In Vitro Fertilization or simply known as IVF is the medical process wherein healthy viable female egg cells are fertilized by male sperm outside of the female uterus. Because of some condition, such as infertility, non-viability of sperm or uterine conditions, the would-be parents cannot conceive a child in the normal manner.
The procedure involves control of the female hormonal processes and harvesting the ova from the female from the woman's ovaries. Then, the male sperm is also harvested. These two essential building blocks are introduced in a fluid medium under idealized conditions in order to foster fertilization. Once an egg is fertilized, the zygote or fertilized egg is reinserted into the woman's uterus to begin and foster a successful pregnancy.
Though the process may seem simple enough, the costs of idealizing conditions outside of the uterus to induce fertilization is quite steep. The average cost of one IVF cycle is between US$12,000 and US$20,000. Lower prices may remove some of the hormonal treatment designed to ensure better chances of successful fertilization.
While this cost for one IVF procedure may already seem steep, there are other additional IVF procedure options available at an additional cost. These include direct injection of the sperm unto the egg, which is an additional cost of at least $1,000. The genetic testing of the embryo once fertilization is successful costs an additional $3,000. If the uterus is considered as uninhabitable for the proper development of a fetus, then this is where the greatest cost for an IVF procedure can be made.
If the sought pregnancy were to be outsourced, then aside from the actual IVF procedure would add more costs. Egg donors would cost anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000 per cycle. Sperm donors are less expensive, costing anywhere from $200 to $3,0000 or anywhere between $13,000 and $17,000 per IVF procedure cycle.
As can be seen, IVF procedure seems to be simply putting an egg cell and a sperm cell in a Petri dish but there is more than that. There are the dollars cost which can easily reach the tens of thousands of dollars for each try to fertilize an egg and then return it into the uterus. This is not just the actual cost for the would-be parents. Other costs include drug therapy, stress and other intangible costs that are experienced in chasing the hope of having a child of their own. Despite the dollars and cents cost, undergoing IVF procedure in order to have a child would be well worth it once you see your bundle of joy develop inside the womb.