The cost of artificial insemination depends heavily on the type of insemination that is performed. The two most common types of artificial insemination are intracervical insemination (ICI) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). While IVF (in-vitro fertilization) goes further than these two simple insemination procedures (because the egg and the sperm have already been mixed outside the body), it is frequently considered by couples trying to conceive as one of the viable types of artificial insemination, despite its very high cost.
Cost of Artificial Insemination Methods
The cost of performing these types of fertility treatments can be high because many insurance companies do not contribute to the costs. Another reason for the high cost is that the act of medically inserting sperm inside the woman's body is much more likely to result in pregnancy if additional treatments are also offered in tandem. For example, hormone therapy often accompanies medical procedures, which increases the pharmaceutical costs as well as the number of doctor's visits that are part of the process of attempting to conceive. The costs of each type of artificial insemination also vary depending on the clinic or doctor's office where the services are offered.
Intracervical Insemination Costs
This type of artificial insemination has been used for more than 100 years and very closely resembles how women get pregnant the 'natural way.' Instead of sperm being deposited in the vaginal tract by the man's penis, the sperm is deposited by a medical catheter with a syringe attached. This can be done by having the woman's partner deliver a sperm sample on the same day as the procedure or a woman or couple can select donor sperm from a sperm bank, depending on the reasons for infertility. In all cases, one of the most important factors in succeeding is to get the timing right--the procedure should be performed as close to ovulation as possible.
The costs associated with ICI can be very low. If a couple is using their own sperm and eggs with no hormonal therapy, the costs can be as low as $200 to $500. Using sperm from a donor can cost another $150 to $300 and having the sperm 'washed' before using it in the insemination procedure will increase the cost by another $100 to $300. Sperm washing is done in order to pre-select the sperm that are most likely to successfully fertilize the egg.
Intrauterine Insemination Costs
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) costs more than ICI in most cases. Since the procedure is more invasive (with sperm being deposited in the uterus), there are often additional procedures involved alongside the IUI itself. For example, sperm washing is always done in order to decrease the chances of the sperm being rejected by the woman's body. In addition, women are often given injections of hCG (the pregnancy hormone that helps make the uterus a hospitable environment for a fertilized egg) in conjunction with the IUI procedure. These injections can cost more than $300 each.
IUI often requires multiple ultrasounds as well, which can cost hundreds of dollars each (with an average cost being $300). Of course, if any of these costs are partially covered by your insurance, the cost burden is reduced for you.
While the cost of artificial insemination can vary considerably depending on the amount of treatment you use as well as the facility offering the treatment, it is a good idea to carefully research all of the options in your region before choosing a provider to visit for your artificial insemination procedure. While some facilities can legitimately offer lower prices because they receive subsidies or donations or because the facility is partially staffed by volunteers, other facilities with lower costs may be offering inferior services. Research costs, as well as the success rates and the procedures offered by each provider, before making any final decisions.
In addition to the variance in cost of artificial insemination between providers, it is important to remember that artificial insemination has a success rate that ranges between 5 and 30 percent, depending on the age of the woman and the fertility of both partners. Remember to work the possibility of multiple attempts into your budget, as well as consider the possibility that you may turn to additional methods after artificial insemination, such as IVF or adoption, which are both expensive processes.