The average IVF cost is $12,000, but it can be as much as $15,000 or may be as low as $10,000. It's rarely lower than that. These prices are for one cycle of IVF.
One study asked couples at a fertility clinic to track all their out-of-pocket expenses over a period of 18 months. This included what they paid for the IVF itself, as well as medications and monitoring costs. They found that for couples going through IVF, the average amount spent was $19,234. Couples spent on average $6,955 per each additional IVF cycle.
If a fertility clinic tells you that their IVF costs less than $10,000, they are probably leaving something out from their price quote. Ask them if their price quote includes everything, including fertility drug purchases, ultrasound and monitoring costs, blood work, and any options they consider “extra”.
If you have frozen embryos from a previous cycle and want to use them, doing so is significantly cheaper than doing a complete IVF cycle with fresh embryos. The average cost for a frozen embryo transfer (FET) is about $3,000.
Mini-IVF vs Full IVF
It’s also important that you don’t confuse micro-IVF, or mini-IVF, with regular IVF treatment. Mini-IVF, a relatively new approach to fertility treatment, uses lower doses of fertility drugs and involves less monitoring of the growing embryos before transfer. It costs on average $5,000.
However, mini-IVF is better suited for couples looking to try IUI treatment, and it’s not for everyone.
There are advantages to mini-IVF beside cost. For example, it is less likely to lead to a multiple pregnancy when compared to IUI, because with IUI, you can't control the number of possible follicles or resulting embryos. With mini-IVF, you can choose to transfer just one embryo.
With that said, success rates for mini-IVF are not yet clear.
Additional Costs for IVF Options
While basic IVF costs around $12,000, if you need additional assisted reproductive technologies, the cost will be higher.
For example, ICSI treatment (where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg) may be an additional $1,000 to $1,500.
PGD, genetic testing of embryos, may be around $3,000 or more. I've seen it listed as low as $1,800 and as high as $7,500.
Embryo freezing, including the initial freezing and storage, may cost an additional few to several hundred dollars. Yearly storage fees range anywhere from $200 to $600 per year.
If you plan on using an egg donor, the cost will be significantly higher -- from $25,000 to $30,000 for one cycle.
Using a sperm donor is less expensive, costing anywhere from $200 to $3,000 extra, or between $13,000 and $17,000 per IVF cycle.
Surrogacy is the most expensive of all IVF options. If you include all the legal fees, agency fees, IVF costs, and payment to the surrogate, the cost can range anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000.
Embryo donation is the least expensive of the donor options, and it's often cheaper than a regular IVF cycle. An embryo donor cycle costs anywhere between $5,000 and $7,000. This is assuming the embryo has already been created (as opposed to choosing an egg donor and sperm donor, and having the embryo created specifically for your cycle, which would be extremely expensive).
IVF Payment and Refund Programs
Many fertility clinics offer payment programs to help make IVF treatment more affordable. Don’t write off IVF before you talk to your clinic about your options.
There are also refund programs, where you pay a set fee, usually between $20,000 and $30,000, and the clinic will refund part your money if you do not get pregnant after three or four IVF treatment cycles. Not all couples qualify, and the terms vary from clinic to clinic.
Also, before signing up for a refund program, it’s important to clarify what they consider a successful cycle. A positive pregnancy test is not the same as a baby in your arms. If the refund program considers a positive pregnancy test a success, and you have a miscarriage, then you’ve lost your chance for the refund and another treatment cycle under the program.
While price comparisons are important when choosing a fertility clinic, you should also consider their success rates. If an IVF clinic has a very low price, but their success rates are low and multiple cycles may be needed to achieve a pregnancy, then choosing the cheaper clinic isn’t worth it.
More on fertility treatment costs:
- Tips on Paying for Fertility Treatment
- Could You Win a Free IVF Cycle?
- Grants and Scholarships for Fertility Treatment
- Is Crowdfunding IVF For You?
- Putting Together a Financial Plan of Action
- Crowdfunding IVF or Adoption: The Basics
- Tips for Successful Crowdfunding of IVF or Adoption
- IUI Treatment: Costs, Success Rates
- Fertility Treatment With Gonadotropins
- Fertility Treatment Stress: How to Survive Your IVF, IUI, or Other Fertility Treatment Cycle
- How to Cope When Trying to Conceive Overwhelms You
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Cost of IVF at the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago. Advance Fertility Center of Chicago. Accessed May 27, 2009. http://www.advancedfertility.com/ivfprice.htm
The Costs of Infertility Treatment. Resolve. Accessed May 27, 2009. http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/the-costs-of-infertility-treatment.html
Wu AK, Odisho AY, Washington SL 3rd, Katz PP, Smith JF. “Out-of-Pocket Fertility Patient Expense: Data from a Multicenter Prospective Infertility Cohort.” J Urol. 2013 Sep 7. pii: S0022-5347(13)05330-5. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.08.083. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347%2813%2905330-5/abstract