A lot of people are unaware of just how expensive infertility treatments are. They may have a number in their head, but do they really know how much we spend out of our bank accounts to even just TRY to start a family? And just imagine spending all of this money only to be told that you have to stop your cycle for one reason or another, or that your trigger shot didn't work and no eggs were retrieved, or they retrieved eggs but none were fertilized, or the fertilized eggs did not mature like they should, or you transfer your one and only embryo and it doesn't work, or you have multiple frozen embryo transfers and none of them work. IVF is not a guarantee of a baby.
My hubby and I went to The Fertility Clinic for our treatments. On their website, they post that for 2011-2012, in women under 35 years old, they had a 43% success rate (meaning IVF resulted in a clinical pregnancy). That's not even a 50/50 chance of IVF working for you.
And then there are the costs of all of the treatments...just looking at the list of costs is overwhelming. My doctor had a sense of humour (and he's lucky I did as well) because one of the first things he said to me was "well, you're one of the lucky ones that has blocked tubes because IVF is covered for you." I'm lucky?! Seriously, Doc, if I were lucky I wouldn't be sitting in front of you right now. At The Fertility Clinic, some of the prices are as follows:
Orientation Fee - $500 (that's $500 out of pocket just to get your foot in the door
Advance Semen Analysis - $300, plus an additional $200 if it needs to be repeated
IVF - $5000 (this is covered if you have blocked tubes)
ICSI - $1500
Surgical Sperm Retrieval - $2250
Embryo or Blastocyst Freezing - $600
Annual Storage of Embryo/Blastocyst - $250
Thaw and Transfer of Frozen Embryos - $1000 (this is also covered if you have blocked tubes)
This is just a short list of some of the expenses you may encounter (here's the full list from the website). And then on top of all of the treatments, there's the cost of the medication (one small vial of medication alone cost $800). We were extremely fortunate that our insurance plan covered 90% up to $3000 per person for a lifetime maximum. It was a bit of a struggle trying to get them to cover anything under my hubby's $3000 lifetime maximum because they were trying to tell me that it was just for the females, which I had to
So this just goes to show how expensive infertility treatments are. Yes, my husband and I are very fortunate that most of our expenses were paid for, but many couples are not this fortunate and many couples don't just need one IVF cycle, they need multiple! So multiply all of those numbers by 2 or 3 or 6! To many couples, this is their reality, this is where there money is spent, trying so desperately to start their family.
These couples are in my prayers. Just because we have received such happy news doesn't make me forget the pain of infertility and what these women and men are going through. If you can, add them to your prayer list. I strongly believe there is power in prayer and infertiles need prayer warriors.