Egg freezing is a process where a woman’s eggs are extracted and frozen for later use. It used to be considered experimental, but in recent years it has become a more common procedure. The cost of egg freezing can vary depending on the clinic but typically runs between $5,000 and $20,000. There are some risks associated with egg freezing, but for many women, it is an excellent option for preserving their fertility.
Though the egg freezing cycle can cost upwards of $20,000. Generally speaking, there are two ways that women can pay for egg freezing insurance or out-of-pocket. If the woman has fertility coverage through her insurance company, they may be able to cover part or all of the costs associated with egg freezing. However, most insurance companies do not cover the costs, so this is generally not an option.
If insurance companies are not paying for egg freezing, then women have to pay out-of-pocket. Most clinics offer payment plans that allow patients to pay the costs over time. Frozen eggs can be stored for years, so the cost can often be minimized by paying in instalments over time. Egg freezing costs may also sometimes include medication and hormone injections that are needed to prepare the body for egg harvest. In this blog, we have discussed the cost of egg freezing and the factors that can affect the total price.
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How much does it cost to freeze eggs?
Egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, is a promising fertility treatment that allows women to preserve their eggs. Egg freezing has successfully been used for social infertility indications including delaying childbearing while schooling or establishing oneself in a career. The cost of freezing eggs is around $6,000 to $20,000. The price for this procedure also includes the required fertility medications.
Egg freezing is a complex medical process that requires various lab work and fertility medications. Several steps are involved in the egg freezing process including the ovarian stimulation cycle, egg retrieval during which time the patient receives anesthesia and pain medication, and eggs are harvested through a pelvic transvaginal ultrasound. Also, elective egg freezing requires cryoprotectant freezing of eggs, which takes an hour to an hour and a half.
The programmable fertility medication protocol includes daily Lupron injections, estrogen patches or gels, Gonal-F (follicle-stimulating hormone). Also, HCG shots for final maturation, and birth control pills for one week prior to egg retrieval. A woman is required to take medications for ten to twelve days before egg retrieval. A patient must go through the same course of medication for a second egg freezing cycle if she desires pregnancy with the frozen eggs.
However, fertility preservation is a relatively new field. The cost of egg freezing is expensive, and there are limited data on the chances of successfully achieving pregnancy through the use of frozen eggs. There is also no guarantee that frozen eggs will produce a live birth even if fertilization is successful. As well the egg freezing procedure, in addition to the cost of the fertility medication is associated with several lab works including blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds.
Furthermore, in one egg freezing cycle, it is possible to freeze between 5 and 20 eggs. During the egg retrieval, usually, 10 to 15 eggs are obtained, fertilized with sperm in the lab, allowed to grow for up to five days, then frozen for later use. This means that patients need more than one cycle of egg freezing before they have enough eggs for an embryo transfer.
What are the cost affecting factors?
Therefore, egg freezing treatment affects your cost of fertility preservation in many ways. Egg freezing cycles are more expensive than sperm preservation. The storage fees of the eggs also affect the cost. From insurance coverage to the type of storage, all these factors affect the cost of freezing your eggs. Below we have discussed these factors and they are
1. Fertility clinic fees
The cost of the treatment depends on the fertility clinics you are using. It is not required that all affordable clinics offer this service. You should check with your doctor to find out which clinic offers the best prices for egg freezing. Eggs frozen at a lower rate may not be of high quality. The embryologist at the clinic will check your eggs before freezing to assess their quality. Egg freezing cost varies from clinic to clinic and average costs from $6,000 to up to $12,000. Therefore, fertility treatments are expensive at private clinics while they are cheaper in public hospitals.
Moreover, fertility clinic will be sending the eggs to a sperm bank or an embryology lab for storage. All these factors, including shipping and packaging, reduce the cost of freezing your eggs. And the remaining embryos will be frozen in liquid nitrogen tanks for future use. Sometimes multiple cycles and storage in different tanks and the cost of storage in these tanks will be counted. So you should check with your clinic about their rates and how they compute them before agreeing to the treatment.
2. Insurance plans
In case you wonder whether your health insurance will cover the egg freezing expenses should think again. In fact, only a few women have been able to use their insurance for this purpose. Your insurance company may cover a fertility treatment that is medically necessary. This requirement can be fulfilled by women who have polycystic ovary syndrome, Lesbian couples and those who have a medical condition that affects their reproductive health.
For any insurance plan to take place, the eggs must be fertilized using the donor sperm of the same person. In case you are wondering what will happen if you are not able to find a donor, the answer is that these eggs have no use for you. However, most insurance policies do not cover this procedure. If they do, then the woman should consider the amount of time that she will have to wait before she uses them after freezing.
3. Number of eggs
The number of eggs one opts to freeze will affect the cost. Most fertility clinics charge a fixed rate per egg as they require different amounts of time and effort depending on the quality of an egg. In case your eggs are not good enough, the clinic may ask you to make more attempts. Egg freezing costs are lower if women freeze more eggs at one attempt. The egg retrieval cycle is more expensive if the woman has to take more than one cycle.
Eggs freezing costs will be affected if one has to do more than one freezing cycle. The average freezing eggs costs in the US is $5,000 per attempt, but each fertility clinics keeps its own rates. Since there are different types of eggs, it may affect the cost as well. Moreover, to cover egg freezing costs, women often take out loans. It is not easy to get a loan if you are young and do not have any assets; therefore, it is better to save money in advance. You can also use your retirement savings or borrow from your parents to make up the cost of fertility treatments without taking too much interest on the loan.
4. Storage type
The cost of egg freezing can be reduced if you choose to freeze eggs with an option other than liquid nitrogen. This is because liquid nitrogen has a short shelf life and it is expensive to maintain too. Frozen eggs can be stored in a freezer at your home which is inexpensive. The storage type affects the cost of egg freezing so you should ask your doctor about this before making a decision. Besides the cost of egg freezing, you should also look into its success rates to make sure you can afford this treatment in the long run.
However, the cost of the freezing kit and dry ice for shipping eggs to your home is not included in this price. This method also requires you to visit the clinic every month to ensure that the samples in your home freezer remain viable. In vitro fertilization (IVF) cost is expensive with over $12,000 for one cycle. In the egg retrieval procedure, the medications costs, doctor fees and other expenses are included. As well how many eggs can be frozen in one cycle and how many fresh cycles can be done with the remaining eggs will also affect your costs.
5. Experienced fertility experts
Doctors can affect the cost of your fertility preservation by offering you better rates. A doctor who is experienced in this field knows how to offer affordable treatment with high-quality results. But make sure they are members of the society for reproductive medicine. They should be aware of the latest techniques and equipment used in infertility clinics.
Sometimes doctors try to experiment on patients and offer treatments that are not suitable for patients. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your fertility specialist is a member of the society for reproductive medicine and has proven experience with egg freezing techniques. Medication costs of fewer eggs retrieved and the cost of fertility medications will be included in the experienced doctor’s fees. As well as reproductive medicines, your doctor should be well aware of the latest techniques to preserve your fertility. If you are looking for a good clinic, check the reviews and references from their previous patients.
6. Type of the process
If you opt for this treatment, you can choose either to go for Single Ejaculated Frozen (SEF) or Multiple Ejaculated Frozen (MEF). SEF is simpler but more costly than MEF. Also, the latter requires more time and one will have to wait for at least six months before one can use it. Egg freezing patients should ask their doctors for the success rates of these methods.
Egg freezing cost is higher if you opt for MEF because it takes more time, requires more steps and the providers have to take more than one visit to complete the process. Egg freezing costs including health insurance can be reduced if you opt for another process of egg freezing called vitrification.
This is a new technology of egg freezing which preserves eggs by rapid-freezing them. The eggs are so rapidly frozen that ice crystals are unable to form inside the cells, thus preventing cell damage. Although this method is still under investigation, it appears to be successful with high survival rates. The cost of a vitrification cycle is the same as the SEF process, while it requires fewer visits and less time.
The location may affect the cost of freezing your eggs. Many clinics charge a different amount for the same treatment in different regions because of different market rates and rental prices. For example, a clinic in New York costs more than a clinic in Florida. However, a good fertility specialist should be available where you live so that you can get the treatment in your area.
Furthermore, location is a major factor in the cost of fertility preservation. Travelling for treatment with quality hospitals can be expensive. But with top-notch service, you can get high-quality frozen rates even if you have the treatment in public hospitals. Many require insurance companies to include egg freezing treatment in your fertility plan. In this case, the insurance company will help reduce the cost of treating you even when you have to travel elsewhere.
How much does it cost to freeze sperms?
Though in comparison to frozen eggs, frozen sperms are considered to be cheap and affordable. Frozen sperm is cheaper than frozen eggs simply because of the technology available for freezing eggs and storing them, which allows doctors and laboratory experts to use more advanced technologies such as the vitrification process for eggs. Freezing eggs requires multiple steps; it needs ovarian stimulation before eggs harvested from ovaries can be frozen. This, in turn, causes the cost of egg freezing to increase more than 15 times what it would cost for freezing sperm.
After harvest, eggs are then exposed to chemicals that help protect them from damage that is caused by low temperatures during transportation and storage. After exposure to chemicals, these egg cells are cooled slowly with the formation of ice crystals avoided. As well as the cost of freezing sperms is less than $1,000 while the cost of freezing eggs is about $10,000 for a woman to freeze 10 eggs.
However, both sperms and egg cells can survive in temperatures that are low enough to freeze them and not cause damage to their structures. This means that either can be frozen without much difficulty, but fertility specialists also need to consider several factors when choosing to freeze eggs or sperm.
Therefore, if you are considering freezing your eggs, it is important to understand the costs of doing so. The cost for egg freezing will depend on a number of factors such as the type of facility and doctor’s fees involved in administering treatment. In some cases, there may be additional charges if medications need to be purchased or other medical procedures conducted before the egg retrieval process can take place. We recommend talking with an expert at your fertility clinics about what options might work best for you based on your individual needs and budget considerations. There are also financing options available. If you have any more questions or want help planning out the best way to approach this expensive procedure, let us know through a comment below.