How Much Does IVF Really Cost?

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The average cost for an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is more than $12,000. Basic IVF can go up to $15,000 or it can be as low as $10,000. It is rarely lower than that. These numbers do not include drug costs, which average out for a cycle.

One study asked couples at a fertility clinic to track all their out-of-pocket spending over an 18-month period. This includes what they paid for the IVF itself, as well as medication and follow-up.

The average couple spent $19,234. For each additional cycle, couples spent an average of $6,955 more. So, according to this study, if a couple goes through three cycles, that adds up to a little more than $33,000 out of pocket.

Before panicking, remember that there are ways to get a discount and pay less for IVF. There are also IVF and bulk refund programs.

While insurance doesn’t always cover IVF, your insurance may cover some of your costs. For example, they may cover supervision or they may cover part of the drug. That could bring down the price significantly. Always ask before assuming you can’t have IVF.

Get a quote from your clinic

Let’s say your clinic gives you a quote of $13,000. You go online, find another clinic, and they tell you they can give you a cycle for $7,000.

Should you switch clinics?

You should have store pricing when considering IVF treatment. Consider both clinic quality and cost. However, before going to the clinic for a lower price, make sure you are getting the full quote.

If one clinic gives you an estimated price for everything, while another tells you the cost just for the IVF procedure itself, you can’t compare numbers.

When you receive a quote, ask the clinic if the price includes:

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If you choose a clinic away from home, don’t forget to include travel, hotel, and time off work.

Mini IVF vs Full IVF

It is important that you do not confuse micro IVF, or mini IVF, with conventional IVF treatment.

Mini-IVF uses lower doses of fertility drugs and requires less monitoring of developing embryos prior to transfer. Mini-IVF costs an average of $5,000. However, mini IVF is more suitable for couples who want to try IUI treatment. Also, it’s not for everyone. There are advantages to mini IVF besides cost.

For example, it is less likely to lead to a multiple pregnancy when compared with IUI. With IUI, you can’t control the number of possible follicles or the resulting embryo. With mini IVF, you can choose to transfer only one embryo.

With that said, the success rate for mini-IVF is still unclear. Mini-IVF may be better than IUI, but if you really need full IVF, it may not be the best treatment option for you.

Additional costs for IVF options

While basic IVF costs about $12,000, if you need other assisted reproductive technologies, the cost will be higher.

For example, ICSI treatment (in which a sperm is injected directly into an egg) can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 more. Embryo genetic testing, or PGT, can be around $3,000 or more. It can go as low as $1,800 or as high as $7,500.

Embryo freezing, including initial freezing and storage, can cost several to several hundred dollars more. Annual hosting fees range from $200 to $800 per year.

If you have frozen embryos from a previous cycle and want to use them, doing so will be significantly cheaper than doing a complete IVF cycle with fresh embryos. The average cost for a frozen embryo transfer (FET) is around $3,000–$5,000.

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If you plan to use an egg donor, the total cost will be significantly higher — from $25,000 to $30,000 for one cycle. Using a sperm donor is less expensive, costing $200 to $3,000 extra, or $13,000 to $17,000 per IVF cycle.

Substance use is the most expensive of all IVF options. If you include all legal fees, agency fees, IVF costs, and pregnancy payments, the cost can range from $50,000 to $100,000.

Embryo donation is the least expensive of the donation options. It is usually cheaper than a regular IVF cycle. A cycle for embryos costs between $5,000 and $7,000. This assumes the embryo has already been created. (As opposed to choosing egg and sperm donors and creating embryos specifically for your cycle, which would be extremely expensive.)

How can you pay for IVF?

Many fertility clinics offer payment plans to make IVF treatment more affordable. Don’t abbreviate IVF before you talk to the clinic about your options.

While price comparisons are important when choosing a fertility clinic, you should also consider their success rates. If an IVF clinic costs very little, but has a low success rate and may require multiple cycles, then choosing a cheaper clinic is not worth it.

There are also cashback programs where you pay a flat fee, usually between $20,000 and $30,000. The clinic will refund part of your money if you don’t get pregnant after three or four cycles of IVF treatment. Not all couples are eligible, and terms vary from clinic to clinic.

There are advantages and disadvantages to cashback programs. The offer of the programs, if you do not get pregnant, you will get at least part of your cost back. (You won’t get a refund for the pill, so it’s not a full refund.) Also, if you need all three or four cycles to conceive, you may have to pay less for each cycle. than when you paid.

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On the other hand, if you get pregnant in your first cycle, you will pay more than necessary. Most refund programs won’t accept you if they think it’s hard for you to get pregnant quickly.

Other options for paying for IVF treatment include:

A very good word

Being recommended by your doctor for IVF treatment can leave you with many questions. Add to that the financial strain it brings, and you can feel overwhelmed. The cost of IVF is the number one barrier to treatment for most families.

Don’t be afraid to take your time deciding if IVF treatment is something you can afford and consider all of your payment options. You may feel like jumping in and “find out” how you’ll pay later, but this can lead to serious financial trouble. Make a plan for how you’ll save, cut, or repay any money you’ve borrowed.

Also, keep in mind that you may decide not to pursue IVF. You are under no obligation to declare bankruptcy before deciding that you have reached your limit. There are many good reasons not to continue fertility treatments, and avoiding debt (or avoiding too much debt) is one of them.

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