If you’re an intended parent who is planning to use an egg donor to help build your family, you’re probably wondering how much that egg donor is going to cost.
You’re certainly not alone on this journey — there were at least 22,555 donor egg cycles in the US in 2019, the most recent year for which data was available from the CDC.
But knowing you’re far from alone doesn’t answer a question that’s been weighing heavily on your mind: How much does using an egg donor really cost? Will insurance cover the costs?
How much does it cost to use an egg donor?
There’s no way around it — there are costs involved in getting pregnant with donor eggs. After all, there’s a lot that goes into retrieving eggs from an egg donor, fertilizing them, growing embryos in the lab, and then transferring an embryo into the uterus.
We know first hand how expensive this process can be, which is why we created a family-friendly pricing structure and baby guarantee.
Egg donor agency fees
The cost: $8,000
At Cofertility, we charge a flat, one-time $8,000 coordination fee. What does that include? Everything it takes on our end to get you a baby – from donor recruitment, matching, screening, legal contracting, all the way through cycle coordination. We can help you find a clinic if you don't have one. And we serve as the coordinator between you and your family, the clinic, and the donor. We track down medical records. We send donor care packages. We ensure donors know how to properly do injections. And we are here to provide you with answers, guidance, and support.
The cost: $0
There are no federal laws that regulate how much an egg donor can — or even should — be compensated. Some states, like New York, forbid donors from being paid for their eggs themselves, but allow for donors to be compensated for things like medical risks, physical discomfort, and inconvenience. Others, like Maine, have no regulations on the process.
While other agencies charge a donor fee of $8,000 to $10,000 for a single egg donation cycle (according to Janene Olega, a reproduction lawyer from Maine) – donors at Cofertility aren’t receiving any cash compensation. Instead, through our Split program, our donors get to keep half of the eggs retrieved for their own future use.
We agree with ASRM that egg donor compensation can open the door for exploitation. Plus, a 2021 Harvard study found that 62% of donor-conceived adults felt the exchange of money for donor gametes was wrong, and 41% were troubled by the fact that money was exchanged around their conception. By allowing our donors to freeze their eggs as part of the process, our unique model honors everyone involved.
The cost: $1,500 - $2,500
You need to set aside money for legal fees which will be used to put together a contract to protect both the rights of the donor and your rights as the intended parents. You will also be required to pay the legal fees for the donor who will need her own lawyer to review the contract.
Parentage intent laid out in egg donor contracts is not necessarily enforceable without a court order to enforce it. That means some families also need to hire a lawyer to establish your parental rights. The good news: If a judge declares a single parent or a couple parents of a child, that judgment is required by the US Constitution to stand in every state in the union!
Screening, retrieval, and fertility medication
The cost: $9,500 to $25,000
Medical fees for a fresh egg donation cycle will include the cost of screening the egg donor, the stimulation cycle, and the egg retrieval.
First things first: In order to donate, all egg donors go through a number of health screenings, including infectious disease testing, genetic carrier screening and a physical exam. After these screenings, your doctor will either approve or decline an egg donor.
Egg donors then use injectable medications to help their ovaries produce mature eggs. The cost of injectable medications will depend on the dose of medication needed, but generally these medications cost at least $3,000.
Throughout the stimulation cycle, the egg donor will be seen for regular monitoring visits including ultrasounds and labs. The cost of the monitoring will depend on how many visits the donor needs throughout her cycle. Most stimulation cycles involve between five to eight visits to the clinic for monitoring. Some clinics will charge a flat fee for the cycle and others will charge per monitoring visit.
When ready, an egg donor undergoes a medical procedure called an egg retrieval. During the egg retrieval, egg donors go under anesthesia (costing about $700) and a fertility physician removes eggs from her ovaries. The egg retrieval procedure can cost as much as $10,000, but costs will vary depending on your specific clinic.
Laboratory fees and embryo transfer
The cost: $3,500 to $10,000
Yes, this is another large range. However, there are a few variables to consider.
For most people using an egg donor to create embryos, after the egg retrieval, the eggs will be fertilized with sperm and grown into embryos in the laboratory. An embryo will then be transferred into the uterus of an intended parent or gestational carrier and any extra embryos can be frozen for future use.
Post-retrieval, intended parents may spend about $3,500 to $5,000 for the laboratory fees associated with fertilization and culture of embryos. Some intended parents may choose to do genetic testing on embryos (PGT-A). Genetic testing may cost approximately $3,000 in addition, but that cost might depend on the number of embryos tested.
Finally, the intended mother or gestational carrier will need to prepare her uterus for an embryo transfer. The cost of an embryo transfer, including medications, monitoring visits and the embryo transfer procedure may be around $5,000, depending on your specific clinic and the medications used.
You may also need to consider the costs of freezing extra embryos that aren’t used right away. The freezing fee may be approximately $2,000 with a storage cost of around $300-600 per year. You may not have extra embryos to freeze — but it’s good to keep the costs in mind ahead of time.
Cofertility’s baby guarantee
We know IVF and egg donation are huge expenses for families, because we’ve been there. That’s why Cofertility’s one-time coordination fee of $8,000 comes with a baby guarantee. We want to help you bring your baby home, and we will re-match you for free until that happens.
What does that mean? If a cycle leads to no blastocysts, we’ll match you again. If none of the blastocysts turn into a pregnancy, we’ll match you again. We hope this guarantee can bring you peace of mind.
Will insurance cover egg donation?
The answer to this question is a tough one: while there are some insurers that cover fertility treatments for the intended parent, they may not cover egg donor cycles.
Right now just 19 states require insurers to cover fertility treatments in some capacity. Even in those states, the amount of coverage varies. In California, New York, and Louisiana, for example, insurers are not allowed to cover IVF, a procedure that is necessary for intended parents who have turned to egg donation.
You may want to start by calling your insurance company directly. If your employer supplies your health insurance, their human resources department may also be helpful in pointing you to parts of your policy that can help cover the costs of your fertility journey. Some employers now offer additional family-building benefits through companies like Progyny or Carrot Fertility. These programs will vary in scope based on the employer, but our team can help you parse out what parts of the process may or may not be covered. If your employer doesn’t already cover it, consider pushing them for this benefit — you’d be surprised what a difference some persistence can make.
How can I get financial help for egg donation?
Even if health insurance doesn’t cover your fertility treatments or only covers a small portion of the costs, there are other options:
- Tax deductions — If your insurer hasn’t covered the costs of your fertility expenses, talk to your accountant. Some medical expenses for egg donation may be used as tax-write-offs, although there are limitations. For example, write-offs do not apply if the intended parents have used a gestational carrier to conceive.
- Grants and discounts — Yup, there is money out there to help intended parents achieve their dreams! There are grants available to folks who have served in the armed forces, money for those who live in specific states, and more.
- Finance your journey — Cofertility partners with lenders to offer you fertility financial resources. Sunfish offers the most comprehensive marketplace of financial options for IVF, egg freezing, embryo preservations, gestational surrogacy, egg donations, and more, up to $100,000 at industry-low rates. For a white glove consultation or more information, contact Sunfish at email@example.com
Bottom Line: While there are costs involved in using an egg donor, the growing number of intended parents opting for this route means there are more and more options out there for you.
Cofertility is a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience. Our Family by Co platform serves as a more transparent, ethical egg donor matching platform. We are obsessed with improving the family-building journey — today or in the future — and are in an endless pursuit to make these experiences more positive. If we can help you on your journey, please reach out.
Lauren Makler is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cofertility, a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience. Previously, as an early Uber employee, Lauren founded Uber Health, a product that enables healthcare organizations to leverage Uber’s massive driver network in improving healthcare outcomes through patient transportation and healthcare delivery. Under her leadership, the business helped millions of patients get to the care they needed. Prior to that, Lauren spent the early years at Uber launching the core business throughout the east coast and led the company’s first experiment in healthcare, national on demand flu shot campaigns. After a rare disease diagnosis, Lauren’s fertility journey led her to believe that everyone should have the opportunity to freeze their eggs–and that there should be better access to egg donors. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their miracle baby girl. She was named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business in 2023 and recieved her BA from Northeastern University in Organizational Communication.
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