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Recent estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed that nearly 12 percent of Americans in their reproductive years struggle with infertility. Fortunately for many of these couples, advancing science has discovered a variety of infertility treatments that can allow them to remain hopeful in their dream of starting a family.

Researching the cost of fertility treatments can be a frustrating process. Although there are numerous techniques available, the cost of fertility treatment will depend on the individual needs of the couple and a variety of other factors. These can include location, number of clinics available, medical history, age, the cause of infertility, and length of treatment.

Unlike other medical treatments and procedures, the majority of fertility treatments are paid for out-of-pocket and are not typically covered by insurance. Currently, there are 15 states that require insurance coverage for fertility treatments.

To gain a better understanding of the costs associated with fertility treatments, researchers at the University of San Francisco tracked couples for 18 months and asked them to record all expenses related to treatment. The researchers found that couples could expect to pay an average out-of pocket cost of over $5,000 for medication, office visits, and other related expenses.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lists the average price of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in the U.S. to be $12,400; however, in these listings, it is not indicated if the cost of medications is included. The median cost varied widely and was entirely dependent on the type of treatment received. The average cost of treatment with medication was over $1,100, while one-time procedures, such as surgery for the removal of uterine fibroids, was just under $600. The cost of removal of fibroids also varies as it may be an approach through the vagina or through the abdomen, which increases the cost. The cost for intrauterine insemination (IUI) ranges from $275 to $2,457; the reason behind the differences in cost is that some prices quoted include medications, blood work, and sonograms.

Not surprisingly, median costs for in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is amongst the most expensive treatment option, was just under $20,000. For each IVF cycle, couples spent nearly $7,000. Overall, the researchers found that the cost of treatment increased as the intensity of treatment increased. This is due to the technicality and precision of the procedure as well as laboratory staff and nursing that are part of the intricate procedures.

In comparison to this research, the National Infertility Association compared the costs of fertility treatment from more than 30 clinics throughout the United States. Here are more details about the information they gathered:

  • The average cost of an IUI cycle is $865.
  • The average cost of an IVF cycle (not including medications) is $8,158.
  • Medications for an IVF cycle have an average cost of $3,000-$5,000.
  • The average cost of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is $1,544.

On average, the cost of fertility treatment is considerably higher in areas with fewer clinics available. Although the average cost of most fertility treatments appears daunting, most clinics offer financing programs for couples without insurance coverage for infertility testing and treatment.

Takeaways

  • Currently, 15 states mandate infertility insurance.
  • Recent research on the costs of fertility treatments indicate that couples can expect to pay an average of over $5,000.
  • Cost for treatment is higher in areas with fewer fertility clinics.
  • Most clinics offer financing programs for couples without insurance coverage.

References

  1. Katz P, Showstack J, Smith JF, et al. Costs of infertility treatment: Results from an 18-month prospective cohort study. Fertility and sterility. 2011;95(3):915-921. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.11.026.
  2. The National Infertility Association. Infertility Financing Programs.
  3. The National Infertility Association. Insurance Coverage in Your State.
  4. The National Infertility Association. The Costs of Infertility Treatment.

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