How much does egg freezing cost?
Egg freezing has been growing in popularity since 2009, with women everywhere starting to take note of this exciting way to buy biological time.
we love the idea of women freezing their eggs to make time for, well, whatever the hell they want.
To this end, the one question just about everyone we speak to wonders is "so, how much does egg freezing cost?"
The short answer is: somewhere between $12,000 and $20,000 per person, with a whole lot of the variance in this range being driven by your biology.
The rest of this article will provide a more in-depth break down for those of you who are keen to understand how geography, clinic, and each stage of your egg freezing procedure impacts the cost of egg freezing.
The biggest cost driver is how many cycles you need to complete
Egg freezing success rates are determined by the number of eggs you freeze. If you manage to freeze 24 eggs and are under 35, your odds of success sky-rocket to 94%.
That said, if you freeze fewer than 10 eggs, your odds of success are much lower.
For this reason, if you have diminished ovarian reserves, endometriosis, or some other biological reality that reduces your ability to collect a large number of eggs, you might consider adding a second cycle.
This will, on average, double the cost you can expect to pay, putting you closer to an expected price tag of $25,000.
This pricey reality is one of the reasons our team at Lilia
are huge advocates for women freezing their eggs far earlier than society suggests; you’ll not only save money and time, the process itself will likely be a tad less stressful.
The different drivers of egg freezing costs
Doctor Consultations Cost
Typically patients pay $100 - $300 for their initial intake consultation with a doctor. Here you’ll get walked through the next steps required to freeze your eggs, and get acquainted with your reproductive endocrinologist.
At select clinics, Lilia will be able to help you waive this initial consultation fee.
New Patient Fee
Similar to the above, most fertility clinics nearby
will charge new patients a fee to cover the administrative overhead associated with onboarding a new patient.
It’s quite common for Lilia members to get this fee waived.
This bloodwork, in tandem with the ultrasound, will allow your reproductive endocrinologist to understand how many eggs you have remaining and whether there are any other conditions that might bear implications for your egg freezing treatment plan.
It’s important to note that your clinician won’t accept any at-home fertility test results you’ve obtained yourself. As such, if you feel you’re ready to start freezing your eggs it likely makes sense to progress directly to a lab-run blood test.
The transvaginal ultrasound allows your doctor to examine your ovarian follicles and explicitly count how many potential eggs you have remaining.
The results of this evaluation inform how high a dose of medication you will need — patients with fewer eggs will be able to handle larger amounts of medication, whereas if you have a large number of eggs remaining your doctor is likely to take a more tempered approach with your dosage.
If, for example, you had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), your reproductive endocrinologist is likely to dial-back medication so-as to avoid the risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, and an uncommon condition that can arise if you have too many eggs growing too large all at once.
Egg Freezing Procedure
This is the cost of actually performing your procedure: the sedatives that will make the procedure painless; the reproductive endocrinologist who will perform the operation; and all the costs associated with operating the clinic itself.
The main medication you’ll be paying for here is FSH: follicle stimulating hormone. As the name suggests, this hormone is responsible for powering the development of your eggs (such that they may later be collected).
This line item has the largest variation simply because different bodies need different doses. One sometimes-frustrating reality about the cost of the medication is that it can be hard to predict these costs until you begin your daily injections.
At this point, your physician will actively monitor your progress daily. If your eggs are maturing slower than expected, or fewer seem likely to reach the requisite size to be collected, your doctor may dial-up your medication part-way through treatment.
While this is the ideal outcome in terms of overall return-on-investment, it can be surprising to need to double the amount you’d planned to spend on medication.
Differences based on geography
Our team at Lilia has talked to fertility clinics across the country and noticed a rather large discrepancy in their average costs.
Below we’ve broken down the average egg freezing cost by city, so that you can get a sense of how your egg freezing expenses are likely to vary by location.
Considering multiple cycles
From talking to Lilia members, we’ve seen that women under 35 are far less likely to do multiple cycles.
of all women who freeze their eggs will only do one cycle. We see another 20%
choose to do two cycles, with the remaining 30% doing 3 or more cycles.
It’s important to note that no one person is the average here. Following blood work and your ultrasound your physician will have a clear idea of how many mature eggs you can expect to extract and freeze.
As such, many women we see choose to complete their bloodwork before committing to egg freezing, as they may be at a stage in their life where running 3 cycles isn’t financially viable.
A promising inversion on this fact is that, if you’re willing to pay for 3-4 cycles of egg freezing, you may be able to collect enough eggs to have a very high chance of a live birth even if you are much older than 35 years of age.
If you’re keen to better understand how larger numbers of frozen eggs improve your odds of success, here’s an article you can dive into
. We’ve also built a simple egg freezing calculator
to help you get a handle on this number.
Understanding the impact of age on the number of eggs you can expect
To summarize the impact of age on your expected egg count, we’ve pulled the numbers below from our patient self reports.
Please note that, again, your own specific biology can cause you to vary greatly from the average here.
How you, as a patient, influence egg freezing costs
As you can see above, different women have very different realities with respect to their fertility. To paint a clearer picture of the ways that your personal biology can influence the cost of your egg freezing, we’ve prepared a few sample scenarios.
Egg freezing procedure and requisite medications
Imagine that Amy, a 24-year-old, Jenna, a 29-year-old, and Queenie, a 38-year-old, all decide that they would like to freeze their eggs.
Let’s assume that each of them will pay $16,000 per cycle for both their procedure and all required medication.
Now, imagine that Amy and Jenna receive 14 and 16 eggs respectively during their first retrieval, and decide that they’re happy with their expected success rates based on this single cycle.
Next up is Queenie. Let's say she only receives 7 eggs during her first retrieval. Note that as Queenie’s eggs are (on average) of poorer quality, she’ll likely want to retrieve more eggs total than either Amy or Jenna. Based on the success rates she finds in journals (or that Lilia
looks up for her), she wants to continue doing cycles until she’s achieved at least 20 eggs. To do so, Queenie ultimately needs to complete three cycles.
As of now, here’s what the costs look like for our three egg freezers:
On top of this procedure, patients will need to spend to store their eggs for each year they the clinic preserves them.
The main cost driver here is time between when you freeze your eggs and when you use them.
To keep things simple, we’ll assume all three of Amy, Jenna, and Queenie store their eggs until their 41st birthday.
If they all live in San Francisco, where the typical storage fee is $310, then for each of them, the fees work out to be:
Amy: 18 x 310 = $5,580
Jenna: 13 x 310 = $4,030
Queenie: 4 x 310 = $1,240
How much it costs to use your eggs
Now, in the case that you end up using your eggs, there are a number of other costs you’ll need to consider. Specifically:
ICSI — approx. $1,300: If the sperm donor produces too-few sperm to successfully fertilize your eggs post-thaw, this procedure is done to implant a single sperm inside each egg. On average, about 75% of all IVF procedures will involve ICSI.
Embryo Growth — approx. $2,800: After implantation, your embryos will need to be supported in a growth medium until they’re ready for implantation.
[Optional] Genetic Testing — approx. $4,500: Women who are interested in screening their embryos will often pay an additional fee for genetic testing.
Transfer Fee — approx. $2,800: This fee reflects the cost to actually transfer a mature embryo into a uterus — either yours or a surrogate's.
Cumulative cost by age
So you can see that, if you need to run multiple cycles and end up undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) you’ll likely end up spending a total of over $30,000. That said, it's important to note that these costs are spread out over many years.
Cost of egg freezing versus IVF
While these numbers may seem large, if you do end up paying for in-vitro fertilization, you’ll end up having greatly benefitted from freezing your eggs at a younger age.
If, for example, Jenna our 29 year old egg freezer banked 15 eggs, she would have a 50%
or so chance of those eggs generating a live birth. This 50% chance cost her approximately $32,000
If instead she had relied purely on in-vitro fertilization at age 40, each cycle would have only had a ~13% chance of delivering a live birth. As such, she likely would’ve had to undergo 4 cycles
in order to achieve the same 50% odds of success.
Given that the average cost of each IVF cycle exceeds $20,000, Jenna would likely end up paying more than twice as much for the same odds of success.
The end result here is that Jenna has unlocked that same probabilities of live birth for $32,000 that many other women pay $80,000 dollars for
If you have more questions about the specifics of freezing your eggs feel free to get in touch
with one our of team members. Lilia’s entire purpose is to make egg freezing 10x easier for women everywhere, so we’d love to help you sort out your insurance or ensure you’re picking the ideal doctor.