How Much Is Reciprocal IVF [& How To Prepare Financially]
There are several ways to start growing your family. Many couples want to maximize their involvement in the conception process with each available option.
Reciprocal IVF provides a way for couples to contribute to the creation and gestation of the newest family member.
In-vitro fertilization procedures are an excellent family-building option for couples in the LGBTQ+ community, and reciprocal IVF treatments are no exception. However, because the process differs from traditional IVF procedures, how much reciprocal IVF costs will vary.
On average, one cycle of reciprocal IVF costs between $10,000–$15,000. The exact price depends on the following factors:
- Your insurance coverage
- Your health
- The treatment center that facilitates your IVF
There are also medication costs, which can average anywhere between $7,000–$10,000. With reciprocal IVF, the gestational partner and the partner providing eggs use fertility drugs to prepare the eggs and uterus for implantation.
In total, couples in the U.S. spend roughly $20,000 on reciprocal IVF.
Reciprocal IVF is a considerable time and financial investment, so it’s essential to learn about and prepare for it thoroughly. This is where Future Family comes in. We’ll walk you through some key areas to help you better understand the costs of reciprocal IVF.
Note: When it comes to finances, most reciprocal IVF costs mirror the costs of regular IVF, which we’ve already covered in a companion blog post.
Browse a specific category by clicking on any of the quick links below:
What Is Reciprocal IVF?
Also known as co-maternity, partner IVF, or co-IVF, reciprocal IVF is a fertility treatment option for lesbian or trans-men couples.
Reciprocal IVF is a variation of in vitro fertilization where both partners are involved in the creation of their child. One partner goes through testing to retrieve their eggs for fertilization, and the other has the embryo placed in their uterus to carry and give birth to the child.
Reciprocal IVF allows both partners to be involved in building their family in a way that standard IVF does not allow for.
How Does Reciprocal IVF Work?
Reciprocal IVF follows the same steps as traditional IVF treatments, with a few notable differences.
- Step One: Decide Each Partner’s Role
The couple decides who will carry their baby and who will donate their eggs. This decision includes a host of considerations, such as each partner’s medical history, health status, or preference.
- Step Two: Acquire Donor Sperm
The couple must find and select donor sperm, either from a known or anonymous donor. This step can involve additional costs not covered by insurance or included in the expected IVF fees with the chosen fertility clinic. A vial of sperm may cost anywhere from $400–$2,000.
- Step Three: Sync Menstrual Cycles
Some reciprocal IVF treatments, particularly those involving a fresh embryo transfer, may require both partners to sync their menstrual cycles using oral contraceptives. These are often covered by insurance.
- Step Four: Prepare with Hormonal Medication
The egg-donating partner takes hormonal medication to stimulate their follicles, while the gestational partner takes hormonal medication to thicken their uterine lining. While some of these medications are included or covered by insurance, this can add additional costs.
- Step Five: Egg Retrieval
A fertility specialist retrieves eggs from the donating partner in an outpatient surgical procedure. Then, the eggs are fertilized and incubated for about a week.
- Step Six: Embryo Transfer
If the process creates healthy embryos after the incubation period, chosen embryos are transferred into the uterus of the carrying partner. The couple then waits two weeks to take a pregnancy test to confirm success.
For more information on reciprocal IVF, check out our piece: What Is Reciprocal IVF [& Is It Right for You]?
Does Insurance Pay for Reciprocal IVF?
Not all insurance providers cover reciprocal IVF. Coverage varies across providers and states. Currently, 17 states mandate infertility coverage, though not all 17 states specifically offer coverage for IVF. Each state carries different guidelines.
Insurance providers generally don’t cover reciprocal IVF costs unless there’s a medical necessity. This necessity may include diagnostic tests and doctor visits for the individual carrying the child.
As there are several variations involved with insurance coverage, we encourage you to speak with your provider and IVF treatment facility for exact details.
How Much Is Reciprocal IVF Out of Pocket?
Reciprocal IVF’s average cost is $20,000 out of pocket.
Reciprocal IVF costs can be split into three areas:
- Reciprocal IVF prep
- Embryo costs
- Embryo transfer
Though the exact costs in each area vary, we’ve assembled these estimates to help you prepare.
Reciprocal IVF Prep
The average cost of reciprocal IVF prep can range from $5,600–$12,000. This includes:
- Blood work and ultrasound: Blood work helps assess hormone levels in both partners and perform preconception blood work.
- Medications: These prescriptions help stimulate the growth of eggs, prevent ovulation, and improve your chances of a successful reciprocal IVF procedure. Medication needs may vary from person to person, depending on one’s medical history and conditions.
- Donor sperm fees: This involves acquiring a donor sperm to inject into the egg to create the embryo. Couples can select donor sperm based on the donor’s characteristics (physical attributes, education, career, etc.). The cost also depends on the number of vials selected.
- Legal fees: There are legalities involved with reciprocal IVF to recognize you and your partner as the child’s biological parents. As the legalities of reciprocal IVF vary from state to state, it may be wise to seek legal counsel and have paperwork filed with the court.
Embryo costs range from $10,000–12,000, and include:
- Egg retrieval: This procedure removes the eggs from one partner. The eggs are then fertilized in a laboratory. The number of eggs the doctor can retrieve depends on your age, medical history, and response to medications.
- Anesthesia: Anesthesia ensures you don’t feel pain during the egg retrieval process.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): ICSI is the fertilization process that injects a single sperm into the center of the egg.
- Embryo biopsy: This biopsy helps assess your chances of having a healthy baby by looking into the genetic makeup of your embryo.
- Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT): This test scans the cells of your embryo to ensure it has all 23 pairs of chromosomes.
- Embryo freezing: Embryos are stored in a cryogenic freezer before transfer.
Embryo transfer ($3,000-$5,000) is the procedure that transfers the early-stage embryo from Partner A into Partner B’s uterus. One or two embryos are placed into Partner B’s uterus using a catheter. There is typically a two-week waiting period to see if pregnancy has been achieved.
Things to Keep in Mind
In addition to the costs of the procedures involved, here are three more things to keep in mind as you financially prepare for reciprocal IVF:
- Fertility coaches: To help you feel more comfortable, some treatment centers provide fertility coaches who can improve your IVF experience. As every couple is different, a fertility coach can help personalize your care and debrief you after doctor visits. Discussing fertility issues can be challenging. Coaches can lend an ear with honest conversations to help you feel more confident about your IVF journey.
Financing options: These figures might seem overwhelming, but there are fertility treatment centers that offer financing options to help make reciprocal IVF more accessible for you and your partner. At Future Family, in addition to loan options, we have a Friends & Family Plan where a friend or family member can take a loan out on your behalf.
Is Reciprocal IVF Worth It?
Family-building treatments are known to be expensive and involved. Still, they’ve allowed numerous couples to realize their dream of adding a new member to their family. The reciprocal IVF process allows couples to grow a baby together through the miracle of modern science.
Bringing a child into the world is an incredible process that enables couples to work together as a team from conception and beyond. With reciprocal IVF, each partner sustains an intimate connection to their child right from the start.
If you and your partner are ready to explore whether reciprocal IVF is right for you, a fertility coach can help. Fertility coaches can walk you through the IVF process, and help you prepare for the road ahead.
Learn about Future Family’s Financing Options
Our goal is to remove the barriers of cost and complexity in building the family you deserve. With the help of our $100 million financing fund, we proudly offer reciprocal IVF plans starting at $300 per month.
How to Get Prequalified
If you decide to pursue IVF treatments, Future Family’s fertility loans can help make your dream of having a baby a reality. You can complete a prequalification form and submit to a soft credit check to get started. The submission process is quick; you can receive pre-approval in as little as two minutes.
To speed up the process, keep a few pieces of information on hand when applying for prequalification, including:
- Personal information
- Income and financial status
- Clinic name
- Partner information