Having children is one of the greatest joys in life. If you have had trouble getting pregnant and bearing children, in vitro fertilization may be the answer.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a series of procedures some women undergo in order to help prevent genetic problems and assist in child conception. IVF has helped many women who are otherwise unable to get pregnant on their own. IVF involves the collection of mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries, which are then fertilized by sperm. The fertilized egg, known as an embryo, is transferred to a uterus for further development.
In some cases, there is more than one embryo transferred. Generally, the full cycle takes about three weeks, but IVF may be split into different stages and ultimately take longer. Each cycle of IVF has its own cost that covers the treatment as well as any subsequent medications.
In addition to the rising costs of raising a child in the United States, the inability to get pregnant on your own can greatly impact the cost of having a baby. On average, a single IVF cycle in the U.S. can cost $12,400. In addition to that cost, there are expenses for the medications that suppress ovulation and medications for the procedure: IVF medication costs average about $3,000 to $5,000.
Ultimately, the cost of in vitro fertilization depends on a number of variables including the patient’s age, medical history, and the type of IVF procedure they elect to have. Here, we’ll discuss the average cost of IVF, the factors that impact the total cost, and how you can afford to have an in vitro fertilization procedure, whether it is through a personal savings plan or borrowing from a financial institution.
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The Average Total Cost of IVF
IVF can take more than one cycle to be effective. When an IVF cycle is not successful, it’s often because the embryo stops growing before it is implanted into the uterus. IVF can also be unsuccessful because of the uterus itself, which may not be ready to receive the embryo.
The average fertility patient undergoes more than two cycles, which can bring the total cost of IVF into the $40,000 to $60,000 range. This cost can vary depending on the patient’s age, previous medical history, and the type of procedure they’re looking to have.
Mini-IVF vs. Full IVF
Full IVF procedures require three stages: preparation, stimulation, and retrieval. Mini-IVF shortens the stimulation portion to make the procedure less invasive and more affordable.
Minimal stimulation in vitro fertilization (mini-in vitro fertilization) is a more affordable alternative to traditional treatment and often results in higher birth rates. On average, a mini-IVF procedure can cost $4,500 to $12,000.
For mini-IVF, doctors typically use a lower dose of injectable medications or less powerful oral ones than in conventional IVF, typically resulting in one to four eggs maturing and being retrieved. In addition, a mini-IVF procedure can reduce the patient’s chances of experiencing symptoms associated with traditional IVF, such as:
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome;
- Multiple pregnancy rates;
Getting a Quote for IVF
Another large factor at play in determining the cost of in vitro fertilization is where you choose to have the procedure done. There are many clinics that offer this procedure, but a more high-quality clinic is going to cost more than a less-well-known clinic.
When looking for an IVF treatment, it’s important to consider the quality of the clinic offering the procedure in addition to the cost. A cheaper price does not always indicate quality treatment.
When you request a quote for IVF, be sure that it includes the following aspects to ensure you’re receiving a quality procedure:
- Any pre-IVF fertility testing.
- Mock embryo transfer.
- Ultrasound monitoring
- Blood work.
- Doctor’s appointments.
Some patients may require additional help, such as antiretroviral therapy (ART), during their IVF journey. As such, there may be additional costs included in your quote, such as:
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
- Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).
- Embryo freezing and storage.
- Egg donors.
Does Insurance Cover the Costs of In Vitro Fertilization?
Typically, insurance does not cover the cost of IVF. However, IVF insurance coverage may vary by state, insurance policy, and employer. Fourteen states have laws that require insurance companies to cover IVF treatment, while two other states — California and Texas — have laws that require insurers to offer infertility treatment coverage. Check your state laws, insurance provider, and company handbook to learn more about your IVF procedure coverage.
Loans for In Vitro Fertilization
If your budget cannot afford the cost of IVF treatment, you can take out a personal loan or finance the cost of the procedure through your healthcare provider. Other methods for paying for IVF include:
While it’s unlikely that a lender will allow someone with a poor credit score to borrow from them, it’s not impossible. If you have bad credit, you may be able to secure an IVF loan if you put down a substantial down payment and establish a repayment plan. Generally, a FICO score above 670 is considered good credit.
Note that financing provided by the clinic you’re receiving IVF from often comes at a higher interest rate. Be sure to shop around for the best interest rates and monthly payment plans.
Other Financial Options and Refund Programs
Still, there are other financial options out there that can help you pay for IVF, including:
- Flexible spending accounts.
- Medical personal loans.
- Home equity loans.
- Credit cards.
What’s more, there are refund programs available to patients seeking IVF. Organizations like Shady Grove Fertility and CCRM offer assurance programs in which patients pay a set fee and then the clinic refunds part of that money in the event that the three to four procedures do not result in pregnancy.
Similarly, child tax credits apply to parents, which can be a helpful kickback in covering the costs of IVF.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12% of women experience difficulty getting pregnant. If you have trouble getting pregnant, conduct research and talk with your doctor to see if in vitro fertility treatments are right for you.
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