What comes to mind when you think of “investments?” Stocks and bonds? Retirement savings plans? Real estate? For most women, egg freezing may not be at the forefront of your financial considerations, however it’s an equally important investment in your future, especially if you’re concerned about your biological clock. And like many investments, the associated financial component can be intimidating without a proper understanding of its future value in the years ahead. U.S. News and World Report turned to SGF Medical Director, Dr. Eric Widra, to provide a cost-benefit analysis of egg freezing and why it’s important to consider.
Why choose egg freezing?
Before we’re even born, we have as many as seven million eggs in our premature ovaries. At birth, the clock starts ticking and our egg supply drops to around one million. Then, around the time when we’re trying to understand safe sex and how to avoid a pregnancy, our egg count declines again, by half.
“As women get older, they have fewer eggs to work with,” says Dr. Widra. And along with fewer eggs also comes a decrease in egg quality. Egg freezing, also called oocyte cryopreservation, is an increasingly popular solution that prolongs a woman’s fertility by literally freezing her eggs in time, so even when she’s older her eggs remain as healthy as her age at the time she froze them.
SGF Atlanta physician, Dr. Desireé McCarthy-Keith, also contributed to the topic on the PBS program, A Seat at the Table, to further illustrate the benefits of egg freezing.
“Our timeline is very important to think about. Egg freezing is a way for women to capitalize on that. You may not be ready professionally, you may be single, not ready to have a baby just yet, but if you collect and freeze your eggs at a younger age, those eggs are locked into that age. If you freeze your eggs at 30, you can come back at 40 or 45. If you thaw those eggs and fertilize them, your chance of getting pregnant is based on the age when you froze them, not the age when you use them.”
This opportunity is ideal for many women who aren’t ready for children, want to keep their family options open, or for those who haven’t found a life partner. However, any woman who is anxious about her egg reserve or is concerned over her ticking clock should consider the possibility, and with SGF’s available financial options, you can decide what works best for your budget.
The Cost of Egg Freezing
Before you dive into the deep end with comparing costs and programs, you need to consider a few things, which your Provider can assist you in understanding; based on your current age and ovarian screening. These considerations include; how many treatment cycles will it take to produce an ideal number of eggs? And how much will the medication cost each cycle?
Fortunately, regardless of the questions above, SGF allows you to save exponentially by paying one flat rate for multiple treatment cycles with our Assure Fertility program, compared to paying a per-cycle fee.
The Assure 20 package program is a one-time fee which guarantees 20 mature eggs, or up to four cycles. For women that may need, or desire, more frozen eggs, the Assure 30 package program is a one-time fee which guarantees 30 mature eggs, or up to five cycles. Though the Assure package programs do not include the cost of ovarian reserve testing and medications, we believe these options provide you with the tools to customize the finances of your treatment, while we customize your care.
Will my insurance cover treatment?
Good news! Ninety percent of patients with insurance have full or partial coverage for fertility testing and their initial provider consult. Without insurance, the cost for testing and consultation is $325. More good news! At an increasing rate, employers are covering the cost of egg freezing as a value-added employee benefit, so check with your employer/insurance carrier to learn more.
Egg Freezing Patient Story: Laura
“Knowing that I was about to start an intense graduate program at 35 years old and would not be ready to start a family for a few years, I decided to look into freezing some of my younger eggs just in case I needed them down the road. I am so thankful I sought a fertility consultation because doing so gave me options! I would have been much worse off if I had waited until graduation. I cannot adequately capture in words just how grateful I am to have found SGF. While I’m not ready to use my eggs yet, I can continue with my education with a sense of confidence that SGF will be ready to continue their magic when it is time.”
Dr. Widra sees patients in SGF’s K Street and Sibley offices. To learn more about egg freezing or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Widra or another SGF physician, please contact the SGF New Patient Center at 1-877-411-9292 or complete this brief online form.