It’s no secret that IVF is time-consuming, physically and emotionally draining, and expensive. The average cost for one IVF cycle ranges from $15,000 to $30,000, and so far only 20 states have passed laws mandating some kind of fertility insurance coverage, 14 of which actually include IVF. In fact, the cost of fertility treatments is the number one factor that prevents those who are struggling to conceive from pursuing the family of their dreams. This shouldn’t be the case. No one should have to go broke while trying to pay for IVF. 

How to Pay for IVF When You Think You Can't Afford It

Thankfully, there are some alternative ways to fund your fertility journey other than those painful out-of-pocket payments. We’ve come up with a few options for you to consider. Choosing one that best suits you and your needs can help alleviate some of that financial stress, allowing you to focus on what's really important: growing your family. 

1. Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing, or crowdfunding, is exactly what it sounds like: funding from a crowd, or group of people. To start, choose a site like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, or AdoptTogether. Be sure to consider processing fees, user interface, and donor payment options when deciding on the best option for you. 

You can then share your fundraiser on your social media accounts, reach out to friends, family, and coworkers via email, or text the link to those in your contact list. One of the amazing things about crowdsourcing is that it often expands beyond the scope of strictly the people you personally know. Friends of friends, extended relatives, and so on can easily be given the link from members of your inner circle. People only need to donate a few dollars in order to make a difference in your fertility journey. 

While crowdsourcing is a great option for some, it may not be an ideal route for everyone. For instance, if you're uncomfortable publicly sharing your infertility struggles or asking people for money, then pursuing other options for funding might better suit you.    

2. Grants

A grant is a financial award usually given by a company, foundation, or the government to an individual or a company to reach a specific goal. The best part about grants is that they are gifts, so, unlike a loan, they don’t have to be paid back. 

Finding grants to apply for can be as simple as a Google search. Of course, making sure the organizations are reputable and trustworthy is always a good first step. One site that provides women with a list of grant opportunities is Resolve, which strives to eliminate the barrier of out-of-pocket expenses for those hoping to grow their family.

BabyQuest Foundation is another organization that believes the high cost of fertility treatments shouldn't come in the way of becoming a parent. Their next grant application opens in January 2023.

One important thing to note is that the applications for IVF grants vary from one to the next, so be ready to dedicate some time and attention to this process.

3. Applying to Companies That Cover IVF   

This option might be a bit more difficult as it requires you to look for job opportunities with companies that cover IVF as part of their benefits plans. Finding such companies to work for can be done, once again, through a Google search. You can also find a list of 15 companies that offer fertility benefits here

We understand that this one might be more of a stretch for people because, really, who wants to add “career search” and “interviewing” to their already demanding list of things to do, but it is an option worth considering, especially if you're already in the market for a new job. 

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4. Comprehensive Loans like Future Family

We know what you’re probably thinking: "A loan? I don’t really want to deal with another financial institution." If you’re not interested in a credit union loan or a home equity line of credit, Future Family is a great alternative, which strives to take away the stress of financing your fertility journey. 

Just as each person or couple’s path to parenthood is unique to them, so are the plans offered by Future Family which are totally customizable and can cover IVF cycle costs, anesthesia, PGT testing and analysis, medications, cryopreservation, donor conception, surrogacy, and more. 

Future Family can provide loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 within 48 hours of submitting your application, and it's completely risk-free to your credit score to find out. In addition to providing a loan, Future Family also consolidates all of your costs into one monthly payment while also handling payments to all of your providers. What’s more is that your financing with Future Family also comes with low interest rates and discounts on medications and lab work. 

Decide For Yourself

There’s already so much to think about when dealing with infertility, and choosing to pursue IVF is a major step in your family-planning journey. Figuring out how to pay for it and make ends meet shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all to chasing your dreams of pregnancy. There are options available to you — from crowd-sourcing to grants to comprehensive fertility loans — and ways to not go broke while paying for IVF. All it takes is a little bit of extra research. You've got this! 

Brighid Flynn is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and puppy. She is just beginning her journey toward motherhood.