Why is in Vitro Fertilization (IVF) So Expensive?

November 08, 2018 By Laurel Fertility Care - Leave a Comment

why-is-ivf-so-expensiveIt's important to know upfront that fertility treatments are typically expensive to undergo. No matter what option you and your partner decide on, there are specific routines and prices that are sure to follow.

Unfortunately, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most costly fertility treatments for couples, adding to the stress of starting a family by placing it under a hefty financial weight. 

Although it may seem like an uphill battle, being informed about the potential costs of an IVF can highly offset the pressure of the unknown. At Laurel Fertility Care, we firmly believe in preparing you and your partner in all aspects of fertility management. From diagnosing your issues to laying out an affordability plan, our mission is to let you know that you have the support to achieve a healthy pregnancy, regardless of what the obstacles may be.

To help you navigate the process of an IVF and its potential costs, here are few key points to consider that explain why it's so expensive:

IVF Procedures and Price Points

Depending on what your fertility issues are, a certain procedure will be recommended for you, which will require its own routine and pricing. For instance, couples who require an intrauterine insemination (IUI) will usually pay less than those who require an advanced surgery. The same rule applies to those who require an IVF to treat their infertility. 

The main reason why an IVF is so expensive is because it requires many stages of preparation before and after the treatment that add up over time. Couples will pay for the procedure itself, along with additional fees comprised of frequent consultations, hormone medications, and the possibility of having to perform multiple cycles. 

Below is a breakdown of IVF stages that a couple will face, along with projected costs based on a national average:

Initial Consultation

Hopeful couples will meet with a fertility specialist to discuss their concerns and finalize a plan of action. Once an IVF is decided upon, the female patient will receive blood work and an ultrasound to determine the health of her reproductive organs. 

Ovulation Induction

The female partner is given hormone medications to increase the number of eggs released at the time of her next menstrual cycle. Doing this ensures that more eggs can be harvested during the retrieval process, providing more attempts for fertilization and re-insemination. 

Egg Retrieval and Maturation

Next, the eggs are retrieved through an in-house procedure under modified sedation by an anesthesiologist. Once the eggs are harvested, they are transferred to a secure laboratory where fertilization will take place. The male partner's semen sample is taken, prepared, and mixed with the eggs, and the healthiest embryos to develop are chosen for implementation into the uterus. The female partner is given additional medication to prepare for the process. 

Embryo Transfer

Finally, the healthy embryos are implanted into the female partner's uterus. She will then follow up with frequent visits to monitor her progress for a period of two weeks. After that time, she can proceed to take a pregnancy test to see if the cycle was successful. Embryos left over from the initial fertilization can be stored for later use in the event that another cycle must be executed. These embryos will be frozen to preserve their integrity in the meantime. 

Estimated Costs of an IVF

With this technical insight, the overall price of an IVF begins to take shape. Altogether, hopeful couples can expect to pay anywhere between $12,000 and $15,000 for the initial IVF cycle depending on which state the procedure is done in. For example, the state of California may charge a higher rate due to the fact that fertility treatments are in high demand. In this case, out-of-pocket expenses can easily grow to over $20,000 for an initial treatment, with additional cycles using frozen embryos costing roughly $6,000 a piece. 

Something else to consider is that additional procedures, such as an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and egg freezing and storage will increase the final cost of your fertility treatment by a significant amount if they are vital to your rate of success. To make matters even more challenging, fertility treatments are rarely covered by insurance programs, meaning that the affordability of an IVF and everything required relies heavily on your ability to find a solution that's manageable. 

Alternative Treatments and Affordability

If jumping to an IVF seems like too big a step, you can always speak to your fertility specialist about alternative treatment options that have proven rates of success. Making significant changes to your diet and lifestyle have a dramatic effect on hormone regulation, which is one of the main causes of infertility for both men and women. Other alternative treatments, like acupuncture, yoga, and fertility supplements can also lead to successful pregnancies.

Whatever route you choose to take, your fertility specialist will be able to lend their advice and help you formulate a solid plan of action. However, if the time comes where an IVF is a crucial next step, they can also provide you with financial support to ensure affordability. 

Laurel Fertility Care specializes in working with contracted insurance programs that can assist with balancing the cost of certain procedures. In addition, their financial specialists will help you select a package that works within your budget. Patients can take advantage of various financing options for procedures, suggested pharmacies that provide competitive rates for medication, and other financial alternatives through non-profit organizations and institutions. 

Above all else, we want you to know that having the family of your dreams is a definite reality. Allowing fear and uncertainty to overrule your desire for a meaningful life is something that we proudly dismantle, and once you're ready to move forward with the right mindset, our team will be there every step of the way. 

Give Us a Call Today

Now that you know the technical and financial details of an IVF, it becomes much easier to follow through with when the time comes. This is especially true since you know that Laurel Fertility Care is there to support you along the way! Our team of fertility experts are ready and waiting to be of service, so contact us whenever you're ready to take charge of your future.

To gain more information about an IVF or other fertility treatments, schedule a phone consultation with us today and speak to a fertility expert about your questions or concerns.

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Filed Under: IVF, infertility awareness

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