Between the constant rotation in your social life, dating life, and career, you’ve somehow made it to your 30s and know you’re not yet ready to embark on motherhood. But don’t beat yourself up about it, sis because you’re not the only one!
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that women in the United States are having babies at all-time record lows. This is pushing more and more women into considering in vitro fertilization (IVF) or egg freezing to prepare for their future family.
What Is IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most popular forms of assisted reproductive technology (ART). The process works by using a combination of medicines and surgical procedures to help sperm fertilize an egg that gets implanted into the uterus.
The total IVF process has many steps and can take several months to complete. It can work on the first try, but many people have needed more than one round of IVF to get pregnant. While IVF helps to increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant, there is no guarantee.
What is Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is an ART method used to preserve a women's ability to get pregnant in the future. The process is used by many women who aren’t ready to get pregnant now but want to ensure their chances of starting a family in the future.
The process requires a woman’s eggs to be harvested from her ovaries where they are then frozen and stored for later use. The frozen eggs can be thawed, combined with sperm in a lab and implanted into the uterus through in vitro fertilization. Egg freezing also requires a woman to take fertility drugs for ovulation to help produce multiple eggs for retrieval.
Costs and Pricing
If you’re considering IVF you definitely want to save your coins. According to recent statistics in Money Magazine, a single cycle of egg freezing starts at about $5,000 to $8,000. For women that want to get a decent number of eggs, they will need to undergo multiple rounds, which can lead them to pay double, or even triple, the initial price. When adding in the costs for hormone prescriptions that get injected daily into the abdomen for at least a week prior to the procedure, this adds thousands of dollars to the bill. Doctor visits and storage fees can add another $10,000 to the overall total. Other research on VeryWellFamily lists the costs for IVF for as low as $10,000 but totals it out to about $15,000 – $20,000.
But no need to start stressing over family planning. If you’re like many other women who want to preserve your chances of starting a family in the future but don’t want to break the bank, consider these 5 affordable options for IVF and egg freezing.
1. Clinics That Offer Payment And Refund Programs
Choose your clinic wisely ladies! Many fertility clinics offer payment programs to give their patients more affordable options for IVF treatment. Consider taking your time to do thorough price comparisons before selecting a clinic and also look into their success rates. You’ll want to avoid clinics with cheap prices and low success rates for their IVF procedures.
Some clinics also offer refund programs that allow the patient to pay a set fee, usually between $20,000 and $30,000. Despite the hefty price tag, the clinic will refund part of the patient’s money if they don’t get pregnant after three or four IVF treatment cycles.
2. Share Your Eggs
If you’re in the giving mood, this is a great option! Egg sharing, or a “split donor cycle”, allows a woman undergoing IVF or egg freezing to keep half of her eggs and donate the other half to another woman who needs them, Women’s Health Magazine reports.
Since most clinics and egg cryobanks often pay egg donors approximately the same price that they charge women to retrieve eggs and freeze them, many clinics have started offering women the option of paying for their IVF by donating half of the eggs retrieved to another woman in need. This helps women undergoing IVF to save money while also helping another woman to embark on motherhood.
3. Work For A Company That Offers It As A Perk
It might be time to consider a new job sis. Some tech companies are covering the costs of egg freezing for their employees! According to BusinessInsider, companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google have started covering egg freezing costs as an employee perk!
While critics argue that the perk sends the message that work is more important than family, the policy is meant to give employees more freedom to pursue family planning according to their own timeline.
4. Look Up Clinics Sponsoring “Egg Hunt” Contests
So many women are opting for egg freezing that clinics are out here sponsoring contests! Last March, the San Francisco–based clinic Spring Fertility sponsored a “Golden Egg Hunt,” contest that had about 100 participants who competed against each other in scavenger hunt–style challenges, Money Magazine reports. Challenges included singing “Frozen” lyrics and hopping like a rabbit up a flight of stairs in order to win the grand prize of a free egg freezing cycle! If you’re considering freezing your eggs, it’s worthwhile to research any clinics offering to do it for free.
5. Fertility Loans
Many women who can’t afford the pricey costs associated with IVF and egg freezing or have health insurance that doesn’t cover reproductive health have opted for fertility loans and financing from lending companies, according to Resolve.org. Interest rates for fertility loans typically vary from 3.99% to 24.99% with the average rate being about 10%. But take your time researching the many different fertility loans that are out there. You’ll want to avoid lenders with high-interest rates and mediocre payment plans.
No matter where you are in your career and finances sis, your desire to embark on motherhood is possible. Be sure to sit down with your doctor to find out more about your chances of fertility and options for financing IVF and egg freezing. There are more options now than ever before for women who want to protect their chances of having a child in the future. So keep securing the bag, sis because your desire to become a mother is still possible.
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