Baby budgeting Oocyte cryopreservation in women delaying reproduction can reduce cost per live birth

This cost analysis demonstrates that in women who plan to delay childbearing until age 40 years, oocyte cryopreservation before 38 years of age can reduce the cost to obtain a live birth.

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Kate Devine, M.D., Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D., Kara N. Goldman, M.D., Brooke Hodes-Wertz, M.D., M.P.H., Sarah Druckenmiller, B.S., Anthony M. Propst, M.D., Nicole Noyes, M.D.

Volume 103, Issue 6, Pages 1446-1453



To determine whether oocyte cryopreservation for deferred reproduction is cost effective per live birth using a model constructed from observed clinical practice.


Decision-tree mathematical model with sensitivity analyses.


Not applicable.


A simulated cohort of women wishing to delay childbearing until age 40 years.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Cost per live birth.


Our primary model predicted that oocyte cryopreservation at age 35 years by women planning to defer pregnancy attempts until age 40 years would decrease cost per live birth from $55,060 to $39,946 (and increase the odds of live birth from 42% to 62% by the end of the model), indicating that oocyte cryopreservation is a cost-effective strategy relative to forgoing it. If fresh autologous assisted reproductive technology (ART) was added at age 40 years, before thawing oocytes, 74% obtained a live birth, and cost per live birth increased to $61,887. Separate sensitivity analyses demonstrated that oocyte cryopreservation remained cost effective as long as performed before age 38 years, and more than 49% of those women not obtaining a spontaneously conceived live birth returned to thaw oocytes.


In women who plan to delay childbearing until age 40 years, oocyte cryopreservation before 38 years of age reduces the cost to obtain a live birth.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.