Pregnant woman holding IVF lettering | Neeva Baby

Thinking about IVF? Well, before any kind of fertility treatment, one of the first things you need to consider is the answer to this simple yet crucial question: “how much does IVF cost?” There are so many factors involved in the complex IVF process that it’s almost impossible to determine the exact cost of each IVF treatment cycle. The best thing to do before seriously considering IVF treatments is to do some research about the insurance plans that cover all or part of these costs. This article will discuss all the procedures and steps involved in In Vitro Fertilization and see how much each of them might cost you. 

 

What are the steps of an IVF cycle?

Testing

IVF starts and ends with testing. Before you begin the process, you usually take part in a consultation session where the fertilization specialist takes you through the steps and procedures you have to take. It’s a good idea to ask about the insurance coverage of their procedures right at the beginning. This stage also includes tests to estimate how your body will respond to the hormones and the following pregnancy. On the other hand, if the test results are less than optimal, you will be recommended to use an egg donor to ensure the birth of a healthy baby. 

If you are doing IVF with your partner, the tests will include him too. In this series of tests, the quality and quantity of your eggs and his sperm will be measured. The results of these tests will determine the following steps and the Invitro Fertilization cost you will have to prepare for in the next steps.

This stage of IVF costs about $250 to $500 for you and $200 to $500 for your partner. You will also have to pay for the initial appointment with your fertilization specialist and a follow-up appointment to discuss the results.

Stimulation

Stimulation involves injecting hormones into the ovaries in order to trick them into producing more eggs. This process starts from the first day of your monthly cycle and varies from person to person. Some people will have 1 or 2 injections, while others will have to do daily injections for a period of 2 weeks. The fertilization nurse will teach you exactly when and how to inject the medication.

You might also have to do an ultrasound in order to determine the official first day of your cycle and then another one to see how the ovaries are responding to the hormones. Each injection costs about $1,300, but the overall cost is hard to estimate because the number of doses is personalized for each patient. 

Another procedure that you might have to do during this phase of your IVF treatment is transvaginal ultrasound. These ultrasounds will show the state of your ovaries during the two weeks of stimulation. Each ultrasound costs $600, but the cost might differ depending on the equipment used and the city you live in.

Trigger injection

Once the production of the eggs is confirmed through a transvaginal ultrasound, it’s time to trigger the process of maturing the eggs. This step involves injecting a dose of hCG or human chorionic gonadotrophin to loosen the eggs from the ovaries' wall. The medication costs about $350 and should be administered with great care and at the right time. If all goes well, the next step will happen about 34 hours later at the fertility clinic.

Egg retrieval

The eggs are mature enough and ready to be fertilized. To extract the eggs, you must go under anesthesia at the fertility clinic. The procedure takes about 30 minutes; on average, between 8 and 15 eggs are retrieved. It goes without saying that using an egg donor will exempt you from doing the previous steps. It will also cost you an extra $8,000 to compensate the person donating their eggs. 

On the topic of the cost for IVF at this stage, there are two general attitudes. Some fertility clinics have set a base fee of between $12,000 and $14,000 for egg retrieval, embryo creation, and embryo transfer. Even in these cases, you might need to pay an extra $750 for anesthesia during egg retrieval. Other clinics, on the other hand, charge for each procedure at a time. The cost of egg retrieval in these clinics might go up to $7000. According to the American society for reproductive medicine the success rates of IVF treatment is about 32% for women under the age of 35. So, ask your fertility center to freeze the extra eggs in case you might have to do another IVF cycle. 

Fertilization

Fertilization is the process of either leaving the eggs and sperm in a culture dish to mix naturally or injecting a carefully chosen sperm directly into the egg. This procedure is called Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and usually costs an extra $1500. 

After this step, the egg is left in an incubator for about 48 hours to observe the embryo growth rate. By the end of the 48 hours, there should be about 100 cells in the embryo. During this time, the embryo is given amino acids and all the other nutrients it would naturally get in the mother’s uterus.

Another optional step you can take to ensure your embryo’s health and genetic intactness is to take a genetic screening test. The Preimplantation genetic testing (PGS/PGT-A) costs between $4,500 and $6,000, which is not included in the base fee. 

Embryo transfer

Unlike egg retrieval, embryo transfer does not require anesthesia and staying at the hospital for any period of time. Embryo transfer involves moving the fertilized eggs into the uterus using a device called a catheter. In most clinics, embryo transfer is included in the base fee. The process of frozen embryo transfer is not much different from fresh embryo transfer and does not carry higher risk of failure. 

Pregnancy blood test

And finally, after 14 days, you will do a blood test to see if a pregnancy is in progress. Your pregnancy will have to be more closely monitored than most because the chance of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy is higher in the case of IVF. Therefore, you will have to expect more appointments and test costs during the pregnancy. Moreover, a series of progesterone support injections will be required to ensure the pregnancy goes on without a hitch.

 

What is the average cost of IVF?

With that said, we come back to the question: How much is In Vitro Fertilization? An analysis of IVF treatment costs shows that you will have to set aside a budget of between $12,000 and $30,000 for each cycle. The amount varies according to some factors: whether you want a full or mini-IVF, whether you use fresh sperm or donor sperm, and whether you have eggs of your own or need donor eggs.

In cases where you cannot carry the fetus yourself, you might need to consider surrogate pregnancy, which costs you an extra $25,000. What’s more, the number of hormone treatments you get might affect the total costs to a large extent. 

 

What does In Vitro Fertilization cost include?

Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the cost of In Vitro Fertilization: 

Procedure

Cost

Initial consultation

$200

Pre-IVF tests

$250 - $500

Sperm quality tests

$200 - $500

Stimulation hormones

$2,000 - $6,000

Transvaginal ultrasound

$500

Egg retrieval

$7,000

Fertilization with fresh egg and sperm

$1500

Fertilization with donor sperm

$1,800 - $3,100

Fertilization with donor egg

$9,500

PGS/PGT-A

$4,500 - $6,000

 

Final thoughts 

In Vitro Fertilization is one of the many ways people can make a family. But before embarking on this long and stressful journey, you have to take a long hard look at your stamina to go through all those steps and your financial security to be able to pay for IVF cycle or cycles. It’s worth noting that if you have some frozen eggs in the fertility clinic, the next IVF cycles will cost you significantly less. 

Of course, your health insurance company might cover parts of the IVF costs, and you can also use grants, loans, and credit cards to cover the expenses. But, it’s important to remember that undergoing IVF treatment and getting pregnant is the beginning of a life-long journey, and the responsibilities do not end with paying the cost of In Vitro Fertilization.

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