Why Do Fertility Treatments Cost So Much?

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October 15, 2014 by
why-do-fertility-treatments-cost-so-much

1.  High Price

It’s common knowledge that fertility treatments are expensive. It doesn’t matter if you have insurance, or what treatments you opt for, they are all expensive. The sheer cost of fertility treatments alone puts them out of the price range of lots of couples. But, the question remains: WHY are fertility treatments so expensive? Today we will try to answer that question.

fertility-treatments-are-expensive

2. The Basics

First of all, we should understand the average cost of fertility treatments in the USA today. The cost of one IUI cycle ranges from around $850 to more than $2500 when medications, screenings, ovulation induction, and doctor’s visits are included.

IUI-procedure

The average cost of one IVF cycle, not including medications, usually runs between $7000 and $8500. The cost of medications to go along with an IVF cycle usually ranges right around $3000 to $5000. If you opt for ICSI, you are looking at around $1500.

The average cost of using a donor egg is around $12,000, plus around $3000 for medications for the donor. If you are thinking of freezing your eggs, you are looking at around $1000 for the procedure, plus storage costs of around $600 to $1000 per year.

3. Why The Price Tag?

So, why are these treatments so expensive? Of course, fertility treatments do require a high level of technology and doctors who know what they are doing, so that can explain a little bit of the price.

fertility-treatments-run-a-high-level-of-technology

However, in areas where there are not many fertility treatment clinics around, prices are much higher. It is interesting to note, also, that fertility treatments are much more expensive in the USA than anywhere else in the world.

In fact, many couples opt to travel out of the country to obtain lower cost fertility treatments. Some critics believe that big name fertility clinics take advantage of the emotional state of their patients, who are often desperate to have a baby and will pay anything to get one.

4. The Bottom Line

The bottom line is, there really isn’t a one size fits all explanation as to why fertility treatments here in the USA cost so much. Some attribute it to supply and demand, and other critics think that the fertility clinics are price gouging and charging way more than needed.

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Still others think that the costs of fertility treatments are justified and that the work required by doctors is enough to require the high price tag. However, at this point, it looks like the high costs of IVF and other fertility treatments are here to stay, and there is really nothing we can do about it at this point. Looks like we will all have to wait until the high costs of fertility treatments come down on their own.

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Dr. Karen Leham, MD

Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.
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