Once you’ve been diagnosed with infertility, you may find yourself presented with a wide variety of treatment options including IUI and IVF. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is known to be one of the more expensive options but how much does it actually cost? Today I am breaking down the cost for my individual fresh IVF treatment including pre cycle testing, the actual IVF cycle and IVF medications. Please note that each woman’s IVF cycle is individualized and that will affect a portion of the cost.
What is IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) describes a technique where a woman’s eggs and man’s sperm are combined in a special laboratory in order to create an embryo(s). During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to a uterus. Read more about in vitro fertilization on Mayo Clinic’s website.
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Pre Cycle Requirements Costs for IVF
As with everything IVF, IVF testing requirements may vary by doctor and clinic. Before I was able to fully enroll in a fresh IVF cycle with my clinic, my husband and I had to complete these testing requirements:
Initial Fertility Consultation – $375
PAP Smear – $0. This was covered by my insurance as part of my yearly wellness exam.
Sonohysterogram – $449
Hysterosalpingogram – $1746.48
Infectious Disease and Hormone Testing – $653. 16
Infectious Disease Testing – $29.66
Sperm Analysis – $256
Cryopreservation of back up semen sample: $205
Total Fresh IVF Pre Cycle Fees: $3,714.30
Fresh IVF Cycle Costs
This is the cost for the actual fresh IVF cycle at my clinic. This does not include ultrasound monitoring and blood work. I live over three hours from my clinic so I did my monitoring at a satellite location. This does include the egg retrieval and embryo transfer.
Total Fresh IVF Cycle Clinic Fees: $12,335
Fresh IVF Cycle Monitoring Costs
If I learned one thing during this process, it’s that the cost of medications and monitoring can vary GREATLY. I would have preferred to monitor in the city I live in but the cost for their transvaginal ultrasounds was nearly 10 times the cost at a clinic I found in another city. I did have to drive an hour and a half each way but saved a lot of money in the end. Monitoring in my current city would have brought cost of my fresh IVF cycle way up over the national average.
The clinic I monitored at offered a self pay cash price. This price was much cheaper than the price they would have charged my insurance company. Since my insurance does not cover any costs related to infertility treatment, I chose to take the self pay cash price and paid for each visit upfront. The clinic option located in the city I live in would not offer me a self pay price because I carry insurance (even though I had a letter from my insurance company stating infertility treatments are not covered).
5 x Transvaginal Ultrasound: $715
4x Estradiol Blood Test: $208
Total Fresh IVF Cycle Monitoring Fees: $923
Fresh IVF Cycle Medications Costs
As I mentioned above, the cost of medications can vary greatly. You’ll most likely have to order your medications from a mail order speciality pharmacy. My doctor provided a list of pharmacies to shop but I was free to order from where ever I wanted. I found the best prices for my medications through Mandell’s Clinical Pharmacy. Overall, I had a good experience with them. They did the hard work of working with my insurance to see if anything was covered and then finding savings cards or other programs to bring the cash pay price down for me. Overall I saved almost $3900 with all of the discounts they found. Additionally, they are easy to communicate with via phone or email and scheduling the delivery was a breeze.
My insurance did not cover any cost of the fertility specific drugs. However, I did receive some prescription coverage on birth control, antibiotics and Metformin that are part of my overall medication protocol.
18 x NORETHINDRONE 5 MG TABLET: $4.79
4x GONAL-F RFF 450U REDI-JECT: $1920 – $192 rebate – $1728
1 x GONAL-F RFF 300U REDI-JECT: $320 – $32 rebate = $298
14 x MENOPUR 75 UNIT VIAL: $1189.86
9 x GANIRELIX ACETATE 250 MCG/0: $805.50
1 x PREGNYL 10,000 UNITS VIAL: $125
1 x LEUPROLIDE 2WK 1 MG/0.2 ML: 474.05
10 x DOXYCYCL HYCL 100 MG TAB: $1.68
PROGESTERONE SUPP 200MG MIC: $256.50
360 x METFORMIN ER 750MG 24HR TABS (I was on this medication for a total of 6 months): $70.14
10 x DOXYCYCL HYCL 100 MG TAB (him): $20.58
4 x PROGESTERONE OIL 50MG/ML: $51.90
90 x ESTRADIOL 2 MG TABLET: $7.02
Total Fresh IVF Cycle Medication Costs: $5,033.02
I used up almost all of my stimulation medications with the exception of a couple Ganirelix Acetate injections. Unfortunately, my fresh IVF cycle was not successful so I also have some progesterone in oil vials, progesterone supplements, and Estradiol tablets left for another cycle.
So, how much does a fresh IVF cycle cost?
My fresh IVF cycle cost $25,719.62
As you can see, there are a lot of different costs related to a fresh IVF cycle to think about. All costs vary depending on your clinic, your protocol, monitoring location and pharmacy. You’ll have to be your own advocate during this process. Calling around to specialty pharmacies and monitoring clinics can be extremely time consuming but I can promise you that comparing costs is worth it. Many people will go through multiple IVF cycles and doing this work ahead of time can literally save you thousands. As I mentioned all cycles are individualized so yours may be different than mine.
IVF can be a grueling both mentally and physically. Here are some things that helped me make it through the cycle more comfortably.
Heating Pad – An electric heating pad is a must have once you move into the part of IVF treatment where you are getting daily progesterone in oil (PIO) injections. This medication can cause knots to form near the injection site. A heating pad paired with a gentle massage helps move the oil around in order to avoid those pesky PIO knots.
Pill Organizer – I tried to make it without using a pill organizer during the down regulation part of the cycle. I quickly learned a pill organizer that lets you organize up to three doses a day is a must have as there is just too many pills to manage without one.
Hot/Cold Packs – I used a cold pack to numb the injection sites during the stimulation part of the cycle. I would stick it in the waist of pants while my husband prepared the medications. Once the injections were ready, I was numb and rarely felt the needle going in.
Makeup type organizer bag – I often had to give myself an injection while we were traveling to or from monitoring appointments. This bag let me easily stash just what I needed to take with me. Plus, the message is kind of awesome.