What to expect and how to pay for egg freezing
While the cost to freeze your eggs can vary from clinic to clinic, there are some typical expenses to consider. Freezing your eggs can offer a meaningful way to take charge of your fertility future. At the same time, it has some substantial costs that may not be covered by insurance. Here are the expenses associated with egg freezing – including some you may not have expected.
What does freezing your eggs involve? The process starts with a fertility evaluation to assess your current egg quantity and health. If you are a good candidate for egg freezing, you can move forward. You’ll take medications that encourage your ovaries to develop multiple mature eggs. When the eggs have matured, you’ll have a simple procedure called an egg retrieval to remove the eggs from your ovaries. Afterwards, a fertility lab will freeze the eggs using a technique called vitrification. They then store the frozen eggs until you are ready to become pregnant. At that point, the eggs will be thawed and developed into embryos through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryos can then be transferred to your uterus to hopefully develop into a pregnancy.
Now that we’ve described the egg freezing process, it’s time to discuss how much it costs to freeze your eggs.
Types of Expenses to Freeze Your Eggs
Different resources will give a wide range of costs for egg freezing – from $4,000 to $20,000 or more! Why do the prices vary so much? A major reason has to do with what each source includes in their cost estimate. Freezing your eggs involves several distinct cost categories: clinic fees, medication, storage, and eventual fertility treatment. Often, lower price ranges may only include some of these required services.
Keep in mind that as with all fertility treatments, your specific costs will depend on your individual situation and needs. Patients with lower egg quantity or quality may want to do more than one round of egg retrievals to have more eggs available. On the other hand, patients may need more than one IVF cycle to eventually become pregnant.
Clinic fees involve all the services provided by your fertility clinic to develop, retrieve, and freeze your eggs. These typically include: initial fertility testing, coordinating your retrieval, monitoring appointments and testing during ovarian stimulation, the egg retrieval itself (including anesthesia), and the egg vitrification after the retrieval.
These costs will vary depending on your clinic and your specific treatment needs.
Egg Freezing Medications
Fertility clinics often do not include medication costs within their clinic fees. Patients with fewer eggs may need more medications to develop enough eggs for retrieval, which adds to the cost.
Frozen Egg Storage
Average costs to store frozen eggs begin at around $500 per year. Some clinics may offer a free year of storage when combined with other fertility services.
Frozen Egg IVF
While not an upfront cost, keep in mind there will be additional expenses involved with actually using your frozen eggs to become pregnant in the future. A fertility clinic will thaw the eggs, fertilize them in a lab with sperm from your partner or a donor, and monitor the developing embryos before transferring one into your uterus.
How to Afford Egg Freezing
First, check with your health insurance provider to see if they cover fertility preservation. Private employers sometimes offer egg freezing benefits to their employees. State-provided health insurance may only cover fertility preservation for patients with cancer diagnoses, if at all, although there are some exceptions. You can find a list of insurance coverage for fertility services by state at RESOLVE.
We hope that, over time, more insurance companies will recognize the value of covering fertility preservation for all. If you do not have coverage through insurance, you may be able to access other resources to help with the cost of freezing your eggs. Some organizations offer grants for fertility treatments, although those also often only apply to patients diagnosed with cancer. Regardless, our financial counselors can help you figure out the costs required to freeze your eggs and work with you to create an achievable payment plan. To learn if egg freezing is right for you, schedule a first consultation today.