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Cost of IVF - What You Need to Know

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is an expensive procedure.  Prices for IVF have some variance, but are fairly constant throughout the US, with an average procedure (one cycle) costing around $12,000.  The typical range is between $10,000 and $12,000. 

If a fertility clinic quotes their IVF rate at less than $10,000, be suspicious and ask more questions.  It is likely that they are leaving out “extra” tests and medications which are definitely not optional.  For example, blood work, fertility drugs, and ultrasounds can all be charged separately by some clinics.

However, if you have already gone through an IVF cycle and still have frozen embryos from the previous procedure, this is much less costly than completing a brand new IVG cycle.  An FET, or Frozen Embryo Transfer, usually costs around $3000.

Do keep in mind that while that IVF package will be around $12,000, there are some additional technologies and procedures that you may require, which do incur an extra cost.  Assisted reproductive procedures include ICSI treatments, which cost between $1000 to $1500.  This procedure is where a single sperm is inserted directly into the egg. 

Genetic testing of embryos, known as PGD, can cost $3000, if not more.  The use of egg and sperm donors also increase your costs.  A sperm donor will increase your costs from $200 to $3000 more, whereas an egg donor can increase your total IVF cycle cost to as much as $25,000 to $30,000.

In addition, you should factor in the cost of embryo freezing, including initial freezing and storage, which can run from a few to several hundred dollars extra.

A less expensive option, if you are willing to work with donated material, is embryo donation, which can cost much less than a standard IVF cycle; an embryo donor cycle costs around $5000 to $7000.  This price range assumes that the donated embryo was created previously; that is, the embryo has not been created specifically for you through a choice of egg and sperm donor – which would be astronomically expensive.

Also, a comparatively new procedure in fertility treatment, known as micro-IVF, or mini-IVF, may be an option for you.  It involves lower doses of fertility drugs, as well as monitoring of the growing embryos prior to transfer.  Its average cost is around $5000, but keep in mind that it is not for everyone, with uneven success rates thus far. 

You may be feeling overwhelmed by the high costs of IVF.  Keep in mind that many fertility clinics strive to help individuals afford IVF treatment, through payment plans and other options.  Talk to your clinic, explain your situation honestly, and ask what they can do for you. 
Also, some clinics offer refund programs. 

With these, you pay a one-time fee, generally between $20,000 and $30,000, which will cover three to four IVF cycles.  If you do not get pregnant after that time, the clinic will refund part of your money.  While not all patients qualify, it is worth inquiring about at your clinic.  Just be sure to read the fine print, as terms will vary. 

For example, the term “successful cycle” can be interpreted in different ways.  A positive pregnancy test may be considered to be a success, but then if you suffer a miscarriage, you may lose the refund and the right to the next cycle. 

Finally, while it is certainly important to compare costs among fertility clinics, do not let price be your deciding factor.  Consider as well the success rates of each of your candidates. 

A particular IVF clinic may charge a low price, but that may also come with a low success rate or a need for multiple cycles to achieve pregnancy.  Be sure to balance these factors carefully.

Deciding to undergo IVF treatment is a difficult process, made more complicated by the wide range of treatment options, high costs, and variances from clinic to clinic.  Take the time to research so you can choose the IVF procedure and provider which are right for you. 

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