The pregnancy journey is no easy feat, varying from person to person. While some find it easier to concieve the traditional way, others may struggle with fertility and seek out alternate routes, like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

However, trying to figure out the exact cost of IVF can be daunting; the varying prices from many companies, insurance coverage, financing options and more can rapidly create confusion. Furthermore, nearly every factor influencing the cost of IVF varies substantially from state to state, clinic to clinic and patient to patient. As a result, you’re likely to encounter or hear a variety of solutions. This guide to the IVF cost is designed to break down those prices and anything else you need to know about IVF pricing.

Meet the Expert: Dr. Diana Rangaves writes for 21Ninety’s as a health and wellness expert. She is a pharmacist, philanthropist, and ethics professor turned writer, holding a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of California. She also serves as the Executive Editor and Chief Content Officer for Healthcare Worldwide Central and has published several works in medical and pharmaceutical publications, academic books, as well as, scholarly articles.

What Is The Cost of IVF?

If you price IVF at a fertility clinic in the United States, expect to pay between $12,000 and $14,000 for a single cycle. This, however, does not imply that you will pay that amount and be done. Some aspects of the IVF process are obligatory, while others are optional, and most clinics classify them as add-ons to the main charge. Depending on your requirements, a single IVF round can cost up to $30,000 or more.

A clinic’s base charge for IVF frequently includes monitoring checkups, bloodwork, egg harvesting, and follow-up care. If you’re quoted less than $12,000, the base cost may cover less than the above mentioned amounts. If you’re quoted more than $14,000, the base charge may cover more. Always request a precise breakdown of the base fee and what will be charged as additional fees.

Most clinics’ advertised prices do not include the cost of injectable hormones, which can range from $3,000 to more than $6,000 and are usually paid directly to the pharmacy that fills the prescription.

Additional clinic expenditures may include:

  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (a specialist method of creating embryos).
  • Genetic testing of embryos.
  • A trial transfer (also known as mock embryo transfer).
  • Cryostorage fees for embryos you choose to keep.

When planning your budget, keep in mind that you may need to undergo many embryo transfers or entire rounds of IVF. Inquire with your clinic about the cost of additional embryo transfers if the first transfer does not result in a successful pregnancy and birth. Also, the cost of extra gonadotropin cycles if you require more embryos. Many individuals undergo multiple cycles of IVF before conceiving or moving on to alternative choices, but some facilities offer reduced rates on the second or third cycle.

There is no way to predict how IVF will work for you. Still, your clinic may be able to provide you with statistics based on your age and ovarian reserve, the sperm quality of your partner or donor, and any other relevant medical considerations. If you use a sperm donor, egg donor, gestational carrier, or surrogate, the cost could range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Here’s a breakdown of the fees you may incur as you progress through the IVF process. Not every patient will be needed to complete all the items listed below. While this list comprises the procedures you will likely face during IVF, other tests or procedures may be required based on your medical history. Your fertility clinic will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.

The following figures are all approximations. Before beginning the IVF process or signing paperwork, request pricing directly from your facility.

Costs Before the Procedure

Base fee: $12,000 to $14,000 (usually covers monitoring sessions, egg harvesting, embryo formation, and fresh embryo transfer).

Fertility assessment: $250 to $500. This evaluation often includes an ultrasound of the ovaries, a blood test, and a physical examination.

Semen analysis: $200 to $250.

Injectable drugs: $3,000 to $6,000.

Monitoring appointments are typically included in the base fee.

Full IVF vs. Mini-IVF

It’s also critical to distinguish between traditional IVF treatment and micro- or mini-IVF. Mini-IVF involves less pre-transfer monitoring of the developing embryos and smaller dosages of fertility medications. The average cost of a mini-IVF is $5,000. Couples who want to try IUI therapy would be best off with mini-IVF, though not for everyone, either.

IUI is when sperm is injected directly into the uterus. This increases the chances of conception because it reduces the sperm’s travel time. In contrast, IVF involves many steps, including injectable hormone to stimulate follicles, egg retrieval, fertilization in a lab, then frozen or uterus transfer. The choice depends on the individual.

For instance, compared to IUI, there is a lower chance of multiple pregnancies. You have no control over the number of viable follicles or embryos that develop from IUI. You can decide to transfer just one embryo using mini-IVF. The success rates for mini-IVF are unclear. Mini-IVF might be a better alternative than IUI, but it might not be the best course of action if you genuinely need complete IVF.

How Can IVF Be Paid For?

To help make IVF treatment more accessible, several fertility clinics provide payment plans. Don’t rule out IVF before discussing your options with your clinic. Price comparisons are crucial when selecting a reproductive clinic, but you should also consider success rates. Choosing the less expensive IVF facility isn’t worth it if their success rates are poor and several cycles may be required.

Refund programs are another option; these involve paying a fixed cost, typically $20,000 to $30,000. If, after three or four IVF treatment cycles, you are still not pregnant, the clinic will return a portion of your money. Couples may not be eligible, and conditions differ throughout clinics.

Refund programs come with both benefits and drawbacks. If you are unable to conceive, the programs will reimburse you for a portion of your costs. (It’s not a full refund because you won’t get one for drugs.) Additionally, you pay less per cycle than you paid the first time if you need all three or four cycles to conceive.

On the other hand, you will have overpaid if you become pregnant during your first cycle. If most refund programs determine that you are not likely to become pregnant quickly, they will not accept you.

Additional ways to finance IVF care are as follows:

  • Credit cards
  • Crowdfunding
  • Family borrowing
  • Flexible-spending account (FSA) or health savings plan (HSA) funds
  • Grants
  • Insurance (some plans cover part or all of IVF, though it’s not common)
  • Medical, personal, or home equity loans
  • Retirement savings (additional taxes or penalties may be involved)

Insurance Coverage For IVF

When a doctor suggests IVF, you may have a lot of questions. You might feel overpowered if you also consider the financial hardship it causes most people. For most families, the biggest obstacle to treatment is the cost of IVF.

Don’t be scared to consider all of your payment choices and take your time before determining whether or not you can afford IVF therapy. Although you might be tempted to dive right in and “figure out” how you’ll pay later, doing so could put you in danger of going bankrupt. Plan how you will save, reduce, or pay back any borrowed money.

The coverage that health insurance policies provide for reproductive treatments varies greatly. While some plans only provide little or no coverage for IVF or other reproductive treatments, others offer generous benefits that will significantly lower your out-of-pocket expenses.

There are regulations in certain jurisdictions requiring health insurance to offer or give minimum levels of coverage for reproductive treatments. Find out what is covered by your health plan by checking with them, and if necessary, look for a plan that offers a higher level of coverage.