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As more 30-something women have babies than ever before, egg freezing is becoming more popular.
Female fertility starts to decline around age 35, but egg freezing allows women to preserve higher-quality and younger eggs for use later on to try and get pregnant.
However, as Caroline Praderio reported for Insider, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) currently only endorse egg freezing for medical reasons, not for the sole purpose of delaying motherhood.
Egg freezing also isn’t cheap. Here’s what you should know about how much egg freezing costs.
A single egg-freezing cycle takes four to six weeks and costs an average of $6,000 to $10,000, Dr. Jane Frederick, MD, a board certified fertility expert in California, told Praderio. That typically includes initial tests, injections, and retrieval surgery, but not the annual storage fee for frozen eggs. Storage fees typically start at $600 per year, according to Yale Medicine.
Fertility IQ puts average medical treatment and medication costs even higher, at $15,000 to $20,000 per cycle, based on cost data from 4,000 egg-freezing patients. It broke average costs down as follows, assuming five years of storage with the first year free and $500 for the additional four years:
These costs, however, vary depending on where you live. FertilityIQ found the cost of an egg-freezing cycle can range from $13,800 in Boston to $17,773 in NYC. But most women undergo more than one cycle: Most undergo an average of 2.1 cycles, putting total egg-freezing costs between $30,000 and $40,000.
Frederick told Praderio that each cycle yields an average of 10 eggs, but not all are high-quality enough to be frozen. So, the more cycles, the higher chance of success — and the older you are, the more eggs you’ll want to freeze, Praderio wrote.
And none of the estimates above include using the eggs to get pregnant — thawing the eggs, fertilizing them with sperm, and transplanting them into the uterus (along with more appointments, tests, and drugs) can cost up to $18,000, according Eggsurance.
Egg freezing usually isn’t covered by insurance, although some plans cover it when it’s done for medical reasons, Praderio wrote. Only 16 states require insurance companies to cover or offer coverage for infertility treatment.
Some companies, like Google, Apple, and Facebook, are offering egg freezing as a company benefit so employees can have more freedom to plan for a family on their own timeline, but it remains an uncommon perk.
With insurance or employer coverage being far and few in between, many women are left covering costs themselves. It’s important to know, though, that success isn’t guaranteed. Studies indicate there’s only a 3% to 9% chance a frozen egg will result in a baby.
However, most doctors collect multiple eggs, and Frederick said that women who use frozen eggs have a 25% to 50% chance of having a baby, depending on their age.
Ultimately, deciding if the cost of egg freezing is worth it boils down to your own personal goals and finances.
Are you in the process of, or considering, freezing your eggs? If you have a story you’d like to share, contact Hillary Hoffower at [email protected].