How Much Does IVF Treatment Cost — and Is it Worth It?

Over 1 million Americans per year seek fertility advice or treatment in an attempt to get pregnant. Many millions more experience fertility issues without counseling or treatment. For many, the cost of medical interventions alone is just too much to even consider.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF — one of many fertility treatment possibilities — has been around for decades. It’s also now a standard part of other treatments that have allowed otherwise helpless couples to become parents. But it’s still a costly procedure, and only beneficial for a select group of women and their partners.

Here’s everything you need to know.

IVF isn’t for everyone

Couple arguing

Couple arguing | AntonioGuillem/iStock/Getty Images

Though IVF is probably the fertility treatment you’ve heard about the most, it isn’t the ideal option for everyone. The best candidates for this type of treatment might include:

  • Couples who have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive naturally for a year or more
  • Women with blocked or missing fallopian tubes
  • Women living with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pelvic inflammatory disease, or anyone with abnormal ovarian cycles.

In addition, women with inviable eggs or who have experienced one or more miscarriages should consider other options to improve their chances of becoming pregnant.

It costs more than most fertility treatment options

According to Parents magazine, IVF costs, on average, about $8,000 per cycle. Because fewer than 50% of treatments result in pregnancies (and success rates fall the older you are), it’s not uncommon to go through more than one cycle of treatment.

This doesn’t include the cost of fertility drugs, which can add up to $6,000 to your treatment cost per cycle depending on the type and accompanying procedures.

Other fertility treatment options

Pregnant woman

Pregnant woman | iStock.com/tamaravidmar

IFV isn’t the only choice when looking into treatment options. In fact, up to 90% of most cases can be treated without this type of intervention. And they’re not nearly as expensive, with the exception of donor eggs, which can cost up to $30,000 in total.

Fertility drugs induce ovulation or boost egg production by releasing hormones into the body. Women who benefit most from these drugs either don’t ovulate regularly or have a partner with poor sperm production.

Intrauterine insemination is most beneficial for women whose partners have a low sperm count or slow-moving sperm. Women whose bodies can’t “tolerate” their partners’ sperm can also benefit. The procedure involves inserting sperm directly into the uterus, and usually costs less than $1,000.

Donor sperm comes from a man other than the intended father and cost about $400. They’re usually used in cases where the male partner has the primary fertility issue or has a genetic disorder he doesn’t want to pass on to a child. Single women and lesbian couples can also benefit.

Reproductive surgeries can cost as little as $1,000 and as much as $5,000. They’re done to correct anatomical issues in a man or a woman preventing a couple from becoming pregnant. Surgery can also clear scarring and blockages resulting from health conditions such as endometriosis.

Your treatment options depend on your personal circumstances and preferences. But whichever option you might choose, it’s important to go into it knowing your chances of becoming pregnant aren’t high. Still, they’re higher than they would be without treatment. Whether or not it’s worth the cost, the stress, and the chance of success, in the end, is up to you.

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