Egg freezing can be incredibly expensive. But if you understand what entails it’s not impossible to lower the cost. Let’s look at the cost with realistic expectation in the probable scenarios. There are two drivers; Cost per cycle & A number of cycles you’d undergo.
Cost per cycle in S.Korea and comparison with US (Ball park figures)
- Monitor + Procedure= US$4,000 in South Korea vs US$11,000 in US
- Medications = US$2,000 (age dependent) vs US$5,000
- Storage = US$200~300 per year vs US$2,000
Break down of the costs
- Specialist consultations
- Screening : lab tests, diagnostics, ultrasound, and etc
- Stimulation medications : hormone injection
- Surgical procedure
- Storage : Terms of 5~10 years
Extra procedures, tests and screening may be necessary. An annual storage fee is around US$200 although different hospitals have slightly different terms for packages.
Number of cycles
Given the costs and inconveniences of egg freezing, why would women undergo multiple cycles? The most updated data strongly suggests that the more eggs a woman freezes, the higher the likelihood that those eggs could lead to a live birth.
Cost can vary according to what age you are when you freeze. Younger freezer typically needs fewer eggs to feel confident that those eggs would work. But because younger freezer will likely retrieve more eggs, they might need just one maybe two cycles.
The older freezer, however, will likely need to undergo more than once for higher chance that their eggs will lead to a live birth.
Real question to ask is how much would I spend to have a baby from frozen eggs?
We should calculate the costs of thawing and fertilization and embryo transfer taking into consideration of age and an optimal number of cycles.
Let’s presume you store your eggs in S.Korea until your 40th birthday.
How much you will have spent by this point?
Today 10~15% of women who have frozen their eggs have returned back to use them. This is where ICSI and growing embryos, and embryo transfer will be occurred.
If you ultimately decide to do IVF, you will likely wish you froze your eggs.
Let’s assume she froze 15 eggs which has a 50% or better chance of these eggs leading to a live birth. This will cost her $16,000 on egg freezing going one round of IVF. Let’s assume she didn’t freeze her eggs, returns back for IVF at age 40, and according to SART at that age, each cycle will have 10~20% chance of delivering a live birth. She’ll need to undergo probably 3~5 cycles to equate to the 50% chance offered by using her 30-year-old eggs. IVF typically costs over $10,000 per cycle and so in this case, egg freezing was a wise financial options. It allowed this woman to spend $16,000 to have the same odds of success through IVF as a woman who will have spent $30,000 – $50,000.
One final cost to consider is how you could have invested your time and money had you not frozen eggs – Opportunity cost that comes with every purchase. You should consider the cost of doing egg freezing, but the cost of not using that money for other purposes.