How much does it cost to freeze and store embryos?
When it comes to embryo freezing cost, it’s important to look at the entire process. Embryo freezing shares many similarities with egg freezing, as they use the same process. When budgeting to freeze your embryos, make sure to factor in the cost of the actual embryo transfer as well.
Why Freeze Embryos?
Embryos develop after fertilizing an egg with sperm. Embryos created in a lab through in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be frozen after a few days of development. Later, technicians can thaw the embryos to transfer into a uterus and hopefully develop into a pregnancy. Patients commonly freeze embryos after their initial IVF cycle produces more developed embryos than they needed for a single transfer. In this case, you can freeze the additional embryos to use in a later cycle. This can save a significant amount of money for future cycles. You will only have to pay for the embryo transfer, rather than another round of ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and fertilization.
Breakdown of Embryo Freezing Process
Embryo freezing involves the same expenses as IVF, split up over time depending on when you use the frozen embryos. The major expenses during embryo freezing include:
- Medications for ovarian stimulation
- Egg retrieval
- Fertilization & cryopreservation
- Genetic testing (optional)
- Frozen embryo storage
You can also freeze embryos developed from donor eggs and/or donor sperm. Using donor eggs or sperm adds additional costs.
Once you are ready to use your frozen embryos, your costs will include the frozen embryo transfer and supportive medications to help the embryo implant successfully.
Egg Retrieval, Medications, Fertilization, and Embryo Freezing Costs
Typically, the main steps of the embryo freezing process cost around $14,000 – $20,000. This includes the medications to boost egg production in your ovaries, the egg retrieval itself, fertilization and embryo development in the lab, and cryopreservation (freezing the embryos). These costs can vary depending on:
- Initial testing requirements
- Whether your insurance covers any of the testing or medication costs
- The number of egg retrieval cycles needed to get enough eggs for fertilization
It’s important to note that most clinics do not include medications or testing in their base fee. So, if your clinic advertises a much lower rate for IVF or embryo freezing, be sure to ask them what they include in their fee and how much they estimate additional expenses will be.
What About Embryonic Genetic Testing (PGT-A)?
Freezing your embryos allows for the possibility of genetic testing. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT-A) involves using a small sample of an embryo to determine if it has a standard number of chromosomes. Other tests can screen for certain genetic disorders before transferring them. An embryologist freezing the embryos immediately after taking a sample, while the results process. Genetic testing costs are typically not included in basic IVF fees, and can range from $2,000 – $6,000 depending on the tests and the number of embryos.
Storage Fees for Frozen Embryos
Once you have frozen embryos, they need to be carefully stored in liquid nitrogen until you are ready to thaw them for transfer. Storage costs usually range from $350-$600 per year, depending on the clinic. Some clinics may include the first year of storage in their basic fee.
How Much Is A Frozen Embryo Transfer?
Once you are ready to try to conceive, the embryos must be thawed and then transferred to your uterus. This is called a frozen embryo transfer (FET), and typically adds another $3,000-$6,000 to your total investment. You will need to take certain medications to prepare your uterus for the transfer, which may add to your costs. However, like the storage, some clinics may include the first FET in their basic IVF & embryo freezing fee. Be sure to ask what your clinic includes.
Need Help With Costs? Our Financial Counselors Are Here for You
Freezing embryos does add certain initial costs like freezing and storage, but can save time, money, and effort in the long run. Most patients will need more than one IVF cycle to get pregnant; freezing additional embryos from an early cycle streamlines the process and lowers costs for future cycles. Our financial counselors have resources and experience guiding patients through the process of affording fertility treatment. For more information on how to afford the cost of embryo freezing, reach out to us today.