Costs of infertility treatment: results from an 18-month prospective cohort study

Fertil Steril. 2011 Mar 1;95(3):915-21. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.11.026. Epub 2010 Dec 4.


Objective: To examine resource use (costs) by women presenting for infertility evaluation and treatment over 18 months, regardless of treatment pursued.

Design: Prospective cohort study in which women were followed for 18 months.

Setting: Eight infertility practices.

Patient(s): Three hundred ninety-eight women recruited from infertility practices.

Intervention(s): Women completed interviews and questionnaires at baseline and after 4, 10, and 18 months of follow-up. Medical records were abstracted after 18 months to obtain details of services used.

Main outcome measure(s): Per-person and per-successful-outcome costs.

Result(s): Treatment groups were defined as highest intensity treatment use. Twenty percent of women did not pursue cycle-based treatment; approximately half pursued IVF. Median per-person costs ranged from $1,182 for medications only to $24,373 and $38,015 for IVF and IVF-donor egg groups, respectively. Estimates of costs of successful outcomes (delivery or ongoing pregnancy by 18 months) were higher--$61,377 for IVF, for example--reflecting treatment success rates. Within the time frame of the study, costs were not significantly different for women whose outcomes were successful and women whose outcomes were not.

Conclusion(s): Although individual patient costs vary, these cost estimates developed from actual patient treatment experiences may provide patients with realistic estimates to consider when initiating infertility treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / economics*
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / economics*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / economics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires