There are questions around egg freezing we cannot answer (how many eggs promise a live birth?) but cost is something we can. Well, mostly. The final total can depend on where you live, how many cycles you need, how long you store those eggs, and if you ever use them. But for now, let’s try and think broadly about what this process might run you.
Cycle and Location
An average egg freezing cycle, which consists of hormone stimulation, egg retrieval, and lab processing, costs around $16,000. Your clinic will likely charge you $11,000 and the medication will cost around $5,000. Below are average costs broken down by city, including medication and 5 years of storage.
Round, and Round
A major issue with egg freezing is you just never know if you’ve gotten enough eggs to be successful.
According to FertilityIQ data, the average egg freezing patient will do a second cycle, and more than 20% will do a third cycle. You may think egg freezing is a “one-and-done” procedure, but for most patients, the ambiguity of their results brings them back.
Let’s focus on three women and the costs they accrue doing egg freezing. Suppose a 25-year-old, a 30-year-old and 38-year-old all decide to freeze their eggs. Presumably the 25-year-old and 30-year-old each do a single cycle, because they are satisfied with the amount of eggs they get in their first cycle (call it 15 eggs) and the odds they have of a live birth from those eggs. But the 38-year-old feels compelled to get 20 eggs, and only gets 6 – 7 per cycle, so she does 3 cycles.
It’s easy to forget that freezing your eggs really means storing them. Since many patients regard egg freezing as an “insurance policy,” at what point do you decide you no longer need that policy, and stop paying for the storage? It may be when you need those eggs, or it may be when you’re sure you have the number of kids you want. Most clinics will tell you patients seldom stop paying, so over time storage costs add up and can become a substantial part of the overall egg freezing costs.
Worth Noting: You can bring down your storage costs, sometimes by half, if you move your eggs to an offsite storage facility. Also, most clinics cannot legally touch your eggs if you stop paying your bills.
To make this more concrete, let’s suppose our 25-, 30- and 38-year-old each decide they will pay rent until the age of 40, and that they store at a clinic in New York. Their storage fees vary, and become far more material to the patient who decided to bank at a young age.
Bills You Are Happy to Pay
According to our data, only 10 – 20% of fertility patients come back to use their eggs. And so there is a good chance this section may not apply to you. But if you do need those eggs, and come back, let’s presume you spend $3,000 to transfer your eggs. It’s also likely you’ll spend another $1,500 for ICSI to ensure they fertilize, and $5,000 on PGS to help your doctor pick the best embryo and avoid miscarriage. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume you do a single transfer, and let’s ignore whether that transfer works. For this final step, you will have spent about $10,000. In the context of our 25-, 30- and 38-year-old, this is what the costs amount to:
That may seem like a fortune, but it might be a bargain. The average successful IVF patient, using their own eggs, will undergo three rounds of treatment before they succeed. Those costs amount to around $66,000. All this assumes that third cycle is successful, but what if it isn't? Patients then face the specter of resorting to donor eggs, or adoption, both of which can be both emotionally, and financially, costly. If a woman freezes her eggs, needs them, and they work, it will save a lot of cost and misery
A Typical Patient
So if we presume you’re a New Yorker who does two cycles, pays for a decade of storage, and there is a 15% chance you need the embryos, you will likely have spent $36,000.
One final concept to consider is how you could have spent your time, and money, if it had not been used on egg freezing. There is a good chance both your work and social life will be disrupted during the process. Likewise, whether it’s $16,000 or $60,000 you spent on egg freezing, that could have been a down payment on a car or a home, or a year of graduate school. Had you invested $16,000 in the market a decade ago, it would be worth well over $30,000 today.