How can you be sure the cost of freezing eggs is worth the investment? It’s not an easy decision, given how pricey freezing your eggs is. Egg freezing (or egg preservation) in a woman’s early reproductive years increases her chances of being able to have biological children later in life. However, the cost of freezing eggs could be a major deterrent, or at least a major factor in the decision making process.
Bear in mind that a woman is born with a finite number of eggs, and by puberty, she’s only left with half a million eggs in the ovaries.
Each year a woman ages, many of these eggs die, making fertility a potential issue as conception is typically significantly more difficult as a woman becomes older.
If she froze her eggs, however, she’d give herself more time to plan for a baby, without risking becoming infertile.
Do You Foresee Motherhood in Your Future?
Can you picture yourself as a mother? Better yet, can you picture yourself never having kids? It’s important to know if you see yourself becoming a parent if you are trying to figure out if the cost of freezing eggs is worth it.
Biologically, it is easier for women below 30 to get pregnant. Furthermore, the quality of your eggs deteriorates with age, making it less easy to reach a full-term healthy pregnancy. For this reason, many young women in their 20s and 30s elect to freeze their eggs, especially if they foresee motherhood in their future. Egg preservation, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, has now become an increasingly popular option for young women today, who want to forge careers and delay starting a family with less pressure of ‘time running out’ or their ‘biological clock’.
Eggs or oocytes are extracted from the ovaries after the woman undergoes hormone stimulation. The eggs are then frozen until the woman is ready to conceive. The eggs are used in the future with assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques like in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer. If you’re considering this procedure, you must analyze the numbers to assess if egg freezing fits your budget and financial plans. Learn more about the cost of freezing eggs below to assess if this procedure is right for you.
The Cost of Freezing Eggs
If you’re thinking of freezing your eggs to buy more time before you start a family, conduct a thorough evaluation and take time to think it through, because the cost of freezing eggs is no joke at all. One egg freezing cycle could cost between USD $15,000 to $20,000. This cycle is quite tedious and time-consuming, so if you’re thinking of doing this, you must prepare mentally, physically, and financially. Before the freezing cycle commences, you will need to see a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility specialist who will do blood work and ultrasound to screen if egg freezing is right for you.
You will need about six weeks which include initial testing and hormone injections to stimulate egg production and maturation. Once the eggs are ready for harvest, you will undergo an outpatient egg retrieval surgery with anesthesia in a hospital or clinic setting. An embryologist or trained scientist will inspect the eggs collected and determine which ones are fit for freezing. The cost of freezing eggs includes all of these plus an additional egg storage fee of at least USD 600 yearly. The breakdown of the cost of freezing eggs is as follows:
- Treatment is approximately $11,000
- Medications are approximately $5,000
- Egg storage is approximately $2,000 (for 5 years, usually free the first year)
The cost of freezing eggs varies based on where you live. To illustrate, one cycle of egg freezing costs $17,800 USD in NYC, $15,600 in San Francisco, and $13,800 in Boston. In addition, most women who seek fertility preservation usually need at least two cycles so costs can reach as high as $40,000. Moreover, you will also need to spend more money on ART procedures in the future to fertilize the frozen egg with the sperm, then have the embryo implanted in your uterus.
Is the Egg Preservation Procedure Covered by Insurance?
The cost of freezing eggs for fertility preservation is rather hefty since most cases are not covered by insurance. Although health insurance policies may now cover infertility treatments (with hormone stimulation, harvesting of eggs, and freezing eggs as the first part of IVF), egg freezing to preserve fertility is considered an elective procedure.
Since elective egg freezing is not a treatment for any ailment and is only optional to preserve your fertility, you must be ready to pay out of pocket for the egg harvest and freezing. The usable eggs kept in cryogenic freezers can be frozen indefinitely, with you shouldering the costs of keeping the eggs in storage until you’re ready to use them. Hence, the high cost of getting egg freezing for later use may force you to think twice about doing the procedure.
However, in some cases, such as cancer patients undergoing certain treatments that impact fertility or those patients with a high risk of premature menopause (menopause before 40) or ovarian insufficiency, insurance may offer partial to full coverage. Fertility preservation treatments like egg freezing are only supported by insurance for medically necessary procedures that could adversely impact the patient’s fertility in the future.
How Can You Financially Plan For the Cost of Freezing Eggs?
If you’re wondering how to come up with the funds to harvest, freeze, and store your eggs for future use, you need to financially prepare for the potential expenses. Analyze how much income you make and what realistic amount you can afford to save for fertility preservation. Remember, that choosing to freeze your eggs comes with an opportunity cost, unless you have an extremely high disposable income or an inheritance.
Since you’re burning a big amount of money for egg preservation, you have to sacrifice some other aspects which could be dining out, taking vacations, or doing home improvements. If having a child is important for you in the future and you have a family history of reproductive issues like ovarian insufficiency, freezing your eggs could be worthwhile. Apart from the usual strict budgeting and saving, there are other ways to help you manage the cost of freezing eggs, such as the following:
- Health Insurance: Though insurance may not cover the harvest and storage of eggs, your insurance may pay for some of the initial screening tests like initial fertility specialist consultation, blood laboratory exams, and medications. This will help defray the costs so check with your insurer to see what benefits you can take advantage of.
- Credit Payment: Fertility clinics have been known to accept credit card payments, but be conscious of your spending limit and APR. You don’t want to drown in debt because of egg preservation.
- Loans: You can take an unsecured loan or a secured loan with collateral from a financial institution or reputable lender to fund your fertility preservation treatments.
- Clinic Payment Plans: Some fertility centers partner up with financial institutions and offer patients with good credit scores reasonable payment plans. Ask your fertility clinic if you can avail of any of their offers.
- Employers: In 2014, Apple and Facebook made waves by stating they would pay $20,000 for employees seeking egg freezing, whether for medical reasons like chemotherapy or elective procedures. Check with your employer if you have this privilege.
- Crowdfunding: If you haven’t saved enough, you can ask family and friends to help you cover the costs. Some women have even been known to set up GoFundMe or YouCaring pages to raise money for their fertility preservation treatment since they have to undergo chemotherapy but their insurance doesn’t offer coverage.
Spending more than $20,000 to freeze your eggs and keep the baby option open later in life entails a lot of financial planning. It’s not a decision that you can take lightly, but definitely, all women ought to celebrate that they now have this reproductive choice thanks to technology.
Is the Cost of Freezing Eggs Worth it For You?
There is no right or wrong answer for this, because worth is determined by your personal circumstances and your personal desires for your future. For women who have potential health issues like premature menopause, PCOS, or endometriosis, the cost of freezing eggs could be well worth it due to their circumstances. To ascertain if you have any reproductive-related health risks or genetic mutations, you can take a CircleDNA test. The results include your disease risks based on your genetics. The results could really help with family planning because it also tackles if you’re a potential gene mutation carrier where you have a higher risk of passing something to your offspring.
Moreover, career women who are busy climbing up the corporate ladder and want to have kids later in life, could see egg preservation as a good investment. They might choose to preserve eggs to help them have a child later in life when they feel financially and emotionally ready, with more stable careers, higher income, and bigger savings.
Dr. Kathleen Mundy, obstetrician and gynecologist at Houston Methodist, shared that women who freeze their eggs before 35 have a higher chance of successful pregnancy than those who preserve their eggs after 35. Dr. Mundy said, “I often talk to my patients who turn 30 about this option when egg quality and quantity start to decline.”
However, if you have no family history of reproductive issues and you have family members who successfully conceived at a later age, then it is understandable why this procedure may not be your priority. Did your mom have a successful natural pregnancy in her late 30s or early 40s? Each woman is different with regard to the impact of age on fertility. And note that some women in their early 40s successfully conceive and have no infertility issues.
That being said, you must remember that egg freezing doesn’t offer a 100% guarantee of pregnancy in the future. Egg freezing only increases the likelihood of pregnancy in your later years. If you choose to preserve your eggs, be careful of being too complacent. You may fall under a false sense of security and delay any attempts to conceive until you’re much older. Again, for some women, age is still a factor for a successful pregnancy. Ultimately choosing to freeze your eggs is a complicated, personal decision that you need to make with the guidance of your doctor, those close to you, and your own self-reflection. Analyze the success rates, the potential medical risks, and the other psychosocial issues of becoming a parent at an advanced age.
- Fact Sheet. (Reproductive Facts) /content/files/globalassets/rf/news-and-publications/bookletsfact-sheets/english-fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/can_i_freeze_my_eggs_to_use_later_if_im_not_sick_factsheet.pdf
- Cost of Egg Freezing (Fertility IQ) https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/the-costs-of-egg-freezing#breaking-down-the-likely-costs
- Perk Up: Facebook and Apple Now Pay for Women to Freeze Eggs (NBC News) https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/perk-facebook-apple-now-pay-women-freeze-eggs-n225011
- Egg Freezing: Should You Consider It? (Houston Methodist) https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2022/jan/egg-freezing-should-you-consider-it/
- Is Egg Freezing Right For You? (Yale Medicine) https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/egg-freezing-fertility