IVF Funding: Guide to Costs, Fundraising, and Treatments

Starting a family can be a thrilling time, but it’s not uncommon for the process to be harder or more costly than you originally imagined.

It’s estimated that 10% of American women in the United States are diagnosed with infertility according to the Office of Women’s Health. If you or someone you know has been hit with this disheartening news, it’s important to be informed about what lies ahead, and what you can do to help.

Which fertility treatment option is best for you?

After researching possible causes and working with your doctor, you may have determined that natural conception is probably not in the cards. Now, it’s time to weigh your options and forge ahead with a new plan for the type of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) fertility treatment that’s right for you.

1. Fertility medications  

There are five commonly prescribed drugs to treat female infertility that often serve as the first step along the path to conception. These aren’t for everyone, however, as depending on the health and age of the patient, certain fertility drug complications can arise.

2. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

This method is a common choice for male-factor infertility and proves less expensive and less invasive than IVF or In Vitro Fertilization. That said, many studies show that it can take multiple attempts before conception is achieved and with each cycle costing about $3,000, what seems like a more affordable option can add up quickly.

3. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

More than three million babies have been born as a result of this incredible IVF cycle procedure, according to WebMD. Together with an outstanding 41% success rate for women under 35, this is one of the most sought-after fertility treatments available. With the high price tag of over $12,000 for one IVF cycle of treatment, however, many couples prefer to explore other options first. To help determine the approximate cost of IVF for you, use this IVF calculator.

Three ways to supplement the costs of IVF treatments

With only 15 US states requiring ART to be covered by insurance plans, you’ll likely need to examine supplementary funding options.

1. Grants for IVF

Many organizations offer financial assistance through the use of scholarships or grants. Each site specifies what financial need requirements are needed so that it’s easy to determine if you or the couple you know are able to apply.

  • The Cade Foundation offers a bi-annual scholarship called The Family Building Grant which awards up to $10,000 to help cover fertility IVF treatment and adoption costs.
  • Parental Hope provides the chance to receive one of two different grants to help finance fertility treatments carried out at the Institute for Reproductive Health.
  • Baby Quest Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization offering grants to help offset the high price of medications required while undergoing treatment.

2. IVF financing and shared-risk programs

These solution-oriented organizations focus on helping couples manage their finances as they navigate the process of ART.

  • Lending Club provides loans for your specific medical needs and creates personalized payment plans to help make overwhelming costs more manageable.
  • Shady Grove Fertility offers discounts on treatments if a pregnancy or live birth doesn’t occur within a specified period of time.
  • Glow First helps facilitate peer-to-peer assistance through an app downloaded right to your mobile phone. Members each contribute $50 a month and at the end of each cycle, the proceeds are split amongst those who did not yet get pregnant.

3. Crowdfunding for IVF

This method of fundraising is gaining popularity in recent years as people everywhere are getting more comfortable with using their social networks to raise the funds they need to cover these pricey treatments. Organizers have started thousands of IVF fundraisers on GoFundMe since 2010.

IVF cost and fundraising tips

Set your fundraising goal

Behind every successful fundraising effort is a basic plan of action—and we’re here to help you choose your goals for your fundraiser. It begins with setting a goal amount.

As with any medical procedure, it’s important to factor in the price tag of at least one of the IVF cycles itself, and all the smaller expenses that can really add up—including any unpaid time off work, expensive medications, transportation, copays, etc.

Tell your story honestly and clearly

You might think your friends and family already know your story, but telling your story well can make a huge difference in your fundraising efforts. On your fundraiser page, tell your story honestly and clearly—share your personal experiences and add photos and videos. This is the story that you’re inviting your supporters to become part of. See our post for more tips on fundraiser storytelling.

Get social

Through the power of social networks, your IVF story can reach family, friends, friends of friends, and even sympathetic strangers around the world. When posting a link to your IVF treatment fundraiser on social media, ask friends and family to share it. To add your own spin to your fundraiser, come up with a fundraiser hashtag that allows people to more easily follow your journey. You might even consider creating a blog to tell the story of your journey. For more tips on how to use social media with crowdfunding, see our social media tips.

Bring people into the story with updates

Posting frequent updates is essential. It helps keep supporters in the loop and shows potential donors how much their donation could help. Showcase your gratitude. Share messages of hope. If you keep supporters engaged, they’ll be more likely to donate again, or repeatedly share your story with their social networks. For more guidance on posting updates, see How to Write a FundraiserUpdate.

Thank your supporters

In the world of fundraising, there’s a whole set of best practices and guidelines around thanking people who donate to a cause—and it isn’t just about showing good manners. In this case, the cause is yours—take a moment to familiarize yourself with our essential guide to thanking donors.

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