Depending on your treatment protocol—the specific types and dosages of medication you’re prescribed—and how much of your treatment you’re paying out of pocket, fertility medication costs can be 30% or more of your total treatment costs. Let’s dive into the average cost of medications for IVF, egg freezing, and embryo freezing, and your options for lowering those costs.
Average fertility medication costs
Cost of injectable medications used for IVF and egg/embryo freezing
The medications used for IVF and egg/embryo freezing are injectable hormone medications including follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH (brand names Gonal-F and Follistim), menotropin (brand name Menopur), GnRH-antagonists (such as Ganirelix and Cetrotide), and a “trigger” injection before the egg retrieval (such as Lupron or Ovidrel).
See our guide to fertility medications.
We advise our patients that the average fertility medication costs for IVF, egg, and embryo freezing cycles is $2,000–5,000. That’s a big range, because the dosage depends on your specific biology. Older women, for example, will typically need higher doses of medication—which means higher fertility medication costs.
Cost of oral medications, such as those used in conjunction with IUI
The oral medications used in conjunction with timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI), such as clomiphene or letrozole, are generally much less expensive than the injectable medications used for IVF and egg/embryo freezing. Even without insurance coverage, both medications are typically under $100 per cycle.
Estimating your individual fertility medication costs
We strive to give our patients as much transparency as possible throughout the process of considering and completing their fertility treatment, and that includes minimizing “surprise” costs. After your consultation, your doctor will let your fertility advisor know which protocol they recommend, and your fertility advisor will give you an estimated cost of purchasing the medications out of pocket at a local specialty pharmacy.
Since each cycle is personalized to your body’s individual response to the medication, it is possible that your medication protocol will change as you continue through your cycle. But your fertility advisors will help you understand the costs associated with these changes every step of the way.
Lowering your fertility medication costs
Understand your insurance coverage
Many patients who have fertility coverage will also have insurance coverage for some or all of their IVF or egg/embryo freezing medications. And for those doing elective egg/embryo freezing, sometimes their insurance plan will cover their fertility medication costs even if it doesn’t cover the procedure itself.
You can contact your insurance company for more information on their IVF or egg/embryo freezing medication coverage and whether or not they require “prior authorization,” a process by which your healthcare provider needs to request approval in advance in order to ensure high-cost medications are covered. If your plan requires prior authorization but doesn’t cover your treatment, it’s unlikely that they’ll cover your medications; if the plan doesn’t require prior authorization, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to get some coverage for your fertility medication costs.
We know this can be confusing—navigating insurance can be like learning a new language. For Extend Fertility patients, a financial advisor from our team will reach out to your insurance plan on your behalf and then contact you with the details of your coverage.
We have negotiated exclusive special rates for Extend Fertility patients at our preferred pharmacies in New York City. Contact us for more details!
The medications used for an IVF or egg/embryo freezing cycle will be purchased through a specialty pharmacy. While our healthcare team can provide pharmacy recommendations, you’re free to purchase from whichever online or brick-and-mortar pharmacy is best for you.
If you have insurance coverage, you may need to order through a specific pharmacy to ensure coverage. But if you’re paying for your medications out of pocket, you may want to call pharmacies or do some online research and compare prices to ensure you’re getting the lowest price. The prices of these medications change often, so calling is the best way to get the most up-to-date fertility medication costs and to ensure you’re taking advantage of any price-matching deals or mail-in rebates that may be available. Don’t forget to consider the cost of shipping, if you’re ordering online.
You may even find it’s best to order different medications from different pharmacies—a tactic that may be more difficult to organize but can save you money. Our team can also help by letting you know if there are any Extend Fertility patient discounts or coupons available for specific pharmacies.
A word of caution: We urge anyone purchasing their medication online to be very certain that they’re getting quality medication produced by a legitimate pharmaceutical manufacturer. (If you’re not sure, we can help.) We do not recommend purchasing fertility medications from outside the United States.
Purchase your medications “as you go”
With medications as expensive as these, ordering too much of a specific med can add hundreds of dollars to your fertility medication costs. To ensure you’re not purchasing anything you won’t need, you can order refills of your medication as you go through your cycle, as opposed to all of the medication before the start of the cycle. This means you’ll need to stay on top of your medication supply and stay in communication with your pharmacy of choice throughout your cycle—and may mean that you choose a local pharmacy, as opposed to an online pharmacy, to make getting your meds easier.
For patients paying out of pocket, our team typically orders up to 7 days worth of medication for the initial pick-up, plus refills. This way, you can simply call your pharmacy for a refill based on your cycle progress, minimizing the chance you’ll buy medication you don’t need.
Explore pharmacy and medication discount programs
Pharmacies and medication manufacturers offer programs to reduce fertility medication costs for specific patients, including self-pay (uninsured) patients, low income patients, oncofertility (cancer) patients, veterans, and more. Here are some examples—though not an exhaustive list—of discount programs:
- ReUnite Assist: need-based discounts for self-pay fertility patients
- Compassionate Care: need-based discounts of up to 75% for fertility patients; 25%+ discounts for active or veteran members of the military
- ReUnite Assist for Veterans: automatic 25% discounts for active or veteran members of the military
- Heart for Heroes: free fertility medications for self-pay veterans and/or their spouses dealing with infertility as a result of a service-related illness or injury
- ReUnite Oncofertility: discounts up to 100% for eligible oncology patients undergoing fertility preservation
- HeartBeat Program: free fertility medications for eligible cancer patients undergoing fertility preservation
- LIVESTRONG Fertility Program: free fertility medications for eligible cancer patients undergoing fertility preservation