How Much Do Fertility Treatments Actually Cost?
When you’re dealing with infertility, making a baby the ‘old fashioned way’ – for free – can seem like a foreign concept. Instead, you’re forced to spend countless dollars on ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, and for some, fertility treatments like IUI and IVF. When faced with the idea of medical intervention to help grow your family, the price-points for these prodedures can feel out of reach. And, unfortunately, health insurance often doesn’t cover any of it.
As you plan to expand your family, here is a helpful overview of each available option and how much each one can cost, on average, and how to navigate and pay for treatment.
The Cost of IUI
Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI, is one of the more affordable fertility treatment options individuals and couples can pursue. It involves intrauterine insemination, as the sperm is inserted into the uterus with a catheter.
Here is a breakdown of the average costs associated with IUI treatment:
Initial consultation: $200 to $500
IUI (Natural): $1,045 to $2,999
Medicated IUI: $2,425 to $3,370
With Natural IUI, the female partner does not need to take fertility drugs before the procedure. The fertility specialist initiates natural IUI around the patient’s ovulation period, typically between cycle days 12 and 16.
Medicated IUI includes ovulation induction drugs, like Clomiphene or Letrozole tablets, or in some cases, hormone (FSH) injections to help stimulate the ovaries. Medicated IUIs are often used in cases of women with irregular menstrual cycles, or in couples with unexplained infertility to increase the chances of conception. IUI can also be helpful in cases of male infertility and same-sex couples.
The costs of IUI treatment will vary depending on the fertility specialist, the facility, and any additionals testing based on the couple’s medical history.
The Cost of IVF
IVF, or in-vitro fertilization, is a series of procedures to assist with fertility and limit genetic issues that can arise during pregnancy. With this treatment, the couple’s or donor’s egg and sperm are combined in a high complexity lab to encourage embryo development, and the embryo is then transferred back into the woman’s uterus.
While the success rates are much higher with IVF than other methods of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), so is the price tag. One single IVF treatment, which includes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer, can cost between $15,000 to $30,000 without insurance. IVF treatments are typically not fully covered by health insurance. However, insurance may cover specific treatments, like diagnostic testing or ultrasounds.
Listed below is the average pricing for different parts of the IVF process without health insurance coverage:
Initial consultation: $200 to $500
IVF cycle with fresh eggs: $11,320 to $18,941
IVF cycle freeze all embryos: $9,815 to $16,545
IVF cycle freeze all embryos with biopsy and CCS/PGT-A: $14,960 to $20,215
Frozen embryo transfer (FET): $4,393 to $5,890
A more affordable version of IVF, mini-IVF, can cost around $5,000. Mini-IVF requires lower doses of fertility drugs and doesn’t have as many side effects as IVF. However, it’s important to note that mini-IVF can require multiple egg retrievals to get an embryo for transfer, which can ultimately add up.
Cost of Fertility Treatment Add-Ons
Add-on fertility treatments are optional treatments that may possibly improve the chances of fertility. However, couples should be aware there’s not enough evidence that proves the true impact of these add-ons to fertility treatments.
Here’s a list of some common fertility treatment add-ons and their average pricing:
Assisted hatching: $500 to $700
Elective freeze all cycles: $500 to $1,500
Endometrial receptivity array (ERA): $800 to $1,500
Endometrial scratching: $200 to $600
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): $1,400 to $2,000
Pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A): $10,000 to $30,000
Ways to Finance Fertility Treatments
While pursuing IUI or IVF can be pricey, fortunately, companies have emerged to alleviate some of the financial burden of fertility treatments. There are several ways to finance these procedures if health insurance doesn’t cover them. From discounts to grants, there are options to reduce out-of-pocket expenses associated with most fertility treatments.
Save money on fertility treatments with the help of these financing opportunities:
Medication discount programs: Some pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies will offer discounts on certain fertility medications to patients whose insurance won’t cover them or if they meet the income eligibility requirements.
Grants and scholarships: Similar to applying for a college scholarship, those interested in fertility treatment can apply for grants and scholarships that fully fund or give them a partial award for fertility treatments.
Clinical trials: Many hospitals, clinical facilities, and universities conduct research on various fertility treatments. They may offer to pay a partial or total amount of the medical costs associated with the trials as part of participation. Patients should always consult their physician before participating in research trials or studies.
Cancer patient and survivor programs: If a patient is currently receiving medical services for cancer or is a survivor, some programs will assist them with fertility treatment costs. A few of these programs are the samfund, Livestrong Fertility Program, Bonei Olam, and Verna’s Purse.
Fertility payment plans: A loan is another option for people who can’t afford to pay for their fertility treatments but whose income is too high for grants and scholarship programs. Fortunately, fertility payment programs like Hera Fertility's allow soon-to-be fertility patients to apply to see if they’re eligible for a loan. Once approved for the amount they need to cover fertility procedures, they can choose the best payment plan that fits their needs.
With so many options available during such a complex and personal process, it can easily get overwhelming. Heck, just writing the article is overwhelming. Luckily, Hera also offers fertility care navigation, where they offer you personalized guidance throughout the process to figure out what options are right for your family and finances. It can feel like a lifesaver to have someone on your side as you’re navigating the financial complexities of treatment.
The Bottom Line
Trying to conceive can be expensive, especially if things don’t go according to the original plan, but there are options to help ease the burden associated with these costs and let you focus on what’s truly important, which is building your family.
Taneia Surles is an Alabama-based freelance health and wellness writer and the founder of Content By Taneia, LLC. She holds a Master's degree in Public Health with a Health Behavior concentration and specializes in health and wellness, productivity, education, entrepreneurship, and true crime content.