For those who are unable to have children on their own, working with a surrogate may be one possible solution. In doing so, a third party will carry an embryo throughout the term of its pregnancy, eventually giving the child upon his or her birth to the intended parents.
While using a surrogate mother is a great alternative for some, though, in other cases, a woman may wish to become pregnant through the use of in vitro fertilization, or IVF. This procedure whereby sperm are put into a laboratory dish with unfertilized eggs can result in an embryo that is subsequently either frozen for later use or is transferred into the uterus of the child's intended mother.
There is no specific or set cost of using in vitro fertilization, or IVF, as it depends a great deal on one's specific circumstances. There is, however, an approximate cost of in vitro fertilization overall in the U.S., with an average of between $12, 000 and $15,000. One way to save a significant amount of this cost is to utilize any embryos that were not used in a previous cycle, as the average cost for a frozen embryo transfer is closer to $3,000.
When working through the process of conception, there are also some alternative options that may be available to the individual or couple who are wishing to conceive, as well as some potential additional costs should these individuals require certain services.
One such service that may be needed is that of additional assisted reproductive technology. This entails a treatment where one single sperm is injected directly into an egg in hopes of fertilization, with a cost that is typically between $1,000 and $1,500 over the cost of the IVF procedure itself.
Candidates for conception may also opt to have genetic testing done on the embryos. Here, in a process referred to as Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, or PGD, embryos are tested by screening for specific or chromosomal abnormalities before the transfer of fertilized eggs to the mother. This process may run $3,000 or more.
In addition, should the intended parent or parents decide to use an egg donor, the total cost of conception can be substantially higher – running from between $25,000 and $30,000 for just one cycle.
Because there are many uncertainties that go hand in hand with in vitro fertilization, there are some fertility clinics that have offered payment programs that can help to make the IVF more affordable. There are also some clinics that offer refund programs, where the intended parents will pay a set fee of between $20,000 and $30,000 and the clinic will refund a portion of that fee if the intended parents are unable to conceive after three or four in vitro fertilization treatment cycles. So, for those who are considering this process but are afraid of the potentially high expense that may go along with it, it is a good idea to discuss all of the potential cost options with the clinic prior to seeking alternative methods.