How Much Does IVF Cost? [What You Need to Know]
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in Dec 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
If you’ve decided IVF is the right option for you to have a baby, you are probably wondering how much IVF costs. We understand—it’s a big decision mentally, physically, and financially. Here, we break down the costs, so you know what to expect.
To give this guide a holistic approach, we’ll start with an overview of IVF—key questions you should ask or research—so you can begin your fertility treatments with peace of mind.
What Is IVF?
IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is an assisted fertility treatment where eggs are combined with sperm in a lab to create an embryo. This embryo is then transferred into the uterus to help an individual become pregnant. Individuals and couples generally pursue IVF when other fertility techniques have failed.
Many people choose IVF for the following reasons:
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Ovarian conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Sperm issues such as low sperm count
- Advanced maternal age
- Risk of passing on a genetic disease or disorder
- Using an egg donor or gestational carrier
Here are a few key facts that offer additional insight into IVF:
- Roughly five percent of couples with fertility problems will try IVF.
- In the United States, 12.2 percent of women (ages 15 to 49) have used an infertility treatment service such as IVF.
- Men are responsible for roughly 20 to 30 percent of infertility issues.
IVF Success Rates
According to research, the chances of a successful live birth improve with each IVF cycle. Here’s what IVF success rates look like:
- Of all women (regardless of age) beginning IVF, 33 percent have a baby during their first cycle.
- Women between the ages of 30 and 33 carry the best chance of IVF success during their first cycle compared to women of different age groups.
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) offers IVF success estimators to help you assess the likelihood of having a baby upon IVF treatment.
SART offers two calculators:
- SART IVF Cycle 1 calculates your chance of having a baby over one or more completed IVF cycles.
- SART IVF Cycle 2 calculates your chance of having a baby over the second or third completed IVF cycles.
Keep in mind that the tool doesn’t intend to offer medical advice. We advise you to further speak with a physician about a customized treatment plan.
What Makes Someone a Good Candidate for IVF?
Every person’s health, circumstances, and bodies are different, which is why a healthcare professional will discuss the following four areas with you to see if you are a good candidate for IVF:
You may have fertility issues due to circumstances such as:
- Unexplained infertility
- Recurrent miscarriages
- Male infertility
- Other reproductive issues
Age significantly affects how successful someone might be when undergoing IVF treatment. Please note, the facts below are clinic-dependent—every clinic carries its own standards, so we recommend discussing these further with yours.
Individuals using their own eggs:
- Have a better chance of successful IVF if they’re under age 40.
- May be a good candidate if they are 40 to 42 years old and have a regular menstrual cycle.
Individuals using donor oocytes:
- May need to be 50 years of age or younger to use eggs from a donor.
Individuals using frozen embryos:
- May need to be 50 years of age or younger to use frozen embryos.
Individuals using a gestational carrier:
- May need to be under 55 years of age if they’re a single parent.
The IVF process can be challenging to your mental health. Individuals using any donor services or using a gestational carrier may undergo counseling before IVF treatment.
This is to ensure:
- You are thoroughly prepared
- Your doctor builds a customized treatment plan for you
Most clinics will allow individuals with chronic health issues to undergo treatment as long as they receive clearance from their medical provider treating said illness.
- BMI must be under 50.
- STI screening must be conducted.
- Other tests, such as mammograms and pap smears, may be required.
What Does the IVF Process Look Like?
Once you've been cleared to begin IVF, you’ll begin a five-step process. Understanding the entire IVF journey can help alleviate some of the anxieties and stress you may feel. Future Family Fertility coaches are available to answer your questions and prepare for all that lies ahead. Here is a brief overview of the process:
You are given fertility medications to help the body mature your eggs. The more mature eggs retrieved, the higher your chance of success.
A minor procedure done under anesthesia, called follicular aspiration, will remove your eggs. Using ultrasound guidance, your doctor will use a thin needle to retrieve the eggs.
Your partner will provide a sperm sample on the day of egg retrieval. Donor sperm may also be used.
An embryologist will attempt to fertilize mature eggs with sperm. The embryologist may inject the sperm directly into the egg (aka ICSI) or allow fertilization to happen naturally by placing sperm and egg together in a petri dish in the lab (aka conventional insemination). It typically takes a few hours for the sperm to fertilize an egg.
Approximately three to five days after fertilization, the physician will use a catheter to place embryos in your uterus. You will likely be asked to wait two weeks to take a pregnancy test.
To learn more, read about the five essential steps to prepare for IVF.
How Much Does IVF Cost?
In 2020, the average cost of one cycle of IVF was $10,000–$15,000. On top of that, there are medication costs, which typically average anywhere between $5,000–$8,000. There may also be costs associated with any unique treatment add-ons you require.
After your initial meeting with a fertility specialist, you’ll undergo a series of tests to determine the best fertility treatment for you. Both testing and treatment can be lengthy and sometimes expensive.
5 Tips for Navigating IVF Costs
If you’re considering moving forward with IVF but aren’t sure how to calculate the financial estimate, we offer five tips to help you make the best financial decision you can:
Tip #1: Check if your insurance covers fertility treatments
Currently, 17 states require insurance to cover some of the cost of fertility treatments. Still, there isn’t a clear definition of what that coverage includes.
For example, some states are required to offer coverage, while others must cover infertility treatment. Additionally, while many insurance plans may cover some of the first rounds of IVF, they may not cover subsequent rounds.
To get an idea of how much IVF costs with insurance, take a look at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) resource and review it with your benefits administrator.
Tip #2: Ask your fertility doctor about the medications you’ll need
One of the “hidden costs” of IVF is medications. Depending on your assessment and plan, you’ll be prescribed some fertility medications. These medications are a necessary part of the process and cannot be omitted within a healthy and safe IVF journey.
Unfortunately, the medications can be a bit pricey, ranging from $5,000–$8,000. Insurance often does not cover these medications, which can be frustrating and stressful.
Tip #3: Research the best way for you to pay for IVF
Unfortunately, many people decide against IVF simply because it seems financially impossible. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you’ve saved $20,000 to start IVF. With some research, you can find great alternatives to save money.
Until recently, there haven’t been a lot of financing options to cover the cost of IVF. In the past, most people (54%) just paid with a credit card and took on the 20% interest rate. Fortunately, this is no longer the only option to pay for IVF. \
Find out more about different ways to pay for IVF.
Tip #4: Apply for IVF grants
Some organizations offer grants for IVF treatment. These grants pay either a portion or the entirety of your IVF plan.
Here are examples of organizations offering grants:
- Hope for Fertility Foundation: Awards one grant yearly from $250 to $5000.
- Baby Quest Foundation: Awards grants twice a year, depending on how much funding is available.
For more organizations, visit RESOLVE’s site, which lists several nonprofit organizations providing infertility treatment grants.
Tip #5: Learn how to take out a loan for IVF
Future Family has low-interest fertility loans that make paying for your fertility treatments much easier. We help spread out the cost of your treatment to make IVF more accessible. Since we consolidate all of your bills into one simple payment, you’ll have less to keep track of during an already intense phase of life.
Future Family IVF plans start around $300 to $475 a month. We even have a special loan called the Friends & Family Plan. This loan allows a loved one, whether a family member or dear friend, to take out a fertility loan on your behalf. Read our press release.
We’re in your corner. Every plan comes with support from our fertility coaches, all registered nurses with seven-plus years of healthcare experience. They are here to answer your questions during treatment, and will be with you every step of the way.
Pre-Qualify for IVF Today
The cost of IVF may seem high, but there are ways to make it happen with appropriate IVF financial planning. The cost of IVF shouldn’t prevent anyone from being able to have the family they deserve.
Get started on your family with help from Future Family. Don’t spend years trying to pay off credit cards and high-interest loans. Apply today for the help you need to get started.