help with costs either directly or indirectly.
  • Credit card points/miles – Some expenses may be covered by cashing in accumulated reward points or frequent flier miles.

Go over all payment and financing options with your fertility clinic to find the best fit for your personal finances and budget. Many clinics want to help couples struggling to pay for IVF.

How Can Patients Make IVF Treatment More Affordable?

IVF treatmentIf the raw costs of IVF have you panicking, there are some steps you can take to reduce expenses and make the process more affordable:

  • Take full advantage of any existing fertility insurance coverage – Use all benefits available so you maximize what is covered.
  • Ask about bundle discounts for purchasing multiple full cycles upfront – This saves substantially on per cycle costs.
  • Ask about discounts for self-pay patients or those without insurance coverage. Negotiating lower fees is possible.
  • Minimize miscarriages which increase costs due to needing more cycles – Follow all protocols closely.
  • Freeze excess embryos or eggs for future attempts instead of new retrievals each cycle – Saves substantially on retrieval costs.
  • Use donor eggs if applicable – Eliminates costs for diagnostic genetic testing of egg when using a healthy donor.
  • See if your clinic offers shared medication plans between patients – Splitting large costly drug orders between two patients helps lower individual costs.
  • Take advantage of any financial aid, grants, or affordable payment programs the clinic provides – These make IVF more accessible for many.
  • Ask about lower-cost protocols like minimal stimulation IVF if you are a good candidate – Reduces the expenses for fertility medications.
  • Shop around clinics to compare costs if possible – Pricing varies greatly so explore your options.
  • Consider batching for multiple procedures in one cycle – Saves significantly on anesthesia and facility fees.

Having a baby is priceless, but IVF still has to fit reasonably within your budget. Go over any and all ideas to maximize affordability with your medical team.

Should You Move Forward With IVF Given the High Costs?

Given the overall high price tag, is pursuing IVF treatment worth it for your family? It is a very personal decision each couple must make after weighing many important factors:

  • Your financial situation – Do you have income, savings, coverage, or financing options to afford treatment? How will costs impact your current lifestyle?
  • Emotional readiness – Are you mentally prepared for the stress, time commitment, and rollercoaster ride IVF comes with? The hormones and process take a toll.
  • Relationship health – Have you discussed thoroughly as a couple and mutually agreed to IVF treatment? It strains many relationships.
  • Total costs – Have you projected total costs for multiple cycles if needed? Success typically takes more than one round.
  • Chances of success – What are the odds of IVF resulting in a child based on your diagnoses and history? How many tries are you willing to give it?
  • Alternatives – Have you weighed other options like adoption or child-free living? IVF is not guaranteed to work.
  • Desire for a biological child – How strong is your drive to have a child genetically related to you or your partner? Is biology less important?

Take time for honest, thorough conversations together about your goals, values, finances, and emotional limits when it comes to family-building. For many, despite the daunting costs, IVF is the final path to the child they dream of.

Final Words

While extremely expensive, IVF does make parenthood possible for many who would otherwise remain childless. However, the decision to pursue treatment should not be taken lightly given the financial and emotional investment required.

Seek professional guidance and understand your full costs before beginning.

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