How Much Does It Really Cost to Freeze Eggs?

By CNY Fertility Updated on

With the continual cultural shift of delaying motherhood, egg freezing has become one of the most popular fertility treatments over the past decade .  But, because only a very small percentage of the population has egg freezing covered by insurance, the cost of freezing eggs is one of the biggest factors in determining if and where someone freezes their eggs. So how much does it really cost to freeze your eggs? And what are the cost of not freezing your eggs? Those are good questions but in truth, the answer is really, it depends.

But don’t worry, were not going to leave you hanging like that. This ultimate guide to the cost of egg freezing will break every thing down for you so when and if you’re ready to freeze your eggs, your financially prepared and won’t hit any unexpected costs now or years down the road. Buckle up, here we go!

Cost of Egg Freezing Overview

When looking into egg freezing, you’re bound to run across many different numbers when it comes to cost. That’s annoying as people looking at their phones when you’re trying to have a meaningful conversation, but it’s understandable because there are simply so many variables that go into the equation – what services are included in the quoted costs, the price variance from clinic to clinic, medication costs, storage fees – the list could go on and on.

To simplify things (but still provide the most detailed and thorough answer possible so you won’t be surprised later on), we’re splitting the cost of egg freezing into three main categories (each of which will then have their own fun variables which we will dig into later).

  • The Cost of the initial Egg Freezing Procedure: This price includes everything you will need to complete the egg freezing process. It includes bills from both the fertility clinic you are doing egg freezing at as well as a pharmacy you are buying the medication from that make you produce a large number of eggs.  Additionally, your reproductive endocrinologist may recommend you undergo multiple egg freezing cycles to improve the odds of a live birth when using the frozen eggs years later.
  • Storage Fees: This is the cost to store your eggs in liquid nitrogen. Most clinics have a flat yearly rate, though some offer long term storage discounts for 5 and 10 year packages. Some people may even choose to move their eggs off site to a long term storage site for a reduced cost.
  • Frozen Egg IVF Fees:  If an when you’re ready to grow your family using your frozen eggs, you’ll need the help of the fertility clinic again to thaw and fertilize them using In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – hopefully this results in a number of high quality embryos. One, or maybe two of these embryos can then be transferred into the uterus as part of the IVF process. If that first transfer fails (or if you want more than one child) and you have extra embryos, you can do a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) – which fortunately is slightly less expensive than the initial egg thaw, fertilization, and transfer involved in the IVF process.

 

Egg Freezing Cost Overview

Okay, now that we’ve dipped our toes into the kiddy pool, let’s make our way into the deep end and explore each of these costs in greater detail!

How Much Does The Egg Freezing Procedure Cost?

The cost of the egg freezing procedure itself ranges from about $6,000 to over $20,000 depending primarily upon the fertility clinic the procedure is being done at and the medication protocol. It includes everything needed to freeze your eggs and is billed for by both the fertility clinic and a pharmacy.

Fertility Clinic Fees:

Fertility clinic fees may be billed as one large global fee, but most often they are broken up into many line items – this is how you see more affordable prices upon initial search. For example, here at CNY, we advertise $2,995 Egg Freezing because over 50% of our egg freezing clients come from out of state and have much of the procedure done at a local clinic before coming to our office for the actual egg retrieval – as such, we only bill $2,995 + a $150 remote cycle management fee.  Regardless of how a clinic breaks up their fees or where different phases of the treatment are done, it’s important that you account for:

  • Monitoring: Monitoring is the ultrasounds and bloodwork done during the ovarian stimulation phase of the egg freezing treatment to safely and effectively grow a large number of eggs and properly time the egg retrieval procedure.
  • Egg Retrieval: The egg retrieval is the actual surgical procedure done to remove the eggs from the ovaries.
  • Anesthesia: While the egg retrieval is quite mild in the spectrum of surgeries, it does “require” anesthesia.
  • Cryopreservation: Using a process known as vitrification (a flash freeze technique) the eggs are instantaneously frozen in liquid nitrogen.

You may even have mysterious items like “clinic fees,” – but who even knows what that’s all about? Most clinics will also include either 6 months or a year’s worth of storage in their initial fee.

It is important to note that this does not include the consultation or any of the preliminary testing/work-up often required by a fertility clinic in order to do egg freezing. Of course, these fee’s range quite a bit from clinic to clinic and person to person.

  • Consultations: Initial fertility consultations for egg freezing may cost anywhere from $0 to over $1000 with an average around $300 according to market research done by freeze . Here at CNY the cost of a consultation is $50 if not covered by insurance.
  • Preliminary Testing: Testing is usually recommended and required prior to an egg freezing treatment. Fortunately, these tests are often covered by health insurance. If they are not covered, it could cost anywhere from a few hundred to somewhere in the low thousands according to freeze and internal data. Some clinics may let you waive these requirements, though that’s usually not recommended.

Pharmacy/ Medication Fees:

The cost of stimulation medications rages from around $2,400 to about $6,000 and is easily one of the larger costs of an egg freezing cycle. This fee may not be mentioned by every fertility clinic right off the bat because it is paid directly to a pharmacy (the fertility clinic never sees any of it) and well, the cost appears lower if not included (many clinics work with a foot in the door approach to marketing and sales).

The cost of stimulation medications varies greatly by protocol (when less medications are used it costs less), by pharmacy (some pharmacies simply happen to charge more or less), and by clinic (because large clinics have strong negotiating powers on behalf of their patients – fertility pharmacies may lower their price for patients sent by large clinics as a way to secure that clinic’s prescription referrals).

Because CNY Fertility is one of the largest fertility clinics in the country and also runs our own Donor Egg Program, our patients generally see much better prices for their medications than average. A standard egg freezing protocol at CNY Fertility Costs around $2,400 compared to a national average of around $4,000 – and yes, that is for the same amount of the same medications.

Egg Freezing Cost Calculator

The below cost calculator for egg freezing includes the basics and add ons like monitoring and medications for both CNY and the national average.

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Self pay pricing. The above calculation is for simulation purposes only.

Doing Multiple Egg Freezing Cycles

The truth is that many people will need to do multiple egg freezing cycles to feel confident that the number of eggs they have stored is enough to lead to pregnancy and birth later on. That’s the case for two primary reasons:

  • Many women, particularly those in their late thirties and beyond, don’t make a large number of eggs even with the stimulation medications used in egg freezing.
  • There is a significant loss or funnel at nearly every step in the egg freezing and IVF process.

What do we mean by a loss at every step:

  • There are often more follicles seen during monitoring appointments than eggs that are actually retrieved.
  • Of the eggs that are retrieved, some likely will not be mature and can not be frozen.
  • Of the eggs that are frozen some likely won’t survive the thaw.
  • Of those that survive the thaw, some likely won’t actually fertilize when combined with sperm.
  • Of those that do do fertilize, some likely won’t develop to the stage that most fertility clinics try to grow the embryos to in a lab before transferring them.
  • Of these embryos that can be transferred, only about half of embryo transfers result in live births (in the best of circumstances).

How Many Frozen Eggs Do You Need?

All of that means in order to have a good shot a a live birth via egg freezing, one usually needs to have a substantial number of eggs frozen. How many exactly? Well, that depends on your risk tolerance as well as the age at which you freeze your eggs (as younger women – under 35 – generally have higher quality eggs and need to freeze less eggs). What’s more, not only do older women generally have lower quality eggs, but they typically get less eggs per egg retrieval than their younger counterpart. That means younger women generally only need one (maybe two) egg retrieval cycle while older women will likely need 2+ freezing cycles in order to be confident in their odds moving forward.

A tool by Brigham & Women presented in the human reproduction journal offers a great new way to look at and predict how many eggs someone should bank according to their age. Here’s a glimpse inside that tool:

Egg Freezing Success Rates Per Frozen Egg

How Many Egg Freezing Retrievals will you Need?

As mentioned, the number of eggs you retrieve depends largely on the medication protocol and your age. That said, mini/low-stim protocols are rarely if ever used for egg freezing, high-doses are dangerous for younger women so not often done, and high doses in older women simply don’t result in a large number of eggs due to the lack of ovarian response. All that means that age is really the most important factor in egg freezing to determine the likely number of eggs you will retrieve each cycle and thus the number of cycles you may anticipate.

 

Average Number Eggs Retrieved By Age

As this study depicts, younger women retrieve nearly twice as many eggs as those in the older category – confirming the fact that most young women will need less cycles than their older counterparts to have enough eggs to feel confident in their chances. Of course, this results comes from only one study and has it’s limitations, though most fertility experts would agree on the overall trend it shows.

Egg Freezing Storage Cost

Let’s be real, you’re not freezing your eggs so they can be left in an igloo. Your eggs need to be stored in liquid nitrogen inside special cryotanks that are monitored regularly to make sure your investment is safely protected and preserved. That comes at a cost.  It may not be much per day (typically around $1-4 per day depending on where your eggs are frozen) but like a cup of Starbucks coffee, those costs add up quite a bit over time.

Generally speaking, when someone freezes their eggs, they will be storing them for some relatively long period of time, think 3-10 years. The first six months to a year of storage is often included in the cost of the initial egg freezing procedure. And of course, like all things when talking about the cost of egg freezing, the cost of storage is incredibly variable from clinic to clinic with the average cost around $650 per year. Here at CNY Fertility we include the cost of the first year of storage in the price and charge $350/year afterwords.

 

Cost of Egg Freezing Storage

Using Frozen Eggs to Have a Baby: Frozen Egg IVF

Are you freezing eggs so you and your girlfriends could gather around and drink champaign at some egg freezing information session? That might actually be how you were first introduced to the topic , but that sure isn’t why you’re actually considering freezing your eggs.  You’re freezing your eggs because you think that one day, you’ll use them to have a child of your own.

The cost of IVF is a discussion in and of itself, but we’ll present most everything here – as there are some slight variations when using already frozen eggs from a previous egg freezing cycle. When trying to have a baby with frozen eggs there are two potential treatments you may encounter: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Frozen Embryo Transfers (FETs). Everyone using frozen eggs will encounter the costs of IVF, only those who wish to have more than one child or who fail their first IVF transfer will experience the cost of Frozen Embryo Transfers.

Before we go into the cost of each of these treatments, let’s quickly review the treatment process for these steps as they are usually “hidden” fees associated with egg freezing so this could be the first time you’ve even encountered this information or at least thought deeply about it.

Process of Frozen Egg IVF and FET:

Frozen Egg IVF process:

  • The intended parent usually starts medications to improve the odds of implantation on cycle day 2-4.
  • Around cycle day 15 the frozen eggs are thawed.
  • The Eggs are fertilized and if fertilization is successful they become embryos
  • The embryos are then grown inside the IVF/embryology lab for 3-7 days (most labs shoot for blastocyst development which usually happens around day 5).
  • After the embryos reach the blastocyst stage (or occasionally cleavage stage which usually happens on day 3) one or two embryos are transferred. All remaining embryos are frozen.

If there are indeed extra embryos (or if genetic testing is done) a FET cycle may be done at a later time. The process is as follows:

  • The mother starts medications on cycle day 2-4.
  • 1-2 embryos are thawed around cycle day 20 and transferred.

The Cost of IVF with Frozen Eggs

The cost of IVF with frozen eggs is made up of several “required,” components and some components that are optional to varying degrees.

Required: The Base Cost of Frozen Egg IVF

This is the fees that the fertility clinic will charge you. Here at CNY the cost is $4,490 but the average cost is around $11,500.

  • Monitoring
  • Egg Warming/Thaw
  • Fertilization (either conventional or ICSI– ICSI often comes at an extra cost.
  • Embryo Transfer or putting one to two embryos into the uterus.

Highly Suggested: Improving Implantation with Medications

  • Medications: While technically optional, a vast majority of patients will be HIGHLY encouraged to take medications to improve the odds of embryo implantation – and why not do everything in your power to make the treatment successful at this point.

This bill will come from the pharmacy. As one of the largest clinics in the united states, we have strong negotiating powers with fertility pharmacies and are able to secure some of the best pricing for our clients. Transfer meds for our patients typically cost around $700 compared to a $1,100 average.

Optional: Testing Genetics

  • Genetic Testing: Genetic testing is used widely these days, but is usually not necessary for many people – thought there is evidence that it may help reduce the odds of miscarriage. It is also great for people with known genetic disorders or those who wish to choose the sex of their child. Genetic testing also requires a FET.

The Cost of FETs

As mentioned, not everyone who freezes their eggs and later thaws them in the attempt to have a baby will encounter an FET. Only those in one of the following camps will pay for an FET:

  • Perform Genetic Testing (this eliminates the possibility for a fresh transfer)
  • Those returning for a second transfer after giving birth for their first child.
  • Those returning for a second transfer after failing a previous transfer.

The cost of an FET is much lower than a full IVF with Frozen Eggs cycle and consists of three primary costs:

  • Medications (though some choose to do without)
  • Monitoring (to ensure the lining is indeed developing and receptive and to properly time the transfer)
  • The Frozen Embryo Transfer itself

Frozen Egg IVF Cost Calculator

The calculator below allows you to add or remove a number of variables including an FET and calculates both CNY prices and national averages
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Cost of Egg Freezing with Insurance Coverage

Egg Freezing is considered elective by the majority of insurance policies – even for medically required egg freezing like for those undergoing chemotherapy. That said, there are insurance policies that indeed cover parts of the egg freezing process or the treatment in it’s entirety.

There are generally two ways in which Egg Freezing is covered by insurance:

  • Work for an employer that offers egg freezing: As a way to attract and maintain talent, a growing number of companies now offer elective egg freezing as an employee benefit. So be sure to ready your employee benefits package very closely to see if you might be one of those lucky ladies.
  • Live in a state that mandates medically required fertility preservation: There are a number of states that mandate medically required Egg Freezing. In fact, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine there are only 9 states that mandate medically necessary egg freezing. Those states are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Make sure you read your health insurance plan carefully, call your employee benefits representative, or your insurance company directly to check in on your coverage!

Egg Freezing Financing

Due to the limited insurance coverage for egg freezing and high potential out of pocket costs, many companies offer financing for egg freezing. There are a few different type of lending institutions for Egg Freezing.

In House Fertility Clinic Financing:

CNY offers the nation’s only in house fertility financing – meaning we get to make the rules. This allows people to finance for up to 36 months with only a small portion due up front before starting treatment.

Positives:

  • No credit check and 100% approval rating
  • Can apply right at CNY
  • Good fees

Negatives:

  • Can not finance medications or other third party costs
  • Can only be used at CNY

Fertility Financing Companies

A number of companies like lending club, prosper, and future family partner with fertility clinics to make applying for financing easy to do right at said clinic.

Positives:

  • Can apply at fertility clinic
  • Can often be used for medication and other fees paid to third parties

Negatives:

  • Must be at a clinic that is in network with that financing company
  • Higher than average rates

Credit Union and Other Personal Loans:

While most traditional banks don’t offer personal loans anymore, Credit Unions and online lending companies still offer personal loans.

Positives:

  • Credit Unions offer very competitive rates.
  • Online loans are often easy to apply for.

Negatives:

  • Credit Union credit application process can be a little burdensome
  • Online lenders often don’t have the best rates

Of course, there a are a number of other options like HELOC and crowdfunding which people do occasionally take advantage of to help pay for their egg freezing.

The Cost of Not Freezing Eggs

While there is a lack of insurance coverage for egg freezing and the cost is prohibitive for many – for some the cost of not freezing one’s eggs (either financial or otherwise) may be even higher. For some (like those undergoing chemo or transition therapy), it is likely their only option of having a biological child. For those doing egg freezing for the elective reason of delaying motherhood, it very well could be the best and or most affordable option.

From a psychosocial perspective, the cost of not having a child or non biological child can be immeasurable. The financial burden of this choice can be equally problematic, if not more so than the cost of egg freezing. With the average cost of IVF and donor egg IVF teeters around $20,000 and $35,000 per attempt on average – and the fact that many (particularly “older” women) need more than one cycle, the costs can quickly outrun the cost of egg freezing.

The Bottom Line

The cost of egg freezing is has rapidly become a very important topic given the incredibly growth of the treatments popularity, lack of coverage, and likely 5 figure out of pocket costs. While the costs can get quite expensive, particularly when adding up multiple egg freezing cycles, the cost of storage, and IVF, there is significant money to be saved by price shopping and potentially traveling for a “egg-cation.”

For many the cost of egg freezing is well worth the the potential costs of not freezing ones eggs.  From a psychosocial perspective, the cost of not having a child or non biological child can be immeasurable and the financial burden of this choice can be equally problematic, if not more so than the cost of egg freezing.  In fact, the average cost of IVF and donor egg IVF teeters around $20,000 and $35,000 per attempt on average. In reality, many (particularly “older” women) need more than one IVF or donor egg cycle, meaning those costs can quickly outrun the cost of egg freezing.

The one thing that seems to be certain is that talking to a true expert is a great place to start.

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