When Micaela I decided that we were going to have babies, we wanted to go with the most effective, least expensive option. For us, this meant Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI. I went to do some research on the cost of IUI and was shocked at the lack of information available on the internet. We had no idea what this whole process was going to cost us and we wanted numbers. Of course we knew the cost would vary from clinic to clinic, but I wanted to know if we were talking $300 or $3,000.
I couldn’t find all information I wanted in one place- some information I couldn’t find at all. Since many of you live outside of California, I wanted to do my best to get a hold of numbers from various regions around the country. To protect the identities of families and clinics I have omitted names of both, but below you can find what you would expect to pay for an IUI procedure, and all the extra’s that generally go along with it.
There are so many different sperm banks available for your browsing pleasure on the internet. Some will allow you to see limited information for free, some require a subscription to view anything, and others will even let you see adult pictures if you are into that. There are local sperm banks and national sperm banks. I HIGHLY suggest doing your own research with this one. Read their yelp reviews, scan message boards and call them yourself.
What you are looking for here is a bank that is accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks, has a positive reputation within the fertility community, has MANY success stories, is secure and preforms general testing on the sperm.
Things like baseline genetic screening, sperm count, and motility are what you want to know. You don’t want to drop a ton of money on sperm that just floats. No. You want the Michael Phelps of Sperm.
What’s the deal with washed vs. unwashed sperm?
Washed sperm is what you want for IUI. The washing process removes excess mucus as well as potentially harmful material that your cervix normally screens. Since sperm is bypassing your cervix and going straight to your uterus during an IUI procedure, its important for your safety that the sperm is clean. Of course washed sperm sometimes costs more. If your sperm bank doesn’t offer the service, your fertility clinic should. Just be prepared to pay an additional fee for this service.
(Cost per Vial)
(Cost per Vial)
Sperm Bank 1:
Sperm Bank 2:
PRO TIP: ASK FOR DISCOUNTS! Sometimes they run specials if you buy in bulk and even run ‘By One Get One’ deals on holidays. It never hurts to ask!
Once you purchase your sperm, you will have to think about where to store it. Sorry, your freezer at home won’t cut it. Most sperm banks offer onsite storage to make things easy, but your clinic’s lab may also have a long term storage system set up that may be worth checking into.
of vials stored)
of vials stored)
Sperm Bank 1:
Sperm Bank 2:
PRO TIP: Some Sperm Banks will offer free or highly discounted storage rates if you buy a certain number of vials. Look for this! In addition, Many larger sperm banks will buy your unused vials back at 50% the cost you paid. However, once the vials leave the bank they are no longer eligible for buy back. Since you have to pay PER shipment, it may be cost effective to ship two vials at a time if your clinic can store vials for you for your next potential IUI round. Just be aware that if you get pregnant (yay!) you would potentially be wasting one vial (unless you want to hang on to that vial for a future pregnancy).
This was definitely something I didn’t even think about factoring into the cost of IUI. As it turns out, once you have done the fun part of finding your donor and purchasing vials, you have to get those vials to you, or more importantly, to your clinic.
Unlike your Amazon Prime packages, this can’t sit on your doorstep and wait for you to come home.
Sperm is shipped in these crazy futuristic jurassic park cryo-capsules that usually have to be received by your clinic during work hours. Given all the special handling that is needed, this takes a little planning on your part.
I highly suggest figuring out all these logistics well before your cycle so you aren’t scrambling last minute trying to figure out how to get your sperm from LA to Arizona. Plan ahead so you don’t miss your fertile window.
(irregardless of vials shipped)
(irregardless of vials shipped)
Sperm Bank 1:
(+$80 processing fee)
Sperm Bank 2:
(+$100 processing fee)
PRO TIP: If you live near a branch of a national sperm bank or are using a local bank, you can often pick up the sperm yourself. No you can’t transport it between your legs like Bette and Tina from the L Word did, but you can put down a refundable deposit for a portable cryo container to transfer the sperm from the bank to your clinic’s lab. This inter-branch transfer fee is cheaper, but will cost you around $155.
Before you get started, your MD will want to scan your uterus to make sure all looks good. They look at things like uterine shape, lining thickness, and may even look at follicle size if its the right time of month. You will need to get this done before you are able to artificially inseminate. This is often included in your new patient consultation fee.
(Includes consultation fee)
PRO TIP: Even if you aren’t using your OB/GYN for insemination, this procedure can often be done by them and can sometimes be covered by insurance- even if your insurance won’t cover other fertility stuff. Check with your fertility clinic before hand, because their doctors may want to do their own scans.
Before you undergo any type of artificial insemination, your clinic may have you see a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in fertility counseling and consultations. During this intended parent consultation, you can expect to be asked a lot of questions.
Questions like “Is your intention to disclose sperm donation to your child?” “Why do you feel ready to move forward with this family building plan?” “Do you have a support system?” “How do you manage stress?” Some of the questions seem very silly, while others are appropriate things to consider.
I was honestly extremely offended that this was a requirement of our clinic. Straight people don’t have to go through any sort of screening before they get pregnant, so why should we? I then found out that if a clinic does require psychology screening, they require it of ALL patients undergoing artificial insemination, not just same sex couples.
Intended Parent Consultation
(includes reports sent to fertility clinic)
Follicle Size Ultrasounds
Depending on how things are going, you doctor may want to have you come to the clinic before your fertile window once or twice to check on the size of your follicles. If you aren’t super regular, or feel like you have been missing your ovulation window, this scan might be helpful. Based on the measurements of your follicles, Additionally, some clinics will include one ultrasound with the cost of insemination.
Sometimes medications are needed to stimulate your ovaries or trigger them to release follicles. Some IUI medications are taken orally, while others are injectables. Not everyone needs to take medication, and depending on your insurance it may or may not be covered. Medications can add up quickly- especially if you are taking more than one kind, for multiple cycles of IUI.
Below is a list of some of the most common medications prescribed with medicated IUI cycles. Keep in mind, you wouldn’t have to take all of these medications at once. For example, one cycle you might just take a trigger shot. Another cycle you might take Clomid and Ovidrel, etc. All amounts listed below are out of pocket cost, assuming no insurance coverage.
PRO TIP: If you have to pay out of pocket for Ovidrel, ask your Pharmacist about a Patient Assistant Program. Pharmaceutical companies will sometimes offer coupons or rebates if your insurance won’t help with the cost. This can dramatically decrease the overall cost of iui! If your Pharmacist doesn’t have any information, you can try contacting the program directly at: 855-541-5926. Just hang on to your receipt!
Finally! The actual procedure. I remember feeling so excited the first time we tried. We made the appointments, we selected a donor, we organized the shipping, we timed and counted and tracked and now after almost ten months of preparing- we got to try.
The cost of IUI can range depending on if you are doing a natural or medicated IUI. Sometimes when you are doing a medicated cycle, your clinic will have a package that will include multiple ultrasounds and an IUI procedure. Below are the prices listed for a natural cycle or the IUI procedure alone, with no additional ultrasounds.
Finally! The Cost of IUI
If you aren’t keeping a running total in your head, allow me to present to you the cost of undergoing ONE round of IUI. If you win the lottery, the stars align, and you get pregnant on your first try, this is all you have to pay! However if you are a like a good majority of the population, you should expect to undergo between three to six IUI procedures before getting pregnant.
The good news is, the first round is the most expensive.
If you have to try a second, third or even a sixth time, you will only have to pay for what you need that round. You have already paid for sperm, shipping and storage, so you are potentially only paying for the IUI procedure it self along with any ultrasounds and medications you might need. Below I totaled a few different scenarios, but feel free to add up what may pertain to you.
Round of IUI
Round of IUI
Although IUI is less expensive than going the IVF route, it is defInitely not inexpensive. Also keep in mind that your particular sperm bank and or clinic, may charge additional fees not listed above.
Never forget to advocate for yourself and your family- it NEVER hurts to ask for financing options.
If you have any further questions about IUI, please leave a comment below, or feel free to reach out to me on instagram. I’m more than happy to help in anyway I can!
Also, if you found this post helpful, but want to know about OTHER methods of conception- you are in luck! This post is the first of a series I am starting where I will be interviewing many other families with different journey’s to parenthood- so stay tuned!
ChelseyOctober 22, 2018 at 8:59 pm
This is so overwhelming and seems discouraging with all of the info laid out in front. I am so glad you made this post, however, because I’ve been waiting to actually find a raw starting point for how this process works so my fiancé and I can start researching as soon as we’re married. Thank you.
CoralOctober 23, 2018 at 7:59 pm
Thank you for all the great and valuable Pro Tips! My wife and I want to start this process next year and found this very helpful. Can you post something about how to start? What to do first. How to prepare. What kind of questions to ask your doctor. Thank you!
RaffOctober 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm
Absolutely! That I’m going to be doing a post title “How to Prepare for Your First IUI” ….coming soon!
VeroOctober 24, 2018 at 12:18 am
I can’t put in words how amazed I am of this. Thank you thank you thank you a thousand times because even though I am 24 right now I am so grateful you started this project so that information can be out there for future generations that want to have a family. Even though I know I wont be having kids anytime soon, I know for a fact that years from now I will come back to this post. GREAT JOB ❤️❤️❤️
RaffOctober 24, 2018 at 2:47 pm
Oh this makes me SO happy! Your comment right here is EXACTLY why I did this post! Thanks so much for your feedback and I’m so glad you found it helpful (or will find it helpful in the future!).
ErynneDecember 26, 2018 at 9:02 pm
Can’t wait for this one!
CalliOctober 24, 2018 at 11:21 am
This will be so helpful for so many couples, I wish I had something like this to read prior to our cycles. It took me forever to do research and figure things out on my own!
This is really great of you to do!
RaffOctober 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm
That’s how I felt. I couldn’t find anything on the internet that listed this all out for us and I was dying to know details and amounts. Thanks for your feedback!
TammyOctober 24, 2018 at 2:35 pm
So interesting I never knew any of this
CarlaOctober 26, 2018 at 6:00 pm
I am definitely saving this page to have an idea of what to expect when I am ready to start this process. Thank you for putting this together. ?
MandyNovember 30, 2018 at 9:35 pm
Hi, great post! It’s very informative, specially that I’m starting my first IUI as a single mother next month. Can you give me some details about the timing? Like when did your dr time the IUI and if you had to have a trigger shot.
Samantha KwiatkowskiDecember 27, 2018 at 3:24 pm
This is so handy! I’ve always been curious about how much things cost. Thank you SO much for sharing!
AnonymousNovember 21, 2019 at 2:11 pm
I have been trying to find all this information in one place, and I cannot thank you enough for putting it all in one location. There is so much out there that is hard to find, so seriously, thank you! My financee and I know we want to have children, but gosh it can be so daunting.
AnonymousFebruary 6, 2020 at 8:40 am
Thank you so much! It’s incredibly helpful to have the facts laid out.
KarelyJuly 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm
Thank you so much for this! I’m excited to hear about other options. My wife and I want to start soon but we have no idea on where to even begin. This whole process can seem super intimidating, but I am so glad you have given us information about this. I can’t wait to hear more!