Hey there, forward thinker! Whether you’re considering egg freezing for personal, professional, or health reasons, you’ve made family planning a priority. Your next task? Finding the answer to the all-important question, "How much does egg freezing cost?"
In this article:
- Why consider egg freezing?
- What is egg freezing?
- How much does it cost to freeze your eggs?
- 5 Factors That Can Impact the Cost of Egg Freezing
- Egg Freezing Cost Breakdown
- Egg Freezing Cost FAQs
- Does insurance cover egg freezing?
- How do I pay for egg freezing?
- Is there financial help available for egg freezing?
Why consider egg freezing?
Let’s not beat around the proverbial bush. Egg freezing will set you back about as much as a one-week luxury holiday in Maui. But that’s nothing compared to the cost of waiting for years to have a baby, only to find out you'll need to undergo multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment before finally succeeding.
While egg freezing shouldn't be considered an insurance policy (or a guarantee) that you’ll have a successful pregnancy, it does boost your odds of having a healthy baby later in life.
Here’s everything you need to know before making your decision.
Note: We will be referring to women throughout this article for clarity, but understand that not everyone assigned female at birth identifies as a woman. When we refer to "women," we are always including anyone born with ovaries.
What is egg freezing?
By now, you’re probably familiar with the term oocyte. If you aren’t, oocyte is the scientific term for a human egg!
Once a girl reaches puberty, she has only 200,000 eggs – we say "only" because at birth, a baby girl has 6 million eggs. The older women get, the quality (and quantity) of eggs decreases, which can lead to difficulty conceiving.
Egg freezing allows your eggs to exist in a permanent state of youth; being literally frozen in time the moment they’re vitrified (flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen). Medication is used to help you produce more eggs than normal during an egg freezing cycle, and the process is most effective if completed in your early to mid-30s.
However, choosing to preserve your fertility via egg freezing is a great choice even after age 35 for many women. Your doctor will discuss your chances of success with you after assessing your baseline fertility and current ovarian reserve (how many eggs you have left).
Note: The more eggs you freeze, the greater your chance of a successful pregnancy.
When you decide the time is right to use your eggs and attempt pregnancy, they will be thawed and fertilized (each with a single sperm) through a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
After fertilization, the resulting embryos are closely monitored in the embryology laboratory as they develop. Around five days after fertilization, the embryo is ready to be transferred to the uterus.
How much does it cost to freeze your eggs?
Egg freezing is a big decision - often made when you're too young to know when (or if) you’ll need to make use of it. Freezing eggs can cause strain on both your pocket book and your emotions, so you need to weigh your decision carefully before diving in.
We spend so much time factoring things like college, cars, and houses into our budgets. It makes sense that we should also include building our families into our financial plans.
Egg freezing can cost up to $30,000+, but the average cost is around $11,000, with the typical range being $8,000 to $15,000 per cycle (if you pay out-of-pocket). Keep in mind, storage fees will cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,000 annually.
It is important to note that there is a direct correlation between age and the quantity and quality of eggs expected at egg retrieval. It's quite possible that women in their late 30's will have to undergo multiple cycles in order to achieve a desired result, not just one cycle.
What other variables affect the cost of egg freezing? Let's discuss.
5 Factors That Can Impact the Cost of Egg Freezing
Egg freezing costs depend on a few different factors you may not anticipate, including:
1. Your Location
Certain cities (like New York) are more expensive to undergo an egg freezing cycle in than others (like Boston and San Francisco).
2. Your Age
Typically, those over age 37 need multiple cycles of egg freezing to garner the same number of viable eggs as healthy, younger women.
3. Your Health
Costs may be lower if you’re freezing eggs due to a medical condition (i.e. cancer, endometriosis or a family history of early menopause).
4. Your Clinic
Prices vary significantly between fertility practices, so don't be afraid to shop around and ask lots of questions before choosing your clinic. A word of caution: some clinics advertise lower upfront costs for egg freezing but fail to include the price of essential medications, monitoring, and other important parts of the process.
Be sure to get a full breakdown of all costs associated with egg freezing, including storage.
5. Your Insurance
Each insurance provider has a different policy around coverage for fertility preservation procedures, so be sure to review yours carefully and cover your bases. Egg freezing is typically not covered by insurance - however, some insurance companies (and employers) are starting to offer partial or full coverage for fertility-related care.
Egg Freezing Cost Breakdown
Now that we've discussed the average cost of egg freezing and what factors can impact the total amount you may pay, let's break down exactly where all that money actually goes.
What does the cost of egg freezing include?
Not all fertility clinics will include all of the following in the "bundled" pricing they present to you, so it's important to understand each piece of the puzzle to avoid unwelcome surprises.
Here are the various parts of the process that should be considered when financially planning for an egg freezing cycle:
- An initial consultation
- Hormonal and/or medical stimulation
- Monitoring of hormone levels
- Egg retrieval
- Egg storage
Additionally, you should consider the cost of using those frozen eggs in the future, when you're ready to grow your family. This will include the egg thawing, fertilization and embryo transfer process. Learn more below.
Egg Freezing: Estimated Treatment Costs
For the egg freezing part of the process, here's how much you can expect to pay here at Illume Fertility (all prices listed below are for those paying out-of-pocket, and do not factor in any potential insurance coverage or financial package discounts):
- One cycle of egg freezing: $8,000
- Fertility medications: $3,500-$4,000
- Storage fees: 2 years free storage included in our Egg Freezing Opportunity Plan
Total: $12,000 per cycle
*Note: Our financial plans offer multi-cycle discounts!
How much does it cost to use frozen eggs?
Once you decide you are ready to utilize the eggs you've frozen and grow your family, keep the following costs in mind (out-of-pocket costs, if no insurance or discounts applied). These are also specific to Illume Fertility:
- Egg thaw, fertilization, embryo preparation, and embryo transfer: $13,115
- Donor sperm (if applicable): Anywhere from $400 to $2,000
- Optional Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) of embryos: $380 per embryo
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about egg freezing costs:
Does insurance cover egg freezing?
Each insurance company has a different policy. The one thing most agree on? They usually won’t cover the cost of egg freezing. However, many will include coverage for diagnostic testing, your initial consultation with a fertility specialist, and sometimes, medication.
Some large companies are starting to offer coverage for egg freezing, so check with your HR department to see if your insurance will cover any or all of your costs.
How do I pay for egg freezing?
Here are a few ideas that may help:
- Speak with a financial advisor to determine what you can afford.
- Compare prices at different clinics, and ask each one for a detailed list of what’s included. See if they have payment packages or guarantees (some offer a 100% money-back guarantee for some treatments).
- Look for deals on fertility medications. Talk to different pharmacies and your doctor to see if any special rates apply to your situation.
- Save! Set up a regular automatic debit from your checking account into savings.
- Ask friends or family to help. This could be a great birthday or holiday gift.
- Set up a GoFundMe fundraising page to accumulate donations.
- Use a flexible spending account (FSA) if you have one.
- Pay with a rewards credit card to accumulate cash back, travel, or other rewards.
- Read carefully through your employee benefits. Some companies cover egg freezing!
Is there financial help available for egg freezing?
Yes! Many fertility clinics centers offer financial packages to help offset the cost of egg freezing. A select few even include medications. At Illume Fertility, we offer an Egg Freezing Opportunity Plan, which is the only all-inclusive egg freezing treatment plan in the Tri-State region that includes medications.
There are also financial grants (particularly for cancer patients):
- Fertility treatment grants are available from organizations like Baby Quest Foundation, the Cade Foundation, the Hope for Fertility Foundation and the Nest Egg Foundation.
- Grants specifically for cancer patients wishing to preserve eggs before cancer treatments: Livestrong Fertility, Team Maggie for a Cure, Verna’s Purse, the Alliance for Fertility Preservation, The Samfund, the Heart Beat Program, and Fertility Within Reach.
What age should you freeze your eggs?
To give yourself the highest chances of success, we typically recommend freezing your eggs in your late 20s or early 30s. Any time before age 35 is optimal, but fertility preservation at any age is better than no fertility preservation at all!
Of course, if you are diagnosed with an illness that may decrease the quality and quantity of your eggs (i.e. cancer), you might want to consider undergoing an egg freezing cycle even sooner. Similarly, if you plan to transition with hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgery, egg freezing offers the benefit of preserving your current fertility beforehand.
How many eggs should I freeze?
We recommend freezing 10-15 eggs minimum per planned pregnancy (i.e. if you are hoping to have two babies, 20-30 eggs should give you a good chance at achieving two pregnancies). Those older than 37 should aim to freeze 25-30 eggs per planned pregnancy.
However, there are additional considerations to keep in mind, like the number of mature eggs your doctor is able to retrieve, your chosen fertility clinic's success rates with freezing and thawing eggs, and other important factors.
How many egg freezing cycles will I need?
This will depend on a few factors:
- Your age
- Your desired family size
- Your baseline ovarian reserve
- Your body's response to ovarian stimulation
Many egg freezing patients undergo more than one cycle in order to retrieve the amount of eggs that gives them the best chance at a successful future pregnancy. In short, the more eggs you freeze, the better your odds are.
What else should I know about egg freezing?
You now know how much egg freezing costs and what the treatment includes. Below are four other factors to take into consideration as you make this important decision:
- Don’t freeze eggs when you’re too young or too old. At 20, your eggs are better quality and you’ll get a lot more of them in one cycle. However, being so young means you likely won’t have a good idea if you’ll need them later. You could be throwing away money if you're able to get pregnant naturally. By 30, you’re closer to the age at which you’ll use the eggs and will have a better idea of whether you’ll need them.
- Choose your clinic carefully. Do your research before freezing your eggs and choose a clinic with plenty of experience and high success rates (not just with freezing, but thawing and fertilization too).
- Know you'll lose eggs along the way. Freezing won’t guarantee success. There’s still a chance some eggs won’t survive the freeze or thaw, and others won’t fertilize correctly.
- Be prepared for failure. The live birth rate per frozen egg is anywhere from 2-12% on average, which is why we always recommend you have as many mature, healthy eggs frozen as possible to give you the best chance at pregnancy.
Ready to take the next step?
Now that you know all the facts about egg freezing costs, take some time to consider your next steps. Do you have more questions you'd like to discuss with a fertility specialist? Perhaps you'd like to get a head start by calling your insurance company or HR department to see if egg freezing is covered. Maybe you just need to take a few days to mull it all over.
No matter how you're feeling right now (overwhelmed, excited, nervous, hopeful), know that you're not alone and many other women have been in your shoes!
Get in touch with us today to learn more about egg freezing costs and how to get started on your fertility preservation journey. Our team is happy to answer your questions and provide resources to help guide you as you make decisions about fertility and family building.
Sierra Dehmler is Illume Fertility’s Content Marketing Manager - and also a fertility patient herself. Combining empathy gained on her personal journey with her professional experience in marketing and content creation, she aims to empower and support other fertility patients by demystifying the fertility treatment process.