What does it really cost? Before we began our IVF journey, I did a lot of research because I was trying to figure out how we were going to make this work financially. It drove me insane how NOT transparent clinics were being when I went to their websites to get information about a full cycle of IVF. Hopefully, I can save anyone looking into IVF some time and energy by explaining the real costs below.
They were throwing out numbers between 12-15 thousand. However, what I soon found out was the numbers they were throwing out did not include medication, which usually costs 5-7 thousand on average. It also did not include monitoring, which is all the blood work and ultrasounds to monitor how well you are stimulating throughout the IVF cycle. It also did not include any genetic testing, which was huge for us and the whole reason we were doing IVF. And finally, it also did not include a frozen embryo transfer… which is how we would actually get pregnant.
So, now that we are in the thick of it, I know how much it really costs. I’ve broken it out into “phases” because it’s how my brain has been digesting it. Keep in mind, this is what we paid for round one, but each clinic is different and each person will require different medications, monitoring, etc.
Phase 1 “Baseline / Pre-screening” : $3,500
This is all the pre-screening stuff. It will include the baseline ultrasounds and blood work to see where you are at to get a better idea of a game plan.
Phase 2 “Stimulation / Monitoring” : $6,000 – $9,000
Medication: $4,000 – $6,000
Retrieval Monitoring : $2,000 – $3,000
This phase is when you actually start the medication to stimulate. It’s usually 3-5 injections into your stomach per day. You also go in about every other day for blood work and ultrasounds to monitor progress.
Phase 3 “Egg Retrieval” : $12,250
This is the “phase” most clinics will list for pricing. This is when they go in and extract the eggs and fertilize them with the sperm to create embryos.
Phase 4 “Genetic Testing” : $5,400
Probe development: $1,900
PGTA chromosomal abnormality testing: $900+ ($225 per embryo plus shipping w/ minimum of 4 embryos)
PGTM genetic abnormality testing: $2,600
This is the phase where we biopsy our embryos to test for my genetic mutation. They use complicated acronyms like PGTA and PGTM. It just means they are checking to see that the embryos don’t have any genetic abnormalities, like Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
After being denied by a couple of labs due to the complexity of my mutation, a lab in California agreed to take our case on to create a “probe” for us. This probe detects exactly where my genetic mutation is located in the embryo and is able to biopsy it. Wild… I know!
We needed to have at least 4 embryos to test in the PGTM phase against one another to make sure they are minimizing margin of error. We ended up with 0 embryos to send to that phase, as ours were deemed chromosomally abnormal in the PGTA phase and would not have resulted in a full-term pregnancy.
A lot of people don’t have to go through “Phase 4” of genetic testing. A lot of people can do an embryo transfer after “phase 3.” However, because we are doing genetic testing, we freeze our embryos until the results of the genetic tests come back and then move to “phase 5” of a frozen embryo transfer.
Phase 5 “Frozen Embryo Transfer” : $5,525 – $7,225
Transfer monitoring: $700 – $1,400
Transfer meds : $1,500 – $2,500
This is the fun part where you actually, hopefully, become pregnant! Because we did not end up with any healthy embryos after phase 4, we did not move to phase 5. We will be essentially starting over and trying another round with hopes we can make it to this phase.
Total cost: $32,675 – $37,375+
Again, this will vary from person to person based on what medications they need, how much monitoring they do, if they are doing genetic testing, etc. There are SO many factors. However, I think seeing more realistic numbers up front is helpful so you can plan.
It’s also important to check with your insurance company to see if they offer any IVF coverage. The majority of people’s do not, so it is entirely out of pocket like it was for us. It actually makes me sick to my stomach, because it makes IVF totally out of reach for so many people. It also makes me sick to my stomach knowing that many people have to do more than one round (us included) and are flushing thousands of dollars down the toilet for unsuccessful rounds.
BUT we are keeping the end goal in mind and know that it will be SO worth it. So, here’s to another (hopefully more successful) round. Stay tuned for my next post on tips for how to pay for IVF and save some money.