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A gloved pink cartoon hand holding a cartoon vial with blue liquid and 3 pink embryos in it

At 22, Arianna W. was certain she wanted to freeze her eggs—one day.

It was 2016, and she was interning at Boston IVF Fertility Clinic, witnessing firsthand the spectrum of ways people were creating families. As a queer woman with hopes of becoming a mother in the future, she knew that her own journey to starting a family, biologically, would likely involve reproductive tech interventions.

For that reason, the idea of donating some of her eggs to help another family with a parallel experience was always in the back of her mind. “I just thought it wouldn’t happen until I was going through my own [fertility and egg retrieval] process,” she says.

Arianna was also acutely aware that, “ideally, I should [freeze my eggs] on the earlier side, and not in my mid- or late 30s,” due to the studied age-related decline in fertility. But its five-figure price tag put the option out of reach.

The average total cost for egg freezing is $30,000 to $40,000 for treatment (the average 2.1 retrieval cycles a woman goes through to... see more