Want to save some money on your donor eggs for your IVF treatment? A Seattle-area fertility clinic recently made news when it became one of a small but growing number of fertility treatment clinics nationwide to offer a "shared egg" donor program that allows two women to use eggs provided by the same donor at the same time. Sharing eggs can save women 30 to 50 percent on the expense of conceiving a child with a donated egg, cutting treatment costs by thousands of dollars.
Though rates vary widely across the US, total expenses for a cycle of IVF with a donated egg average around $20,000 to $25,000 (and are typically not covered by health insurance). In the past, donors would supply eggs to only one woman, and often many embryos were never used. But by sharing donated eggs, the price drops, according to the clinic in Seattle, to $17,625 per cycle.
By sharing the cost of acquiring donor eggs, recipients can save on expenses for intensive screening to identify appropriate donors and compensation for a donor's time, which runs several thousand dollars. In addition, a donor receives fertility medicine in order to produce multiple eggs, which are then extracted through outpatient surgery. Shared costs also cover this procedure.
Will you need donor eggs? There are a variety of reasons why some women will require donor eggs in order to become pregnant. Age is the most common. While some women in their 40s have no trouble getting pregnant, eggs in other "older" women trying to conceive may no longer be viable for pregnancy. Premature menopause, detected problems with chromosomes in a woman's eggs, and risk for inherited gene defects may also factor into the decision to use donor eggs.
If you are currently considering egg donation, ask your fertility specialist if shared egg donations are available in your area.