For the 1 out of 8 couples struggling with family building, the costs associated with fertility treatments can be staggering. However, if you live in one of the nineteen states that mandate fertility coverage, the costs can become much more manageable. Even if you live in a state that doesn't provide extended coverage, many insurance policies will cover some testing or medications if you have met your annual deductible.
If you're paying out-of-pocket, it's important to understand the investment you might have to make in order to complete your treatment and the many grants, scholarships and loans that are available to you.
Related: The true cost of my infertility
When pursuing fertility assistance, it is very difficult to pinpoint a precise cost for your particular treatment until you and your partner, if applicable, have both undergone a complete assessment. This includes confirmation of ovulation, sperm analysis and an examination of reproductive organs. At that point, your fertility specialist, or reproductive endocrinologist (REI), can determine a treatment path according to your diagnosis, narrowing the scope of your estimated costs.
Below are some of the most common treatments and how much those fertility treatments cost.
How much does ovulation induction and superovulation cost?
The goals of ovulation induction and superovulation are to manipulate your ovulation timing, and sometimes, to increase the number of eggs viable for fertilization during ovulation. For both processes, ovulation occurs at the same time that the sperm is introduced, increasing the likelihood that fertilization will occur.
Superovulation is indicated for a person who is regularly ovulating and trying to conceive but is not successful in getting pregnant. Ovulation induction is utilized when a person is not regularly ovulating, sometimes due to a hormonal imbalance caused by a disorder like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Related: Why PCOS matters to your fertility
The cost of medications for superovulation and/or ovulation induction ranges drastically from $30 to $130 for oral medication (which can be administered by an OB/GYN or REI) and $3000 to $5500 for the injectable medication (administered only by REIs in most parts of the country).
How much does intrauterine insemination (IUI) cost?
Intrauterine insemination is indicated for couples experiencing male factor issues, sperm delivery issues or when ovulation timing is needed.
The estimated procedure costs for one IUI cycle are $800 to $1500, not including medications. Medication costs can range from $30 to $130 for oral medication and $3000 to $5500 for injectable medication. If you do not have fertility insurance coverage, the total out-of-pocket cost can be between $830 to $7,000.
How much does in vitro fertilization (IVF) cost?
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, has the highest success rate of any fertility treatment but is the most costly because of the use of laboratory techniques and procedures to assist in fertilizing the eggs and transferring an embryo into the uterus. If you reside in a state that mandates fertility health coverage or if you are provided any other benefits through your healthcare provider or employer, your costs could be substantially lower than the out-of-pocket costs listed below.
The average cost of an IVF cycle can be around $15,000, but that does not include the price of medications, which can typically run between $3,000 to $8,000.
There are other expenditures within an IVF cycle that may arise due to your particular diagnosis. For instance, genetic testing is often used to reduce the likelihood of a miscarriage or a chromosomal abnormality. There is also a practice called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, where a single sperm is manually inserted into an egg to increase the likelihood of fertilization.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most common fees associated with IVF:
- Consultation: $200 to $750
- Bloodwork and ultrasound (monitoring): $2,000 to $3,500
- Egg retrieval: $2,000 to $3,000
- Anesthesia: $350 to $750
- Laboratory fees: $2,000 to $6,000
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): $2,100 to $2,400
- Preimplantation genetic testing: $1,500 to $5,000
- Frozen embryo transfer (FET): $1,500 to $6,000
- Medications: $3,000 to $8,000
What other fertility treatment costs are there to consider?
Oftentimes, fertility treatments need an enhancement on their basic protocol, depending on varying diagnoses. This can increase the cost of treatment.
- Donor sperm: $500 to $1500 per attempt
- Egg donor: $10,000 to $30,000
- Surrogate use and compensation: $40,000 to $80,000
- Surrogacy agency & legal fees: $20,000 to $50,000 and $3,000 to $16,000, respectively
- Embryo/egg storage = $600 to $1,000/year
How can I afford fertility treatment?
If your health insurance doesn't cover fertility insurance, or at least not all of it, these prices can be difficult to pay out-of-pocket. In addition to using cash or credit cards to pay, you have other options available to you. Please know that there are fertility advocates fighting hard to make treatment more accessible and covered through insurance. From innovative devices to cutting-edge technology, there is more hope for those facing fertility problems than ever before, and this treatment price list (along with your insurance and physical evaluation) should help you understand your fertility investment.
A version of this story was published March 24, 2021. It has been updated.