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What Does It Cost to Freeze Eggs, and When Is It Worth It?

What Does It Cost to Freeze Eggs, and When Is It Worth It?

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The typical cost to freeze your eggs is $31,750, which includes two cycles of retrieval and 10 years of storage.

For most young women, freezing eggs can markedly improve the chance of having a biological child later in life. If you’re considering it, you might wonder if it’s worth the hefty price. Crunch some numbers below to see how egg freezing might fit into your financial plans.

The cost to freeze eggs

A single cycle of oocyte cryopreservation, the medical term for egg freezing, costs between $9,000 and $16,000. This includes pricey medications you’ll probably need to inject yourself with and numerous clinic visits to assess your hormone levels as the cycle progresses. It also includes the egg retrieval process, which involves brief sedation and recovery. It does not include the cost of thawing and fertilizing the eggs and implanting the embryos when you are ready to get pregnant.

Many women require more than one cycle to produce the 20 or so eggs experts suggest you should freeze before you get older for a good chance of a future pregnancy.

In addition, you will pay an annual storage fee, usually $350-$1,000, to keep your eggs safely frozen.

Low cost

Midrange

High cost

Item
Median cost
Single cycle of freezing eggs$12,500
Storage for five years$3,375
Total$15,875

Low cost

Item
Median cost
Single cycle of freezing eggs$12,500
Storage for five years$3,375
Total$15,875

Midrange

Item
Median cost
Two cycles of freezing eggs$25,000
Storage for 10 years$6,750
Total$31,750

High cost

Item

Median cost
Three cycles of freezing eggs$37,500
Storage for 12 years$8,100
Total$45,600

Example: A 37-year-old woman decides to do two cycles of egg freezing now and to use the eggs to get pregnant seven years later when she’s 44. Her estimated total costs for freezing and storage will be $29,725.

Note that additional costs accrue when you choose to use your frozen eggs. Thawing, fertilizing and implanting the frozen eggs can cost approximately $5,000 per pregnancy attempt. That's in addition to other costs for prenatal care and childbirth.

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Chances of having a baby at each age after freezing your eggs

The benefits of egg freezing depend primarily on your age at the time of freezing and how long you wait before trying to conceive. Generally, the younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the more viable they're considered.

The chart below shows how egg freezing improves the odds for women at different ages, based on an egg banking calculation tool developed by researchers at the University of North Carolina. (Click on the tool to compare benefits based on different lengths of time.) We used a seven-year time frame, which was the longest possible in the calculator, to allow for more life possibilities, such as finding a partner or wanting siblings for children born earlier.

Chances of Having a Baby Naturally vs. with Thawed Eggs 7 Years Later

Example: Eggs produced at a younger age have a higher rate of leading to pregnancy. Therefore, our 37-year-old will have a 51% chance of having a baby when she’s 44 because she froze her eggs. If she didn't, her chances of having a baby would be just 22%. She’s more than doubled her chances with the procedure.

A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility found it was more cost-effective for a woman to freeze her eggs at age 35 and use them to get pregnant in her 40s, rather than try to conceive naturally at that age.

The odds of conception by age

Freezing eggs sooner rather than later always improves a woman’s chances of having a baby later in life. But you only get a real bang for your buck if you end up using those eggs to try to have a baby after your natural fertility has declined significantly.

A hypothetical 37-year-old pays about $850 for each additional percentage point chance of having a baby by age 44. If she financed the procedure and paid it off over seven years with interest, her cost per percentage point increase would rise to nearly $1,400.

Whether or not the cost of freezing eggs is worth it may depend on when you plan to use the eggs.

  • Younger women who freeze their eggs but end up having children before age 40 may get a much smaller fertility benefit, sometimes just a few percentage points, which may make the cost of egg freezing seem less worth it.
  • However, for those who wait until their 40s to try to conceive, having eggs on ice would improve their chances much more, which might make the benefit worth the cost.

What are potential income considerations?

Research studies and data from the Census Bureau suggest that women who delay childbearing end up earning more throughout their careers. The difference can be enormous for women in higher-paying occupations. A typical woman in the legal profession who waits until she’s in her late 30s or 40s to have children earns $32,407 more per year than a colleague who had kids a decade earlier.

For women in managerial and professional occupations, delaying having children by a decade leads to an average annual salary benefit of more than $10,000. After two and a half years, the typical well-paid 40-something mother of a preschool-age kid would earn back the cost of freezing her eggs (four years if she financed it).

Earnings Gap for 40-50 Year old Women by Children's Age

Ways to pay for freezing your eggs

Freezing and storing your eggs is no light decision, and chances are you’re wondering how to come up with the funds. If you happen to have a good chunk of money burning a hole in your savings account, spending it on egg freezing comes with opportunity costs.

Think about what else you might do with that money, like improving your home or apartment, taking some memorable vacations or socking it away for retirement. If having a child is more important to you than those other creature comforts, using the money to freeze eggs might well be worthwhile.

Besides saving up and budgeting, several other alternatives can help you manage costs:

Health insurance

Even though the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says egg freezing is no longer experimental, most health insurance plans still consider it elective. They will not cover most of its costs.

They might pay for some initial testing, such as blood lab work and the initial physician consultation, and some of the medications. But past that, the retrieval process, which requires anesthesia, and the ongoing storage costs are on you. Check with your health insurance provider to see what benefits are available to you.

Loans

Most fertility clinics accept credit cards, though your card’s limits might fall short of the entire amount, which often must be paid up front. Suppose you need to pay off the costs of egg freezing over time. In that case, some clinics offer payment plans or partner with financial institutions, which will give qualified borrowers (i.e., those with strong credit scores) direct loans for the full amount of the planned treatment.

Prosper Healthcare Lending and LendingClub are two examples of companies that handle many loans for fertility procedures and can also be contacted directly. Companies like Progyny.com offer to match women up with fertility clinics, discount plans and financing. Eggbanxx promises 15% off the usual price charged by clinics in its network, as well as packages for one, two or three egg freezing cycles.

Annual interest rates for egg freezing loans can be high, with an average of 15%, and the repayment schedule can stretch out to seven years. The loans are unsecured, meaning they can be discharged in bankruptcy, and you’ll still own your eggs even if you can’t pay off the loans. For example, the 37-year-old woman needs to borrow the full $25,000 and finances it at 15% over seven years. She will pay about $482 per month during that time frame for a total of more than $40,000 throughout the loan.

Employers

Two large tech companies, Apple and Facebook, made news in October of 2014 by announcing they would pay $20,000 toward any employee’s egg freezing costs, whether for nonmedical or medical reasons. (Some women freeze their eggs before starting medical treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, which can damage the ovaries and lead to infertility.) These technology companies are likely the exception to the rule but could start a new trend of employee benefits and perks.

Crowdfunding

Those who haven’t saved up in advance could try asking family members to chip in, and some women have even tried crowdfunding on sites like GoFundMe and GiveForward, where women freezing eggs (usually for medical reasons such as endometriosis or cancer) have raised as much as $8,720 for their cause.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to freeze your eggs?

A typical person would pay about $31,750 to freeze their eggs. This is the median price for two cycles of egg retrieval and 10 years of egg storage. However, costs can range from $15,875 to $45,600 based on your needs.

Is freezing eggs covered by insurance?

No, most health insurance plans don't cover freezing your eggs. However, coverage may be offered directly through an employer, and 19% of large companies provide benefits for egg freezing.

When is the best age to freeze your eggs?

Freezing your eggs before age 35 to use in your 40s is usually the most cost-effective approach that also optimizes your chances of getting pregnant, according to experts. If you freeze your eggs in your 20s, you'll probably pay more than you need to, and for those over age 40, the cost may not be worth it because of the lower chances of having a baby from one of the eggs.

Methodology and sources

The likelihood of conception at different ages is based on the egg banking calculator from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Fertility Center. Our analysis is also based on research shared in the Fertility and Sterility journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and earnings data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

To calculate the cost per additional chance of conceiving, we divided the total estimated cost of two cycles of egg freezing plus the necessary years of storage by a woman’s additional percentage point chance of having a baby in the future to reach the cost per percentage point.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.