Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is helpful for men with certain sperm defects.
With ICSI, the embryologist takes a single sperm and injects it directly into an egg. A few days later the fertilized embryos are implanted into the uterus. Any remaining embryos are frozen for later use.
ICSI is most often used in cases where there is either a low sperm count, the sperm are abnormally shaped, or there is low motility. The sperm may be retrieved from ejaculate, or via a surgical procedure called Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE). There are three important cost considerations:
- How success rates impact what you spend
- Four ways to cut procedure costs
- How to lower costs of getting pregnant via ICSI
ICSI Success Rates Drive Spending
When considering the costs of the procedure, you must include estimates for any fertility drugs taken to stimulate egg production, the IVF procedure, along with the ICSI, TESE if needed, and embryo storage and freezing. Each fertility clinic will have its own pricing and packaging approaches. Prices for ICSI alone range from $2,000 to $4,000, but vary widely. Add to this the cost of IVF, monitoring, and other procedures.
Success factors drive your total cost of getting pregnant – the real cost of IVF in combination with ICSI. The fertilization rate ranges from 75% – 85%. The resulting embryos have a slightly higher pregnancy rate than normal IVF as the egg quality is often better – an couple with male infertility issues may have high quality eggs. Assuming a 25% pregnancy rate, and an average all in cost of $15,000 per cycle, the average couple might spend $60,000 out of pocket.
Do you have $60,000 lying around? Most couples don’t.
4 Ways to Cut ICSI Costs
Get IVF insurance coverage. ICSI is often performed in conjunction with IVF. Costs become a big consideration as insurance coverage may leave huge gaps – assuming you can get coverage at all. Increase your odds of finding the right plan, and explore alternative strategies that span your time while trying to conceive, while pregnant, and when on maternity leave.
Get a multiple pregnancy bonus check. Multiple embryos are often transferred into the uterus to improve the odds of conception, and lower your total cost of getting pregnant and bringing home a baby. Multiple pregnancies are often high risk, and may delivery early. Pregnancy complications may translate into lost income. Pre-term babies often are confined to the NICU before going home and may mean extra medical bills. Supplemental insurance can replace mom’s income, and pay additional benefits when preemies need extra hospital care.
Deduct your medical expenses. Your un-reimbursed expenses are tax deductible. But don’t wait until April to figure out the best way to take advantage. Know the rules first. It can make a big difference. Two vehicles have differing advantages: a Flexible Spending Account, and Schedule A.
Leverage refund programs. Your clinic may offer you the opportunity to purchase a number of cycles at a discount, and may refund a portion of your fee if you fail to bring home a baby. There are two hidden advantages to these programs that most couples miss: the added tax savings associated with the combo package, and a chance to make an informed bet along with your clinic.
Controlling the Biggest Expense of ICSI: Getting Pregnant
Rather than asking “how much is ICSI” or “what is the price of each Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection?” ask yourself “how can I best manage my family finances as we pay for infertility knowing that mom might get pregnant”. That after all is your objective. If you consider all your expenses associated with the various procedures, pregnancy, and maternity leave you will wind up in better fiscal shape.
ICSI can be expensive as most couples need to pay for each procedure out of pocket. Sometimes that means depleting savings, or taking on debt. Make sure you look ahead at what might happen when you successfully become pregnant. ICSI combined with IVF may result in a higher rate of multiple pregnancies when more than one fertilized egg is implanted.
Twins and triplets are often delivered early, and are considered high risk. When your infant(s) is delivered early you may find out the hard way that your insurance plan leaves you with unbudgeted and unreimbursed medical expenses. A week in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can rack up extremely high bills depending upon how your plan is structured.
Purchase hospital indemnity insurance to fill these holes before starting your next cycle.
A high risk pregnancy may also mean a shortage of income if mom needs to leave work months before her due date. If you drew down your savings or borrowed money to finance your ICSI and IVF expenses it may be very hard to repay these loans with one less income.
Purchase short term disability for pregnancy before your next procedure.