According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 7.3 million Americans, or 12 percent of the total population in their reproductive years, are infertile. Having difficulty getting pregnant is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, even if you don’t know how you would pay for treatment. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available for people who chose to try in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Modern technology has made fertilization techniques like IVF easier and more accessible. While success is never guaranteed, IVF has the highest success rate of all assisted reproductive technology (ART) options, according to the Mayo Clinic.
What is IVF Treatment?
IVF is the process of an egg fertilized with sperm outside of the body, typically in vitro, or glass. IVF is a multi-step process, as shown below:
- Ovarian Stimulation – IVF treatment starts with medication to stimulate the ovaries. The medication releases hormones that boost egg maturation and release.
- Egg Retrieval – This outpatient surgical procedure lasts about 20-30 minutes. Using an ultrasound probe with a thin needle, a doctor accesses the follicles through the vagina and removes the eggs.
- Insemination/Fertilization – Using high-powered microscopes, the strongest sperm (either provided, donated, or frozen) is selected and used to fertilize the extracted egg. After successful fertilization, the egg becomes an embryo.
- Embryo Transfer – After the development period, the embryo is transferred to the uterus with a process similar to a pap smear. You should take a pregnancy test about two weeks after a successful embryo transfer.
Is IVF Treatment Right for You?
IVF makes having a child possible for a diverse range of couples and individuals. It allows post-menopausal women plus those with blocked fallopian tubes, irregular ovulation cycles, and polycystic ovarian syndrome to get pregnant. Furthermore, you can have IVF conducted with donated sperm or eggs or your own, and either or both can be frozen. Also, many people who choose to use a surrogate pick IFV treatment.
All of these options make IVF treatment possible for a wide array of patients. If you want to know if you’re well-suited for IVF, given your health condition or circumstances, talk to your doctor about your infertility treatment options.
IVF Treatment Options
Not all IVF treatments are conducted the same way. Different IVF treatment options include:
- IVF with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – When problems with sperm (such as low count or low motility) are identified, your doctor may recommend intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
With traditional IVF, doctors place 50,000 or more sperm into a dish next to an egg, and the sperm swims by itself and penetrates the egg’s cytoplasm. With ICSI, a needle is used to inject a single sperm right in the center of the egg.
- IVF and Multiples – When undergoing IVF treatment, you have the ability to choose the number of embryos you want to have transferred to the uterus in a single cycle. While many women chose to use only one embryo, others opt for as many as four. While transferring multiple embryos may increase your chances of getting pregnant, it also increases the risks of the.
Where to Find Help With IVF Treatment Costs
One of the foremost barriers to seeking fertility care is the pricetag. Within the U.S., IVF typically costs around $23,000 per cycle. Keep in mind that most people opt for at least two cycles.
According to a Mercer report, insurance coverage for IVF has grown from 23 percent in 2012 to 26 percent in 2017, with only about 15 percent of the total population having IVF coverage. In turn, many people look for alternative ways to reduce the cost of IVF.
What Options are Available to Help Pay for IVF?
According to a study published in the American Urological Association, an average couple spends $19,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for IVF, with each additional cycle pushing this figure up by $7,000.
To pay for IVF, many people turn to personal loans, home equity loans, and credit cards to make their treatment payments. Before taking any of these actions, before to thoroughly look through your insurance plan to see if you’re eligible for at least partial coverage. Also, consider using your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA).
It’s All Worth It in the End
Although the process of IVF is expensive and sometimes frustrating, it can all be worth it. Since IVF was first used, more than 1 million babies have been born via IVF in the United States. Armed with proper knowledge and support from your doctor and fertility experts, you may finally achieve your dream of completing your family.