While the cost of in vitro fertilization is high, it's the last hope of conceiving a child for many couples. In 2005 alone, 422 clinics in the United States reported 134,260 cycles of assisted reproductive technology including in vitro fertilization. This resulted in 52,041 babies being born to happy parents.
The Cost of In Vitro Fertilization
When considering the cost of any artificial reproductive technology, it is important to understand that there are more than just financial considerations incurred. You also need to think about the emotional and physical costs involved.
The average cost for one cycle of in vitro fertilization is around $12,400. Typically, this includes lab screenings for both parents, your ultrasound and other lab work, egg recovery, and embryo transfer.
Ovulation drugs and other medications may be extra. Also, if you opt to freeze some of your unused embryos for future use there is additional cost for freezing and storing. Sperm freezing and storage is also an additional fee.
Because there are so many possible fees involved, it is essential to get a breakdown of costs before electing this procedure so you don't have any surprises. Check with your insurance to see what fees they will cover, if any. The remaining costs may be financed by the clinic or other financing companies.
Currently there are 14 states that require insurance to cover some part of in vitro fertilization procedures. This might simply cover your initial diagnosis or part of your treatment. Get a written statement of what is covered by your insurance so you are clear what your financial responsibilities are.
These states require some form of coverage:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Read more about state infertility laws at the National Conference of State Legislatures
Don't underestimate the emotional cost of in vitro fertilization. A couple who decides they must use this route to conceive a child is likely already stressed and anxious due to previous failures in conception. Counseling is recommended for couples who choose in vitro fertilization to attempt to conceive a baby. It will help in dealing with the stress and the flood of emotions that you may feel at this time. Feelings can range from excitement to fear anger and depression, especially if initial attempt are unsuccessful.
Sometimes the emotional costs can be devastating. Feelings of failure and heartbreak for a woman who just can't seem to conceive can wreak havoc on her own health and cause problems in her marriage as well.
There is also a physical cost involved with in vitro fertilization. These may be relatively minor things like enduring a needle or bruising while undergoing certain procedures.
Sometimes eggs need to be removed surgically, which is difficult on some people. Fertility drugs sometimes cause unpleasant side effects that you need to be aware of. There is even a chance of infection from any of the procedures you may go through. Discuss all possible physical side effects with your doctor so you can be prepared.
Consider the Costs
While in vitro fertilization offers hope to couples who are unable to have children, it is important to see clearly what is involved. Infertility can be devastating but assisted reproductive technology is not a quick fix and is not always successful. In fact, on average, only one woman for every five who go this route will achieve a successful pregnancy. For those who do, however, the risks and cost of in vitro fertilization are definitely worth the outcome.