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The Cost of Fertility Treatment

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a blog by Amy Klein, March 2, 2014

When you first find out you might have fertility problems, the furthest thing from your mind is money. Disappointment is probably your first feeling, followed by confusion, anger, denial—the usual stages of grief—before you’re ready to take action.

Speaking from my own personal experience (and from experience of talking to dozens of women), most people don’t consider money. We think: “Of course we’ll do whatever it takes to have a baby. Just like we would to treat any other health problem.”

The thing is, fertility issues aren’t like other health problems. Firstly, they aren’t terminal diseases that must be treated. (Even though it sometimes feels that way). Secondly, there’s not one accepted course of treatment. Third, no one knows how long it will take you. Unlike, if you had heart trouble, the doctor might say, “You need a triple bypass by next month, otherwise you’ll die.” Here, doctors will say, “Well, we can try X or Y and it might happen on the second try or it might happen on the eighth, or it might not happen at all…” These days, it’s more like a mysterious disease that doctors don’t really know the cure, although sometimes they have a cure that might work. They just can’t say when or how.

That’s why it might be a good thing to think about money from the start. As confusing as the whole subject is – and there’s an overwhelming amount of information about fertility treatments out there – it’s important to think about money, because sad as it sounds, money might be the one factor that determines your course of treatment.

So although your treatment might be short and successful, prepare for the long haul. Here are some questions to consider when starting out:

What does your insurance cover? Any fertility? Medications? (Injectibles or just pills?) Can you switch to a different plan that will cover fertility? Can your husband? It might save you more money to pay more money in the long run.

How much money do you – and your partner, if you have one – have? How much can you afford for medical treatment? Can you change jobs? (I, for example, am a freelancer, and tried to get a job while doing IVF). What type of parental support do you have to contribute to your treatment?

Prices of treatments might vary from clinic to clinic, but if you know how much things cost at the start, it might make you choose your treatment differently. For example, if you knew that a doctor’s consult could cost $500-$1,200, you might to only have a couple of meetings. Likewise, if you knew that IUI’s cost $3,000 (as one woman recently told me hers was) you might opt to head straight to IVF.

No one likes to talk about money. Or fertility problems. But if you are realistic about both from the start, you will find it easier much later on.

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