Egg Freezing | Does Your Health Insurance Cover It?
It’s common for most women to put their careers on hold and have children. The alternate approach is to focus on their careers that risk not conceiving later in life. For the same reason, Egg Freezing, also known as Oocyte Cryopreservation, is increasing more and more each year. Due to its popularity, more women are seeking this procedure. However, when it comes down to the financial situation, then the question arises of whether your health insurance will cover Egg Freezing or not?
Although the Egg Freezing procedure is around since the 1980s, it was considered as an experiment. It was later in 2012 that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine declared Egg Freezing a non-experimental procedure. Because the average child-bearing age is going up, it is considered very important for women to have fertility treatments to be able to bear children later in life. Such as the Egg Freezing procedure, which helps in bearing children in the later period of life.
Egg Freezing: Health Insurance Coverage and Cost
Most of the time, Egg Freezing is not considered a necessary medical procedure, so most health insurance plans will not cover the cost of the procedure. And unfortunately for you, the cost of fertility treatments tends to be high.
Typically, the Egg Freezing procedure costs around $8,000 to $15,000. But due to its increasing popularity, the prices are going low over time. So you may find these prices lower than they are mentioned here. But in most cases, you will need to pay an annual fee of a few hundred dollars to keep your eggs in a fertility center.
- Suppose you are about to undergo a treatment such as chemotherapy that may affect your fertility in the future, or you are facing a diagnosed fertility problem. In that case, you may get some part of your Egg Freezing Procedure cost covered by your Health Insurance Plan.
- Working in tech will likely help you get Egg Freezing procedure expenses from your employer because 27% of the tech companies tend to cover advanced reproductive procedures such as Egg Freezing.
Other than the cost of Egg Freezing, it would be best if you also kept the cost of pregnancy in mind. These costs may vary due to the complexity of your pregnancy, your health insurance plan, choosing your doctor, and specifying a hospital. You will be compensated to some extent by your health insurer for your ultrasounds, regular checkups, and lab tests, etc. But be ready to pay from your pocket as well because these things cost way more than you think.
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Why Do Women Choose To Go Through Egg Freezing?
The Egg Freezing procedure is costly, but approximately 76,000 women would have their Egg Frozen by 2018. “The decision to freeze eggs is a highly personal one that allows a woman to have reproductive autonomy,” said Dr. Kara Nguyen. She explained the two common reasons for women to go through Egg Freezing Procedure.
- Fertility preservation is the primary objective of this medical treatment. This treatment becomes more of a necessity than a choice during critical medical procedures, such as cancer treatments, where the reproductive potential may be affected.
- Another thing is elective fertility preservation. The reason may be for the women to focus on their careers, waiting for the right partner, or waiting for the right financial situation.
In some cases, the women undergo fertility treatment through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), and the sperm becomes unavailable. In such conditions, freezing women’s eggs is necessary until the sperm becomes available.
When Should Women Freeze Their Eggs?
Suppose women choose not to conceive in their 20s or 30s. In that case, they need to have a backup plan such as going through the Egg Freezing procedure to have children later in their life. Although there is no age limit on freezing your eggs, you should know that the reproductive rate of women tends to go down after their mid-30s.
Women are born with all the eggs they ever have, but choosing to preserve the most premium quality eggs is important. The quality of your eggs diminishes over time, so it would be best for the women to preserve their eggs in their prime age (i-e. in their 20s and 30s).
While there is no age limit for the Egg Freezing procedure, the earlier you have the procedure, the higher the chances of success. So the decision to choose the Egg Freezing procedure depends on you. But before making that decision, you should consult with your doctor as well to have professional advice.
What Does Egg Freezing Procedure Looks Like?
The initial stage of the Egg Freezing procedure is the same as for the IVF. You first need to consult with a doctor to discuss the procedure’s risks, benefits, costs, and limitations. By doing so, you will know whether you are a good candidate for this surgery or not.
First of all, your fertility is tested to evaluate your eggs’ condition or status. After testing, there will be an extensive discussion with the reproductive endocrinologist to determine if the Egg Freezing procedure is the best choice for you with possible limitations, expectations of benefits, and alternatives for family building.
Hormonal Injections and Egg Development
After deciding to undergo fertility treatment, you will be injected with fertility medications containing hormones that will help to mature multiple eggs at once. These injections are similar to insulin shots for diabetics patients, which are used once a day. Blood work and ultrasounds are used to monitor the development of the eggs. A final injection is induced To encourage the Egg to be released in a small pocket of fluid called “follicle,”
After that, the eggs are retrieved from the follicles using ultrasounds and anesthesia. The success rate of the pregnancy in the future depends on the number of eggs retrieved during the process. The final steps of the procedure take about 15 minutes to complete. After the procedure is done, the eggs are frozen using cryopreservation technology until the patient is ready to use them.
Are There Risks Associated with Egg Freezing?
Just like any other medical procedure, there are also risks associated with Egg Freezing. Such as using the injected hormones to stimulate the eggs may result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. But it is very rare to have these complications. Other than that, there can also be a chance of complications during the egg retrieval process.
While most women will not face any complications during the procedure, you may sometimes face complications such as Ovarian hyperstimulation. Although it is rare, your hormones may undergo some changes due to the usage of hormone injections, resulting in side effects such as hormone fluctuation or PMS. These side effects include:
- Fluid retention
- Mood swings
Because most of the medications are administered by injections, you may get soreness or redness at the injection site. But all these side effects will be gone after you stop taking the medication. And one more thing, these side effects are experienced by 1-in-4 women. So you can say that it’s rare.
The biggest risk that women forget to take under their consideration is the emotional risk. Because Freezing your eggs does not mean that success is inevitable. It would be best if you kept yourself ready for any results. Having false hope can have very bad effects on your emotional state.
It is up to you whether you want to go through with Egg Freezing or not. Because all we can do is inform you about how it’s done and the limitations or benefits of the procedure. But before you make any decision, it is very important to consult with your doctor to have a bit of better advice. By doing so, you will also know whether your health insurance plan will cover the cost of Egg Freezing or not.