National Cost for an IVF Cycle

Write Us with Your Question! Here’s a recent one we received.

Q: My husband and I are considering adding to our family. I am 42 and we have twins. I prefer not to have another set of twins. What are the costs for IVF using my own egg (roughly)?

Natalie Burger, M.D.

Natalie Burger, M.D.

Response from Natalie Burger, M.D., Texas Fertility Center:

A:  The national average for the cost of a fresh IVF cycle is $10,000 plus the cost of medication, which itself can range from $3,000 to $6,000.  As each situation is unique, some patients/couples may require additional IVF treatment steps that may add cost.

For instance, technology now allows us to genetically test embryos so that only chromosomally normal embryos are transferred into the uterus.  This increases the chance of successful pregnancy and significantly lowers the chance of miscarriage. This additional testing may add an additional $4,000 to $5,000 to the overall cost.

We’d love to see your question! Write Us with Your Question!

Proactive Fertility Planning

This is the column where our readers can write in with their questions. We’ll field the questions to one or more experts in the subject and post the responses typically within 2 weeks. Write Us with Your Question!

Q: I am 30 and starting a doctoral program soon, which I know is at least a five-year commitment. I am not yet married and know that I would like to complete my degree and be married prior to starting my family. Having never been pregnant before, what evaluations and tests can be performed to test my fertility?

Natalie Burger, M.D.

Natalie Burger, M.D.

Response from Natalie Burger, M.D., Texas Fertility Center:

A:  It is common for women these days to put off family plans until they become more settled in their career and life.  However, it’s important to not ignore the fact that, as we get older, we have fewer good eggs left.

Checking an AMH (antimullerian hormone) level is a easy way to give you information on your relative egg quantity – i.e. do you have a lot or only a few eggs left.  If the test shows a low result, it’s important to talk with a fertility specialist promptly to understand your options.  This blood test can be done on any day of your menstrual cycle and even if you’re on the birth control pill.

To safeguard your fertility, it’s important to also continue regular exams with your gyn provider, who can monitor you for any new gynecologic issues.  Also, avoid smoking as this can prematurely diminish your egg count.  Practice safe sex so that you don’t expose yourself unnecessarily to infections that can cause scar tissue.

Overall, it’s important to be proactive when thinking about fertility – this will help you to optimize your chances when you are ready to start a family.

We’d love to see your question! Write Us with Your Question!

Trying to Conceive at Age 36

We have begun a new column where our readers can write in with their questions. We’ll field the questions to one or more experts in the subject and post the responses typically within 2 weeks. Write Us with Your Question!

 

 Q: I’m 36, healthy and trying to get pregnant for the first time. How long should my husband and I expect it to take to conceive on our own? When should we seek a medical consultation and with whom?

Natalie Burger, M.D.

Natalie Burger, M.D.

Response from Natalie Burger, M.D., Texas Fertility Center:

A: Women in their mid-30s who are trying for pregnancy generally have a 10-15% chance of conceiving each month.  Approximately 80% of couples will be able to conceive within the first year.  However, if there has been no success for many months, the overall chance of pregnancy per month begins to decline – to even 1-2% after a full year of trying.

Women over the age of 35 should consider seeking fertility evaluation if they have been trying for 6 or more months for pregnancy without success.  As fertility significantly declines after the mid-30s, it is especially important for those 35 and older to seek prompt fertility evaluation to maximize the chances of success.

A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have.  During her life, she will continue to lose eggs (both through the process of ovulation as well as through a process called apoptosis – or programmed cell death).  The eggs that remain continue to deteriorate in quality.  It is especially important to keep an eye on ovarian health as a woman approaches her mid-30s and beyond.

Some women will seek initial guidance from an obstetrician/gynecologist (a.k.a. OBGYN).  Many OBGYNs are quite comfortable performing basic fertility evaluations and some types of fertility treatment.

Reproductive endocrinologists (REs) are OBGYNs who have undergone 3 years of additional specialization in fertility.   They are able to handle all types of fertility treatments – from very basic to very complex.  Oftentimes OBGYNs will refer patients to an RE if the basic testing is abnormal and/or if the basic treatments are not working.  Some patients prefer to start off with an RE so that they are able to have access to full fertility evaluation/treatment from the start.

We’d love to see your question! Write Us with Your Question!