How Much Does IVF Really Cost in the United States?
Having a baby is a real blessing for couples, especially when they were not able to conceive naturally. There is a range of fertility treatments available for couples like these; one of them is surrogacy.
Surrogacy is the process in which a woman carries and delivers another person’s or couple’s baby.
There are different surrogacy classifications, the most common is the one based on the genetic connection between the baby and the surrogate: traditional surrogacy (baby and surrogate are genetically tied) and gestational surrogacy (no genetic connection between baby and surrogate).
Traditional surrogacies are more legally complex than gestational surrogacies because of the genetic connection between surrogate and baby. This is why most surrogacies completed in the US are gestational surrogacies.
In gestational surrogacy, a technique called “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) is used to retrieve eggs from the intended mother (or donor) so they can be fertilized with sperm from the intended father (or donor). The resulting embryo is then transferred to the uterus of a gestational surrogate.
Gestational surrogacy can be expensive because it is a complex process that involves several professionals. IVF treatments alone can significantly impact the cost of the process. We will talk more about the cost of IVF below, but first, let’s talk about In Vitro Fertilization.
Understanding the IVF Process
In IVF, eggs retrieved from a woman’s ovaries are fertilised with sperm in a laboratory, then, the most viable embryo is transferred to a woman’s uterus.
Let´s take a look at the different phases in more detail:
· The process starts with stimulation of the ovaries. Medication is used to help the growth of follicles which contain eggs.
· Once the eggs mature, they are removed in a minor surgical procedure called follicular aspiration.
· At the same time, the sperm will be collected, washed and concentrated.
· The next step is to fertilize the eggs with the sperm. Fertilization can be done using one two techniques:
o Conventional insemination: sperm and eggs are placed in an incubator overnight.
o Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): the sperm is injected directly into the egg.
Cost of IVF in the United States
The cost of a typical IVF process (which includes monitoring and medical treatment) ranges between $10,000 to $15,000.
This price will change according to various factors including: the clinic used, the amount of medications needed, the number of IVF cycles, and the amount covered (if any) by medical insurance. Let’s breakdown the main costs.
Medical Treatment Costs:
This cost typically includes monitoring, egg retrieval, anesthesia, lab fees, and transfer process.
$10,000 – $15,000
Include with this is a course of treatment for injectable stimulating hormones. The cost will vary by dosage needed.
$1,500 – $5,000
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):
ICSI is recommended when male fertility problems are diagnosed, such as low sperm count, abnormally-shaped sperm or poor sperm motility.
$1,000 – $3,000
Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS):
PGS consists of removing one or more cells from an in vitro fertilized embryo to test for chromosomal normalcy. Doctors use it to select the best embryo for transfer.
$1,500 – $5,000
There are other factors that are difficult to predict which can impact the cost of IVF. Some of these are:
· Sometimes an egg donor may be needed if the intended mother cannot produce good quality eggs. The cost of egg donation will vary based on egg donor compensation, but on average the cost is between $5,000 – $10,000.
· At times, a sperm donor might be needed if the intended father cannot produce viable sperm. Sperm donation is usually less expensive than egg donation. It ranges between $500 – $2000.
· In some cases, a surrogate can be required to carry the baby. In this case, costs can dramatically increase up to $100,000 or more. This is due to several factors including medical screening and legal processes.
· If oocyte storage will be needed you will need to add $500 to $1,000 per year.
· In addition, IVF is not an exact science. The average success rate of IVF in the US is 39.6% for a woman who under 39. (This percentage varies; it depends on many factors including the age of the mother, the clinic used, etc.) Consequently, you may need to undergo several IVF attempts before you become pregnant. Some clinics may offer a shared risk program or a guarantee program, in which case your money will be returned to you if you do not conceive.
· The cost of fertility testing and treatment can vary from clinic to clinic. This depends on the level of competition among reproductive clinics in any given region.
The Take Away
The medicine and support involved in making a IVF treatment viable is costly. Therefore, it’s important to compare the costs of services and services offered between fertility clinics. In addition to these, it’s also important to check the clinics success rates.