Donor Egg Cost: Analyzing The Average Cost of Donor Egg IVF & Financing Options

By CNY Fertility Updated on

For those turning to donor eggs to start their family, the cost is probably the last thing you wish you had to think about, but likely one of the first things you have to come to terms with.  The unfortunate reality is the cost of donor eggs might be as important a factor in your family building journey as anything else.

Why’s that? Well, donor egg costs are incredibly high – usually multiple times larger than the average American family’s yearly dispensable income. Compound that with the fact that many who pursue donor eggs have already spent tens of thousands of dollars on failed IVF cycles with their own eggs and the near absence of insurance coverage means donor egg costs are likely a pretty important discussion for you and your growing family.

There is truly a lot you need to know about the cost of donor eggs and unfortunately, a lot of that information is intentionally convoluted with hidden fees and prices being broken up and billed by multiple parties.  We’re going to break it all down here for you so you are as educated and prepared as possible for what your donor egg IVF cycle could cost. That is, where you can buy your eggs from, what factors go into determining your total costs, and more, but first, let’s begin with a quick high-level overview.

Fast Facts About Donor Egg IVF, Costs, and Financing

What is Donor Egg IVF

Donor Egg IVF is a fertility treatment similar to regular IVF with one major difference, the woman getting pregnant is using another woman’s eggs.

Why Are Donor Eggs Used?

Donor eggs are used for a number of reasons including older women or those with low ovarian reserve, gay or single men, cancer survivors who didn’t freeze their eggs, or those who have otherwise failed one or more IVF cycles (who may or may not have explored options like reproductive immunology).

What Types of Donor Eggs are There?

Donor eggs are usually categorized by fresh or frozen as well as anonymous, non-anonymous, or known.

Frozen donor eggs are already frozen in liquid nitrogen and ready to be thawed and used. They can be bought from both stand-alone egg banks or from fertility clinics that have their own donor egg program.

Fresh eggs are eggs that have never been frozen. They require the donor to undergo an egg retrieval after being selected by the intended parents. They are usually only purchased directly from a fertility clinic’s donor egg program or from donor agencies.

Anonymous egg donors do not agree to have their identity disclosed.  The intended parents and child can not meet the biological parent unless later agreed.

Non-anonymous donors agree to have their identity disclosed to the intended parents and child.

Known Donors are usually friends or family of the recipient.

Regardless of being anonymous or non-anonymous, the recipient usually has access to their basic demographics, ethnicity, education, childhood pictures, etc.

Where can donor eggs be purchased?

Donor eggs can be bought from three different types of businesses:

Fertility Clinics: Many fertility clinics have their own donor egg programs. Fertility clinic donor egg programs usually have both Fresh and Frozen Donor Eggs for sale.

Donor Egg Banks: Donor egg banks sell frozen donor eggs which they then ship frozen to fertility clinics to be used.

Donor Egg Agencies: Agencies are similar to banks in that they are not attached to a fertility clinic, but usually coordinate fresh donor egg cycles via a network of donors throughout the country.

*if using a known donor, you would still need a fertility clinic to perform the IVF portion and because there is significant testing and additional coordination, most clinics still charge more than their standard IVF price.

Donor Egg Cost

According to a 2010 study , the median cost for a donor egg IVF cycle is around $38,000 (including the cost of the eggs and the accompanying IVF procedure that is necessary to create a pregnancy).

The cost of donor eggs varies greatly with the most affordable donor egg IVF cycles in the united states coming in just over $10,000 and some being well over $40,000 .

You may need multiple rounds of Donor Egg IVF which could cause the costs to multiply

Why Are Donor Eggs so Expensive

Donor Egg IVF is so expensive for two main reasons:

  • IVF in general (without donor eggs) has an average cost of around $20,000
  • Egg donors themselves must be paid several thousands of dollars for their time, willingness to go through a rigorous screening and testing process, administer injectable medications for 10 days, undergo an egg retrieval under anesthesia.

What About Insurance

It’s highly unlikely that insurance will cover your donor egg cycle. According to internal CNY Fertility data, less than 1% of people have insurance coverage for donor egg IVF.

Why The Cost of Donor Eggs is Important?

The cost of donor eggs is important for many reasons including some things already mentioned:

  • Those exploring donor egg IVF have oftentimes already spent 10s (even into the hundreds) of thousands of dollars on IVF with their own eggs.
  • The average cost of donor egg is more than the average American’s disposable income.
  • Insurance rarely covers it.
  • The costs vary widely. There are significantly more affordable options available so it’s important to do your own research.

Donor Egg Financing

There are multiple options for financing, though many (but not all) programs will have strict credit requirements. 

The Average Cost of Donor Egg IVF

According to a 2010 study, the average cost of Donor Egg IVF is $38,000. With this number, it’s important to remember two things.

  • That is the average: the cost range is staggering from prices as low as $9,950 to well over $40,000.
  • That is the cost of one treatment: Given the success rate of donor egg IVF is typically around 50%, many will need multiple cycles to bring home their baby. That same study found that the average cost per live birth is $72,642.

Donor Egg Cost Comparison: CNY Fertility vs. National Average

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What Factors Influence the Cost of Donor Egg IVF

When purchasing donor eggs there are truly so many factors that can influence the total cost of the treatment. Some of these costs may be necessary, but some of the costs may be “add” on services that may or may not be right for you. Remember, purchasing eggs is one thing, but having a baby is another.  In that, you need to account for the cost of Donor Egg IVF and all that goes into it, not just the cost of donor eggs.

The Fertility Clinic

Hands down, the most significant factor influencing the cost of the donor egg IVF cycle is the fertility clinic at which the procedures will be performed. Why does the fertility clinic matter . . . well, no matter where you buy your eggs, the IVF procedure must be done to them . . . and the cost of IVF varies widely from clinic to clinic.

Given the average cost of standard IVF is around $20,000 – it may make up the largest single line item of donor egg IVF.

With publicly available data, prices in the USA range from just over $10,450 to over $45,000 – without add on fees like genetic testing.

Fresh or Frozen Eggs

Generally speaking, fresh eggs cost more than frozen eggs. This is primarily due to the fact that using fresh eggs requires significant coordination between the egg donor and the donor egg recipient (at least this is the case if also doing a fresh embryo transfer). Fresh eggs may also be priced higher for the simple reason that fresh eggs provide higher success rates so clinics and agencies may be able to charge more.

The Number of Eggs Purchased

  • Fresh eggs may be purchased so that you receive all the eggs that the donor produces (with no guarantee of number) or in a split-cycle fashion (which generally specify and guarantee a specific number, but not more). Purchasing all the eggs produced by the donor in that cycle costs more.
  • Most frozen donor eggs are sold in bunches of 6-8 eggs. Occasionally you can buy less, but that often negates any transfer guarantee offered by the donor eggs.

Add on Services

While not necessary for everyone, some people may want to or be encouraged by their fertility doctor to add on services like genetic testing to either reduce the odds of multiple, screen for potential genetic disorders, or choose the sex of the child.

Quality, Specificity, or Anonymity Status of the Donor

  • Some fertility clinics, egg banks, and agencies charge more for those with highly sought after or specific traits. Non-anonymous donors often cost slightly more. Known donors normally cost slightly less. Not all do this.

What Type of Organization Your Purchase the Eggs From

Where you purchase your eggs can have a significant impact on the cost of your treatment. While a lot of this is due to the types of eggs you can purchase from each type of organization some of it is due to the cost structure of these organizations.

  • Fertility clinics sell fresh and frozen eggs
  • Egg banks sell fresh eggs which are then shipped to a fertility clinic for the procedure
  • Donor Egg Agencies coordinate fresh egg donors cycles with clinics across the country

Frozen eggs from egg banks and fertility clinics tend to be priced fairly similarly. Donor egg agencies tend to charge a little more for fresh eggs than fertility clinics.

 

 

Donor Egg Cost Comparison

Cost to Have a Baby with Donor Eggs

Even though donor egg IVF offer the highest success rates of any fertilty treatment it’s still possible that it takes multiple cycles to have a child. Given that, it’s very well possible for the cost of your treatment to multiply if more than one cycle is necessary. In fact, one study found that the average person spent $72,642 on Donor Egg IVF in order to have a successful outcome.

Cumulative Success of Donor Egg IVF

That study number was found using an average cost for a single cycle of around $38,000.  Of course, we now know there are much more affordable options available with costs around $10,000 per cycle.

Donor Egg Financing, Loans, Payment Plans & Payment Alternatives

Given the substantial out of pocket cost of donor eggs, it’s very possible that you will need to turn to financing to be able to pursue your treatment in a timely fashion.  Fortunately, there are numerous options available.

Fertility Financing Specialists:

From in house clinic financing here at CNY Fertility to lending companies that partner with fertility clinics to offer financing to the patients, fertility financing specialists work directly with fertility clinics and are thus more user friendly.

Traditional Lending Options:

Traditional lending options include personal loans, HELOCs, crowdfunding, 0% APR credit cards and more. While they don’t partner with specific clinics, the funds can often be used in any way you like giving them lots of flexibility.

Alternatives to Financing:

While financing can be great, there are other unique ways to pay for donor egg IVF.

The Bottom Line

  • When asking the cost of donor eggs, it’s important to factor in all potential costs including the cost of the IVF procedure itself along with the possibility of it taking more than one cycle to have a successful treatment.
  • The cost of donor egg IVF ranges significantly from around $10,000 to over $40,000 and is depending upon many factors.
  • The lack of insurance coverage puts this financial burden almost entirely on the intended parents.
  • There are a number of financing options available to help though some may have strict credit requirements.

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