Baby budgeting: oocyte cryopreservation in women delaying reproduction can reduce cost per live birth

Fertil Steril. 2015 Jun;103(6):1446-53.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.02.029. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


Objective: To determine whether oocyte cryopreservation for deferred reproduction is cost effective per live birth using a model constructed from observed clinical practice.

Design: Decision-tree mathematical model with sensitivity analyses.

Setting: Not applicable.

Patient(s): A simulated cohort of women wishing to delay childbearing until age 40 years.

Intervention(s): Not applicable.

Main outcome measure(s): Cost per live birth.

Result(s): Our primary model predicted that oocyte cryopreservation at age 35 years by women planning to defer pregnancy attempts until age 40 years would decrease cost per live birth from $55,060 to $39,946 (and increase the odds of live birth from 42% to 62% by the end of the model), indicating that oocyte cryopreservation is a cost-effective strategy relative to forgoing it. If fresh autologous assisted reproductive technology (ART) was added at age 40 years, before thawing oocytes, 74% obtained a live birth, and cost per live birth increased to $61,887. Separate sensitivity analyses demonstrated that oocyte cryopreservation remained cost effective as long as performed before age 38 years, and more than 49% of those women not obtaining a spontaneously conceived live birth returned to thaw oocytes.

Conclusion(s): In women who plan to delay childbearing until age 40 years, oocyte cryopreservation before 38 years of age reduces the cost to obtain a live birth.

Keywords: ART; Oocyte cryopreservation; cost analysis; fertility preservation; vitrification.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Budgets / methods
  • Budgets / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost Savings / economics
  • Cryopreservation / economics*
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation / economics*
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Live Birth / epidemiology*
  • Maternal Age*
  • Models, Economic
  • Oocyte Retrieval / economics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / economics
  • United States / epidemiology