Last Updated on January 14, 2021
Reciprocal IVF, more commonly known as double maternity or two mom IVF is an infertility treatment for lesbian couples. This bold introduction to the medical field comes with its own requirements and limitations in the country. Being a fairly new option for family building, the cost is also a matter of concern for interested patients.
The practice is called assisted reproduction in which the eggs of one of the partners are retrieved and transferred into the other after fertilization with donor sperm. In most cases, the egg is donated by one of the partners and the pregnancy is carried by the other partner. This allows women to participate in motherhood.
This addition to the medical practice is now giving hundreds of same-sex couples a chance to build a family. With the state becoming more lenient about the laws of parenting, more and more lesbian couples are now opting for the procedure.
How Does Reciprocal IVF Work?
The process of reciprocal IVF is similar to that of a standard donor program IVF.
- One of the partners donating the egg undergoes ovarian stimulation for the production of multiple eggs. During this process, regular clinic visits are required for almost 12 days. Ovarian development is checked through ultrasound and an egg collection date is scheduled accordingly.
- The surgical procedure of retrieving oocytes takes about 30 minutes and is performed through the follicle puncture method.
- The eggs are then extracted and cultured with donor sperm in the laboratory. The fertilized eggs are inseminated into the other partner within 3-6 days.
- The woman who has to bear pregnancy would be first tested for progesterone and estrogen levels. This helps the physicians analyze the thickness of the uterus for implantation.
- If the uterine lining of the patient is suitable for implantation, the embryo is transferred within the uterine cavity.
- Embryo transfer is not painful and does not require anesthesia.
- Additional procedures like cryopreservation, ICSI, and assisted hatching may be required. There would be additional charges for ICSI and assisted hatching.
For sperm donation, couples can anonymously select sperm from any commercial sperm bank. Information about the sperm donor will be available concerning education, physical characteristics, medical history, blood type, and ethnicity. Sperm profiles often come at a small fee. If you have your own sperm donor, you would first have to discuss it legally. Donor insemination law varies from state to state and is subject to change.
How Much Does Reciprocal IVF Cost?
Reciprocal IVF cost is subject to the patient’s insurance program, which in a majority of the cases is not available as state law. In most states of the US that do have an insurance mandate for infertility, insurance companies are not restricted to provide coverage of cost unless it is a medical requirement. This can make it slightly unpredictable. The cost of consultation visits and diagnostic tests may be covered under insurance. This percentage of coverages varies from state to state.
Generally, the cost of a reciprocal IVF is similar to the cost of a standard IVF procedure with a donor program. The only difference in the treatment is that there are two people involved in the procedure. The eggs are retrieved from one woman and implanted into the other.
- Fresh IVF average cost: $12,000
- Multiple cycle IVF: $16,000-$30,000
- Additional Medication cost: $3,000-$5,000 (per cycle)
- ICSI and assisted hatching: $1,500-$3,000
If insurance coverage is provided, it may only be for testing and monitoring, but not for the treatment. Patients may only qualify for the insurance if the woman trying to conceive is diagnosed with ovarian failure. In such a case insurance covers treatment, testing, and office visits.
Many clinics in the US offer discount programs to help couples afford the reciprocal IVF cost. Such programs offer exchange offers. Unused eggs can be donated against treatment. As IVF is an uncertain treatment, multiple cycles may be required before a successful pregnancy is achieved.
Success Rates of Reciprocal IVF
Lesbian IVF success rate depends largely on the health and age of the woman whose eggs are being used. Women who are under the age of 35 have the highest chance of conceiving. It is a standard rule for IVF that the younger the woman, the higher the chance she has to conceive through artificial insemination. The average success rate for Reciprocal IVF is:
- 32% for women who are below 35 years
- 7% for women who are between 35-38
- 20% for women who are between 38-39
- 13% for women who are above 40
- And 1.9% for women who are above 45.
The success rate largely depends on the quality of the eggs with younger women having more fertile egg cycles which improves their chances of conceiving a baby.
Prior to the Reciprocal IVF treatments, a prescreening process helps physicians analyze the medical history and egg quality of the woman. This information helps them decide which of the two women has a better quality of the egg, and who is a more appropriate candidate for carrying the pregnancy. Pregnancy and success also depend on the quality of the sperm.
Affording Reciprocal IVF cost in the US
Lesbian couples are still struggling with the law when it comes to services like IVF. As most insurance does not cover the cost of reciprocal IVF for them, they have to turn their faces towards other helpful means of financing.
The first option that such patients should explore is the discount programs offered through various clinics. Most of the LGBT family building clinics have multiple discount programs that can help lesbian couples afford their treatment.
For patients who may have a low quality of eggs, it is recommended to purchase multiple cycles. This would increase the chances of conceiving with an average low cost compared to purchasing each cycle separately.
Reciprocal IVF Financing
The payment plan for IVF is as stressful for same-sex couples as it is for others, and determining how patients would afford their treatment is difficult. However, there are several financing companies working in the country help couples build a Reciprocal IVF family. Medical financing in the US is provided to all couple types through the following financial lenders:
CapexMd is one of the best medical financing companies in the US. It helps Reciprocal IVF patients plan competitive low-cost loan plans tailored to address individual circumstances. Each plan comes with flexible terms, with no prepayment penalty of an annual fee. It offers loans to couples of all types.
The entire application process is fast, and loans are approved within 24 hours. Patients are advised to check if their fertility clinic participates with CapexMD. The clinic would then directly secure the cost to the patient through CapexMD prior to the treatment. CapexMD loans are also provided on a low credit.
For same-sex couples, WinFertility offers the support of trained fertility specialists at a discounted package. WinFertility offers multiple financing options that help same sex couples afford the cost of reciprocal IVF.
Financing through WinFertility gives patients lower than the market rate for IVF. With multiple bundles to choose from, every patient can apply for a multiple cycle IVF program at a discounted price. This can help them save up to 40% on the total average cost, while at the same time increase their odds of conceiving.
Win Fertility also offers refund programs in which patients can share financial risk. In case of failure, 90% of the amount will be refunded.
- Prosper HealthCare Lending
Financing IVF without insurance is a rare occurrence amongst the average middle class of the US. Same-sex couples who want to build a family can opt for financing through Prosper HealthCare Lending. Prosper HealthCare lending provides financial relief to eligible candidates wanting to build a Reciprocal IVF family. With prosper, patients can enjoy the following benefits
- Immediate loans under $35,000
- No collateral required
- A long 84 month flexible loan period
- No prepayment penalties
- Easy and fast application process
- Pre-approval within 24 hours
- Attain IVF
Attain IVF programs offer patients with unique multiple cycle discount programs. Instead of paying for each cycle, Attain IVF allows patients to pay a discounted upfront price for a number of IVF cycles. This protects the patient from hidden charges and gives them a better chance of conceiving by opting for multiple cycles.
- Attain IVF Core Flex: This plan gives patients two fresh and all frozen cycles
- Attain IVF Refund: This program is the most suitable for couples who are struggling with the cost of reciprocal IVF in the US. Against a single price, couples can opt for a multiple cycle IVF plan. In case of failure, all the money will be refunded.
Attain IVF programs are designed for those who do not have any insurance coverage. For self-paying patients, the discount program of Attain IVF is a blessing. In addition, it helps patients avoid the additional stress of financial detours. Attain IVF has a partnership with multiple IVF clinics in the country. There are more than 130 locations where Attain IVF programs are available.
Reciprocal IVF complications
Reciprocal IVF comes with both financial and medical challenges. From the quality of the eggs to the strength of the uterus, every single aspect matters. Couples of the same sex would have to go through the additional stress of not having been covered by the insurance. Moreover, there are currently a limited number of clinics that have a special LGBT family building program.
Insecurity, anxiety and attitude of the partner can play an important role in the process. On top of that, the legal issues serve as an additional cost for lesbians. To make it easier for both women, it is best to consult with specialists. Both financial and medical counseling is available in the country. There are a few financial grants available just for same-sex couples to support them in their cause.
Medically speaking, the reciprocal IVF treatment comes with the same complications as that of a standard IVF. Prior to purchasing the treatment, patients should consider getting the repute of the egg and sperm checked.
Reciprocal IVF is an innovative addition to medical facilities. This support for lesbian couples serves as a miracle and is truly emotionally satisfying for same-sex couples. Activists and advocates have played a strong role in helping lesbians’ access to family building treatments. The costs are similar to the donor IVF program.
While the state does not offer insurance coverage to patients, there are several ways couples can afford their journey towards motherhood. Many clinics in the country offer discount offers through third-party networks. Financing facilities are also available through and outside fertility clinics. Once Reciprocal IVF patients find financial relief for the treatment, they should discuss the legal matters to go through the process smoothly and happily.