Because of all the advantages that it offers, freezing eggs has become an important part of today’s fertility-related conversations. This makes you wonder what does it cost to freeze my eggs? New techniques, like cryopreservation have made egg freezing a viable option for ambitious young women not ready to be pregnant right now, but want children someday.
Life moves very quickly when you’re young. From your twenties to your forties – education, careers, and relationships are priorities, but your biological clock doesn’t stop ticking in the background. Egg freezing provides a way for you to pause your biological clock while you accomplish career and personal goals first.
The decision to freeze your eggs can be an empowering decision, but you may be concerned about the cost. How can you be sure that you’re getting a good deal? What can you expect from your agency? How can you minimize egg freezing costs? We have identified the most common questions when it comes to egg freezing costs.
Will freezing my eggs save me money in the long term?
The upfront cost of egg freezing may seem like a significant amount, especially to women in the early stages of their careers. This is usually when they are most likely to choose this option. However, this is a wise investment if you look at the long-term advantages.
Using younger eggs for IVF when you are ready guarantees a much higher success rate than using eggs that have aged as you get older. This may also lead to fewer IVF cycles before becoming pregnant. Using frozen eggs is also less expensive than a fresh IVF cycle. There are many factors involved such as your age when you freeze your eggs, your age when you decide to become pregnant, and your personal medical and fertility history. So yes, freezing your eggs when you’re young will save you money in the long term.
What can you expect in an average egg freezing cycle?
Egg freezing cycle costs varies from clinic to clinic. At RSMC, the base price of a cycle includes the services below.
- Appointments and testing – Before an egg freezing cycle begins, initial tests are done to determine that your ovaries are healthy and functional. These tests will also assist your physician in deciding what dosage of fertility medication you will need. You will be required to visit your fertility clinic several times during the ovarian stimulation phase to check the development of your follicles and eggs. This check up is done with blood tests and ultrasounds.
- Egg retrieval procedure – Once blood tests and ultrasounds confirm that your follicles have matured, you will visit your clinic to get a “trigger shot.” This shot will induce the final maturation of your eggs. Within 36 hours of the trigger shot, you will have to return to the clinic for the egg retrieval procedure. This procedure is relatively short and will take only 30 minutes. You’ll be under a mild sedative during the egg retrieval procedure.
- Cryopreservation – After a successful egg retrieval, your eggs will be taken to a laboratory where they will undergo the freezing process. A newer cryo-vitrification technique, known as “flash freezing”, freezes the eggs instantly at sub-zero temperatures. With this technique, your eggs will be preserved with minimal risk to their quality.
What other costs are involved in egg freezing?
Some clinics may not include all the costs when going over the egg freezing process. However, there are other costs that you may need to consider.
- Fertility medications – A physician will prescribe fertility medications that will be used to stimulate your ovaries during your egg freezing cycle. Since most medication prescriptions are filled by outside pharmacies, the cost may not be included in your cycle. This can be an expensive part of egg freezing, sometimes costing thousands of dollars. Some pharmaceutical companies have discounts on fertility medication. This is an option worth exploring to keep the cost down.
- Anesthesia – The cost of anesthesia used during the egg retrieval procedure can be charged separately from the rest of the cycle. This is because anesthesia is administered by an outside provider who visits the clinic only for the procedure. The provider bills for their services separately. This does vary by clinic since some may have an anesthesiologist on staff.
- Storage – Storage fees for frozen eggs also changes on a yearly basis. The cost is excluded from the overall price of an egg freezing cycle. Clinics may use a separate storage facility that charges its own fees. Also, the specialized equipment and facilities required to safely care for frozen eggs are expensive. The amount of time you are planning to store your eggs will be an important factor in your total cost. Frozen eggs can be stored for about 10 years without any loss in their quality. Although, thanks to the new and enhanced methods of freezing and storage, they can now be stored much longer.
What should I know before choosing a clinic for egg freezing?
Here is a list of things that you should consider before choosing an egg freezing clinic for your treatment.
- Look at your insurance policy – Generally, the cost of egg freezing is not covered by an insurance policy, but the cost associated with the initial consultation and early tests could be. Going in for a fertility check-up is a smart move especially for women who are in their late twenties to early thirties and who know what they want to conceive in the future. Diagnostic procedures and tests may also be covered under most medical insurance policies. If you have a serious medical reason for preserving your fertility (i.e. you’re about to begin cancer treatment), some insurance policies may be willing to cover more of the process.
- Get an itemized list of what’s included – Not every clinic structures their fees the same way. There will be different options, and each will have a different price. Find out what’s all included in each option to determine how can you save on the overall cost.
- Learn about your ovarian function – This stage may also be covered by medical insurance, but even if you are paying for this, it’s a fairly low-cost process. The first step for anyone considering egg freezing is to find out how their ovaries are producing right now. Bloods tests and ultrasounds are used to determine how many eggs you have and how effective your ovaries are at producing mature eggs when you ovulate. This portrait of your ovarian function will be important for everything that comes next.
- How many eggs you should freeze? – The number of eggs that you should freeze is dependent upon your current age. The younger you are, the fewer eggs you need to freeze. The precise number of eggs cannot be estimated, although ovarian reserve tests and your medical history will help your physician to estimate the ideal number of eggs to freeze. Each cycle is charged separately, so knowing the approximate number of eggs will help you plan financially.
Good information and education are your best allies at every stage of your fertility journey. You can always ask about financing options. Some clinics do offer a payment plan which spreads the cost into affordable monthly payments. Thinking about the financial side of fertility can be stressful so you should expect honesty and transparency about costs form your fertility agency.
Reproductive Sciences Medical Center is among the top egg freezing agencies in California. If you would like more information about our egg freezing process, you can visit us at www.fertile.com or call 858-436-7186 to schedule a free consultation.