The Cost of Things: Freezing Your Eggs

eggsDoree Shafrir has written a fascinating Buzzfeed confessional about deciding whether or not to freeze her eggs. One issue to consider: cost.

I told my therapist that I was considering freezing my eggs, and she said she thought it was a good idea if it would alleviate some of the anxiety I felt about dating, and I said it would but it would also cause me a different kind of anxiety because it was so expensive in New York City — thousands of dollars in tests, then thousands of dollars for the drugs to stimulate egg maturation, then thousands of dollars for the extraction of the eggs. All told I would be looking at close to $15,000 to buy myself a few years of reduced anxiety, plus $2,000 or so each year to keep them frozen. I told myself it could be amortized over, say, five years and then it didn’t seem so bad. Still, I needed to come up with the money, so I cashed in a couple of 401(k)s from short stints at other jobs that had a couple thousands dollars in them each, and put a freelance check in my savings account, and figured I would charge the rest.

How much is it worth to you to quell a real and debilitating anxiety? My mom always says, If you can solve a problem with money, it’s not a real problem. But if you have to cash in 401(K)s and run up credit card debt to give your fertility a fighting chance, you’re not solving a problem with money at all; you’re potentially impoverishing your future self to benefit your present, and trading one immediate anxiety for another eventual one.

To her credit, Shafrir realizes this. She decides not to go through with the lengthy, arduous, and hardly foolproof procedure that she cannot afford. She still has options! Getting knocked up the old-fashioned way. Or adopting. Though, as the commenters point out, adopting an infant is similarly or more expensive.

Costs for an adoption vary widely from $0 to $50,000 depending on the type of adoption pursued. It generally costs from $0 to $1,000 to adopt a child from a County Foster/Adopt program. These children are often older, but sometimes infants are placed. A voluntary adoption of a newborn through a non-profit agency will generally cost between $10,000 and $25,000. Attorney adoptions of newborns generally run from $20,000 to $30,000.

Is this something you’ve considered or tried? Are you considering or even trying it right now? How much does cost factor into your decision making?

Also, if ladies put off baby-making to focus on their careers, can they write off freezing their eggs as a business expense? #RealTalk

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7 Comments / Post A Comment

I haven’t considered it yet, but I have been more quick to call guys out on mocking the ‘biological clock’. I think it’s really sexist to make it sound like you just flip a switch at a certain age. It’s more like the realities of a persons age, career, and financial stability weigh on them in general as they get older, and women have to a lot more factors to weigh than men do when it comes to balancing time off from work and a baby.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@The Dauphine Yes. It’s also unbelievably insensitive to mock the idea that women “run out of time” at some point while men mostly do not. If your friend had a few years to live and you were healthy, would you be like, “Guess YOU’RE in a hurry LOL!”?

pinches (#3,520)

My friend who is pursuing her PhD in epidemiology at a top university went to a conference for women in sciences. The speaker, a super successfully woman in her field, told everyone that they should freeze their eggs because fertility issues and children would get in the way of their career momentum.

prolol (#3,152)

This post makes it seem like it’s more expensive to freeze your eggs in NYC than in other places–does anyone know if that’s actually true? I don’t see why it would be more expensive there specifically. The numbers given seem pretty standard to me (across the board super pricey!). If anything, I think in New York you’d have much better access to assisted reproductive technology.

Samantha (#6,738)

@prolol Maybe it’s just more expensive in the ways that things generally are more expensive in big cities? Like, the rent on the doctor’s office space is more expensive, and everyone who works there gets paid more than they would in a smaller city, and those costs end up getting passed on the the patients.

madrassoup (#929)

@prolol : For what it’s worth, I think Ester mischaracterized the author’s reasons for ultimately declining to freeze her eggs. In the article she mentions moving to LA, and says that she ended up feeling like, by freezing her eggs in New York, she was basically leaving part of herself behind rather than making a clean break. I get that the article has an obvious financial angle, but there was a more philosophical (and more interesting) angle to the author’s final decision that gets glossed over here.

I looked into it very briefly when I got my genetic testing done and was positive for a gene that causes higher rates of uterine and ovarian caner. My husband and I looked at the cost and decided it was cheaper to say fuck it and have kids earlier than we originally planned to, hence me being knocked up currently.

Had I not been married/in a relationship at the time of my diagnosis, there’s a chance that I would have been able to get the freezing partially covered by insurance because of my genetic testing, but even then it’s still pricey for a chance at a chance on a chance I couldn’t have my own kid otherwise.

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