What are the costs of infertility teatment?

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Answered by: Terry, An Expert in the Infertility: The Costs Category
As a father of three beautiful daughters that are the result of in vitro fertilization, the benefits of infertility treatments and the lifetime of joy that they can bring are easy to celebrate. However, for those that stand at the beginning of that difficult journey, nervously sitting in a doctor's office weighing the various options, the road ahead can seem daunting at best, if not completely impossible. Rest assured those feelings are natural and perfectly justified, especially as one considers the multitude of costs associated with infertility treatments. But is this decision more than just money, more than just an exercise in managing your personal balance sheet. Let's explore the costs of infertility.

Of course, there are financial costs associated with any medical treatment and fertility procedures are certainly no exception. According to a study conducted by the University of California San Francisco, the cost of infertility treatments can be as low as $1200, for a medication only procedure, all the way up to $25,000 for a full in vitro cycle. If you are looking at the possibility of donor eggs, then the cost can easily push the $40,000 range. And remember this is a 'per attempt' cost. There are no guarantees with any fertility treatments, considering the success rate is around 30%. So you would have to multiply the above cost by the number of times you may need to try to achieve a successful outcome. While there are a number of factors that can influence the final cost of a successful Infertility treatment, given the above figures, it is safe to assume that it is a financially expensive endeavor. But is money the only cost associated with infertility. Let's explore a little deeper.

If you can solve the financial challenge, it is important to then consider the physical toll that these treatments will take. The fertility medications are going to wreak havoc with the mother's hormones. After all, the treatments are designed to turn her into the optimal baby making machine. However, the side effects can range anywhere from hot flashes and headaches to nausea and hair loss. Also, let's not forget the rare but potentially fatal possibility of lactic acidosis. One final physical consideration is the possibility of multiple births. While your first reaction might be one of excitement, let me caution you. A pregnancy with one baby can be challenging in itself. Carrying multiples is not only extremely difficult but also dangerous to both the mother and the unborn children. There is a multitude of complications that can occur physically during the long process of attempting to get pregnant and the actual pregnancy itself. So is it now just a matter of paying for it and managing the physical challenges. Let's dig down one more time.

There is one more cost that will outweigh the others by far. It is also the one that is the most difficult to pay and that is the emotional toll that this will take on you. Considering that you start this process with the devastating news that you cannot conceive naturally, you are not in a solid mental state to begin with. Add to that the emotional wrecking ball of hormone treatments and you have the makings of an extremely fragile psyche. It is with this mindset that you must handle the stress of paying for expensive treatments, deal with the side effects of medication and ride the emotional roller coaster of waiting to see if the expensive gamble pays off in a pregnancy. That's right a pregnancy, not necessarily a baby. Getting pregnant is just the first hurdle. After achieving that pinnacle of success, you then embark on yet another 9-month journey that is overshadowed by the notion that if the pregnancy fails, you are all the way back at the beginning of this long, expensive and winding road.

I share all this not to deter you from pursuing this option but to educate you on the true costs of infertility treatments. Our first attempt at getting pregnant took nearly three years and close to a dozen procedures. After the twins were born, we tried again 4 years later and had a perfectly healthy baby on the first try. So we have seen the entire spectrum of infertility and its paths to success. It is a robust combination of financial, physical and emotional fees that must all be paid in order to achieve that goal of that little bundle of joy.

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