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|How Much Does IVF Cost?
The average cost for one IVF cycle is between $12,000 and $17,000. However the average cost of a live birth is about $55,000. This is because on average it can take women three cycles before they give birth to a baby (see IVF success rates). An international survey of health economics in 2002 found that the average cost of a live birth in the United States using IVF/ICSI technology was $58,394, compared to $22,048 in other countries. The survey found that a second live birth using IVF/ICSI set couples back $26,586, a third birth was $79,472 and a fourth was $47,749.
How Costs Breakdown
1. The basic cost of one IVF cycle using fresh embryos is between $12,000 and $17,000 on average. This cost includes infertility medications, screenings, sonograms and blood works. If you are on your second cycle, using frozen eggs retrieved from the first cycle the cost will be significantly lower.
2. If you choose to freeze 'extra' embryos on the first cycle and they survive the thawing process, they can be used for a second cycle, reducing your costs considerably to between $5,000 and $7,000.
3. If you need donor eggs the average cost of one IVF cycle is raised considerably to: $25,000 to $30,000. Read more: What is egg donation and what is the cost of egg donation?
ICSI Procedure: With ICSI injection, sperm is injected directly into the egg to increase chance of fertilization: $1,900.
PGD Genetic Testing: Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Embryos are tested for possible genetic disorders: $3,200. For more on this see, how important is genetic screening for IVF babies?
Embryo Freezing: If you produce more embryos in a cycle than you need, you can freeze them: $700 pays for one year's storage.
Assisted Hatching: Assisted hatching is where a small hole is made in the shell surrounding the embyro before implantation. This makes it easier to fight it's way out and implant when in the womb. Costs between $400 and $1,000.
Blastocyst Transfer: Day 5 embryo transfer, as opposed to day 3 transfer (which is normal). This may increase the chance of implantation. Many clinics do not charge extra for this service.
Egg Freezing: If you produce extra eggs, you can have them frozen until needed. You can freeze them for $500 a year. See egg freezing.
Will My Insurance Cover The Cost?
Most health insurance plans do not usually cover the cost of IVF treatment. While most plans will cover fertility tests to diagnose conditions like endometriosis or PCOS, payment for infertility treatment is another matter. And even if you do have coverage, you may be surprised by how little of your bill the company covers in reality. Some plans may only cover the IVF monitoring process (ultrasound scans and blood tests), while others may only cover the fertility drugs. While these costs are not insignificant (monitoring is about $2,000 per cycle and drugs could be another $4,000), it still can leave you with a hefty bill. Even if you think your treatment is covered, always check with your company and request a pre-authorization. They may require you to use an approved fertility clinic on their list.
Other Ways To Reduce Costs
Consider Egg Donation
Some clinics have programs whereby you can donate half your eggs to another couple. In return the couple will pay for your medications, IVF egg retrieval and transfer. You will only have to pay for your initial screening, blood tests and ultrasounds. In order for this to happen, you will need to meet certain criteria, such as be under the age of 32 and have normal follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. For more, see: What type of egg donors do clinics want? as well as how does egg donation work?
Join A Fertility Study
Some large clinics participate in studies with drug companies to test new medications which have not yet been approved by the FDA. If you are accepted onto one of these programs you may find they offer to pay your fertility medication expenses, or even an entire IVF cycle. The criteria for participants are usually very specific and may include height/weight restrictions and specific female infertility problems, or even male infertility issues.
Discounts And Refund Policies
Some clinics and insurance companies offer discount for multi-cycles and refund opportunities if you fail to become pregnant. There are also programs to join to reduce the cost of your fertility medications. It is worth checking out the following companies:
Attain Fertility™ Centers
The ARC Fertility Program
WINFertilitySM Quality Discount Treatment Program
Phone: Toll Free 1. 855.705. 4IVF (4483).
Offers discounts on fertility testing, UI, IVF, FET and donor egg cycles in fertility centers in the INFertility network.
The Assisted Reproduction Insurance Program
This company offers specific fertility insurance plans. If pregnancy is not achieved there are options for refunds or credit if you choose to progress to an egg donor program. It also offers discounts on fertility drugs through Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy.
Ferring Pharmaceutical's HEART Program
Save hundreds of dollars and receive free vials of Bravelle, Menopur and Endometrin.
Phone: 1-866-LETS-TRY (1-866-538-7879)
If you pay cash you can save up to $500 on Gonal-f (follitropin alpha for injections) which are dispensed through the Freedom Fertility Pharmacy. Ask your healthcare provider to enroll you.
For further support see our list of infertility resources.
Medical Tourism: IVF Costs Abroad
As discussed above, the average cost of a live birth in the United States using IVF/ICSI technology was $58,394 back in 2002, compared to $22,048 abroad. Costs haven't risen much since then (fortunately), but they don't appear to have gone down much either. Certain parts of Europe, Mexico and South America have much cheaper fertility programs, offering all-in IVF cycles for under $10,000 or all-in donor egg cycles for $15,000 (including travel). While not FDA regulated most of these countries operate under their own federal rules and regulation. If you are considering going abroad, always choose a clinic approved by the local national regulatory authority.
How many IVF cycles are average before becoming pregnant?