one common question I get asked is how we were able to afford our fertility journey. I’ll be very transparent with numbers and it’s insane to me how much we had to spend (but worth every single penny).  to have our two babies, it cost us about $50,000.  and it was all out of pocket.

our biggest initial cost was the sperm.  we had originally planned to do IUI where we would each carry one baby.  we wanted to make sure we had enough sperm so that both of our kids would have the same donor, so we purchased 8 vials (thinking we would then each get 4 tries).  back in 2015, 1 IUI vial was about $875 but they had a special where if you bought a certain amount, you got 2 free (or something like that) plus 2 years of free storage, so we snagged that (bargain sperm LOL)!  I think we spent about $5,000.  we went with Fairfax Cryobank and loved them (to get your free code to check out all the donors they have to offer, click here).

keeping on the sperm front (never did I ever think I’d be talking about sperm)  – every time you have a procedure, you have to pay to have it shipped overnight and that was $325.  you also have to pay a storage fee for the sperm you purchase if you keep some of the vials at the cryobank – you can pay monthly or annually and I believe it’s about $40 / month.  one thing I loved about Fairfax was that you could sell back sperm you didn’t use so long as you store it with them.  they offer you 50% of what you paid.

now onto the initial testing.  when you go to a fertility clinic, they treat you as though there is a fertility issue, so you go through a lot of testing.  some may think it’s overkill, but for us, we wanted the best chance of having a baby and having a baby quickly.  fortunately, all of our blood work and ultrasounds were covered by insurance, but there was a $50 copay each visit (and you go a lot).  we also had to have genetic screening done at an outside lab, see a genetic counselor and a therapist (who did not take insurance).  

as our process moved along, our plans changed to Reciprocal IVF (see our full journey HERE).  we had to have an IVF consult to map out a plan and that was $325.  lots of meds were ordered for both me and Jordana.  my meds were to get my uterus ready and Jordana’s were to stimulate her ovaries for an egg retrieval.  my meds were mostly covered by insurance, so we spent a few hundred dollars but the stim meds weren’t covered and they were about $5,000.  {don’t worry, we have a section on financial resources!}

and now the big one.  we had to pay in full prior to our egg retrieval and transfer … the egg retrieval was almost $11,000 and the transfer was almost $3,000.  I have to say, I was floored when I saw this.  how we paid for this was by using our savings for our house – at the time, we were renting. we were SO fortunately + blessed that Parker was our very first transfer.

additional costs: storing our remaining embryos is $800 / year.  then onto baby 2.  we decided to use our remaining embryos and so that transfer was almost $3,000 – it didn’t take and the other embryo didn’t survive the thaw.  we went through 3 IUIs – insurance covered but had small copays and meds (without insurance, I believe it was about $1000 for each IUI).  then back to RIVF which meant another egg retrieval + transfer + the stim meds.  this time, we were soooooo lucky that we connected with another lesbian couple on Instagram who gave us their leftover stim meds, so it cut our cost down a few thousand dollars!

so here you have it – things to prepare for if you use a fertility clinic as opposed to home insemination:

  • sperm
  • sperm storage
  • sperm shipment
  • bloodwork + ultrasounds
  • outside bloodwork (genetic screening)
  • therapist
  • IUIs
  • stim meds
  • gestational carrier meds
  • egg retrieval
  • embryo transfer
  • embryo storage
  • also plan on adopting your kiddos to make sure you’re both legal parents as a birth certificate does not grant legal parental rights (see our blog post HERE and HERE on that topic)

*another amazing resource is to open a high-yield savings account.  I am NO financial guru, so please talk to your financial advisor or accountant or money expert, but after lots of research, we settled on Marcus by Goldman Sachs as they have an interest rate of .5% (as of Feb 2022) vs my bank savings account at .03%.  If you sign up HERE, you can double your interest rate for the first 3 months.  I am not paid for this but I can also earn extra interest as the referrer!