The cost of IVF treatments depends on the type of infertility procedures and fertility drugs. Here’s a summary of the average cost of IVF for couples undergoing fertility treatments – including clinic visits, fertility medication, and miscellaneous expenses such as travel, parking, food, and other expenses related to fertility care.
The bad news is that an IVF cycle costs almost half of an average American couple’s annual income. The good news is that there are books such as IVF: A Patient’S Guide by Rebecca Matthews, which can reduce your stress and improve the chances of IVF success. Learn how to choose the very best clinic and what, exactly, you should be asking your doctor. Follow specific case studies and hear from a variety of patients in their own words. This book is packed with charts, tables, graphs and photos – it’s an easy to navigate guide that will help your IVF experience be positive.
In How Much Do Fertility Treatments Cost?, I list the financial costs of in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, donor eggs, and various infertility treatments. In this article, I summarize research that shows how much IVF treatments cost the average couple.
The Out-of-Pocket Costs of IVF and Other Infertility Treatments
Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco assessed direct out-of-pocket costs for couples undergoing fertility treatment. From fertility drug therapy to in vitro fertilization (IVF), the cost of IVF treatments can range from $900 to $19,000 per treatment cycle.
Couples using fertility medication alone had the lowest out-of-pocket expenses at $912, while those using in vitro fertilization (IVF) had the highest at $19,234.
“Urologists are on the front lines of counseling male and female partners about fertility options and almost all patients want to know the cost of IVF and other fertility treatments,” says James F. Smith, MD, MS, Assistant Professor and Director of Male Reproductive Health at the University of California-San Francisco. “To our knowledge no previous group has measured the actual out-of-pocket costs of reproductive care in prospective fashion.”
Up to 24% of couples have difficulty conceiving a child, with estimates of the prevalence of infertility varying from 6% to 24%. However, many couples who seek infertility care have only partial or no insurance coverage, and paying for IVF can seem impossible. The costs of IVF may be too burdensome for most couples.
Socioeconomic status affects the outcome of IVF. When I wrote about the reasons IVF fails, I didn’t know that a couple’s income affects the success of fertility treatments. Even for couples who are receiving fertility treatments, socioeconomic status may influence the success of fertility treatment. These problems are compounded by the lack of comprehensive infertility insurance coverage in the United States and Canada.
More couples are undergoing infertility treatments every year. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies indicate that the use of fertility treatments in the United States is increasing each year.
An IVF cycle costs almost half of an American couple’s annual income. The United States has one of the lowest rates of IVF use compared to other developed countries, while Australia has the highest IVF use. The average cost of an IVF cycle was 6% of annual disposable income in Australia, compared to 44% in the United States. In this study – which answers the “how much does IVF cost?” question accurately but disappointingly – couples were recruited from eight reproductive endocrinology clinics. They were followed for 18 months from the start of treatment and were asked to maintain monthly cost diaries of out-of-pocket expenses. A total of 332 couples undergoing infertility treatments completed cost diaries and had data available on treatment and outcomes.
More than half the couples in this study underwent IVF treatments. Many of the couples who paid for IVF treatments had incomes of more than $100,000 per year. Of the remaining couples 19% received non-cycle based therapy, four percent used medication to induce ovulation only, and 22% underwent intrauterine insemination. The overall out-of-pocket expense was about $5,338 (for couples who did not get IVF treatments).
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Couples who underwent IVF had the highest out-of-pocket costs, at $19,234. Couples using fertility medication only had the lowest cost of infertility treatments, at about $912. The cost of IVF for couples was about $6,955 for each additional IVF cycle.
Couples with male factor fertility paid around $9,404 more for infertility treatments than those with female factor infertility only. Couples with insurance coverage for fertility care spent $2,152 less than couples without insurance. The out-of-pocket expense was not significantly associated with successful pregnancy.
The high cost of IVF makes it impossible for some couples to get pregnant – and the cost definitely makes couples think twice about getting infertility treatments. When we wonder about the cost of IVF, we don’t think about the extra expenses, such as parking, medical accessories, and even food when we’re at the clinic or hospital.
It’s important to be clear about how much IVF costs before you decide if infertility treatments are the best way to cope with fertility problems.
If you want to reduce the cost of IVF treatments, read How to Buy Fertility Medications on the Internet – Safely.
Source: Out-of-Pocket Fertility Patient Expense: Data from a Multicenter Prospective Infertility Cohort in The Journal of Urology.
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