Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a medical procedure in which sperm is introduced directly to the uterus in order to make fertilization more likely. Couples and individuals who are hoping to become parents may opt for IUI in place of or—as a precursor to—in vitro fertilization (IVF), which can be both more time-consuming and more expensive. Understanding the cost of IUI is important for creating a budget if you’re pursuing this type of fertility treatment.
- Individuals seeking fertility treatments may choose intrauterine insemination (IUI) in lieu of in vitro fertilization (IVF), as it can be easier to execute and cost less.
- Insurance may or may not cover IUI treatments, which could make them more expensive if you don’t have adequate coverage.
- Fertility clinics may offer multiple financing options to help with paying for IUI treatments.
Average Cost of IUI
According to Planned Parenthood, someone might pay anywhere from $300 to $1,000 on average for IUI, also known as “artificial insemination.” However, that’s only an estimate; your actual costs can vary widely.
Dr. Jane L. Frederick, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at HRC Fertility in Newport Beach, California, puts the typical IUI cost at anywhere from $460 to $3,000. She says there are three critical components that determine your costs:
- Medications – Drugs are necessary to ensure that ovulation occurs at the right time. Dr. Frederick says the medications needed for IUI can range from $100 to $2,000 per cycle, depending on what’s required to prompt the ovulation process.
- Monitoring and Blood Work – Blood work is necessary to ensure that the follicles containing eggs are growing at an appropriate rate. This, says Dr. Frederick, can cost $500 to $1,000 per cycle.
- Insemination – The actual process of injecting sperm into the uterus has its own costs, which may run from $150 to $400.
You may not spend as much on medications if you’re choosing natural IUI vs. stimulated IUI. With natural IUI, insemination is based on timing, and medications are not used to trigger the ovulation cycle. As an example of the cost difference, CCRM Fertility estimates the cost of natural IUI at $1,045 to $2,999, while stimulated IUI may cost $2,425 to $3,370.
Still, that’s much less than what you might pay for IVF. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, IVF costs $12,400 per cycle on average. However, you could easily end up paying much more if you need to obtain donor eggs or sperm, use a surrogate to carry the baby to term, or elect additional procedures, such as genetic testing.
There may be an initial consultation fee ranging from $200 to $500 before you can begin IUI treatment.
Estimating Your Costs for IUI
How much does IUI cost? The short answer is that it’s different for everyone. For example, Cara Berkeley, a personal finance writer and owner of the blog Penny Polly, has completed the IUI process five times and says that the typical cost for the insemination procedure was around $250 each time.
If you’re planning for IUI, Berkeley says there are other costs to consider. “Leading up to the IUI, you’ll need to have two to four doctor visits, with ultrasounds for follicle checks and measurement, and to assess the timing,” she says. If those are covered by insurance, your only cost for those visits might be the copay.
Berkeley says regular insurance may not cover the medications needed for IUI, which include Clomid, Menupor, and, if a trigger shot is necessary to prompt ovulation, a dose of Ovidrel. She says out-of-pocket expenses can vary based on what your doctor prescribes, and it’s important to remember that those medications are required for each IUI cycle.
You could run into additional expenses if you’re single or part of the LGBTQ+ community. If you need to obtain sperm from a donor, for example, that might run an additional $1,000 or more, depending on whether the donor is known to you or not.
Success rates for IUI go down with age, so that’s important to keep in mind when determining whether this procedure is right for you.
How to Prepare Financially for IUI
While IUI is much less expensive than IVF, it’s still important to prepare yourself financially. Reviewing your insurance coverage is a good place to start. Currently, 15 states require insurance companies to cover infertility diagnosis and treatment:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
California and Texas require insurance companies to offer coverage for infertility treatment. Dr. Frederick says that in the case of employer-sponsored coverage, the employer can dictate how IUI will be covered, whether it will be, for how many cycles, and whether it’s a requirement before progressing to IVF.
If you know that your insurance won’t cover all of your IUI costs, Berkeley suggests saving money and taking steps to increase income in order to pay for treatments. Getting a part-time job, starting a side hustle, or simply selling things around the house could help you raise the money you need to pay for IUI.
You can also consider using financial windfalls, such as a tax refund or year-end bonus, to fund your IUI treatments.
Is IUI Expensive?
You may spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to complete IUI treatments.
What’s Cheaper, IUI or IVF?
IUI is not as expensive as IVF, because it’s less time intensive and there are fewer medications involved. You may have to complete some initial blood work and diagnostic testing, but overall IUI can cost a fraction of what you might pay for IVF, which can easily total $10,000 or more.
Can You Charge IUI to a Credit Card?
If your fertility clinic accepts credit cards as a form of payment, you should be able to charge IUI treatments. Keep in mind, however, that a high annual percentage rate could make IUI more expensive if you’re carrying a balance on your card month to month and accruing interest.
The cost of IUI is rarely more than just a few thousand dollars, but it’s still important to have a financial plan in place to pay for it. If you think you need to have IVF, you may be required to complete IUI as a precursor to it. Estimating your costs and discussing any financial assistance options or payment plans offered by your clinic can ensure that there are no surprises as you start your fertility journey. Many clinics offer loans for IVF and may provide them for IUI as well.