If you and your partner have been struggling to get pregnant for more than a year, you are probably starting to think about options like in-vitro fertilization and other methods of assisted reproductive technology (ART). One thing you probably already know is that ART fertility costs can be quite high. Some insurance programs will pay for part of your costs, but, for the most part, you’ll be pretty much on your own.
While you can scrimp and save to be able to afford these treatments, you need to remember that they aren’t always successful on the first – or even the fourth – try. You’ll need to have enough money behind you that you can keep going until you get pregnant, but you can also keep the costs of your fertility treatments low by using a few of the following ideas.
Opt for surgical procedures for him
It used to be that fertility problems were primarily associated with the female, but more and more fertility treatment clinicians are also testing and treating men who may be infertile. While it might seem like the easiest way to overcome male infertility is to go through in-vitro fertilization, this is actually not the most cost-effective choice you can make.
One study on the cost-efficiency of different treatments for male infertility concluded that it is much, much less expensive to opt for a vasectomy reversal or varicocele repair. These treatments, which may seem to be more complex than IVF, actually significantly reduce the costs of having a baby. In fact, this study states that the average costs involved with all the procedures combined for babies born through IVF/ICSI is about $89,000, which goes up exponentially if the first round of treatment is unsuccessful. The total average costs involved with undergoing varicocele surgery and then having a baby are somewhere in the range of $26,000 by comparison.
If you still can’t conceive after treatments like these, you might try other procedures. The cost-effectiveness study concluded that the next most cost-effective fertility treatment would be IUI – intrauterine insemination – and that this treatment is more effective after male surgery. If, however, you would like to try IVF after a vasectomy – or any time male infertility might factor into your infertility problems – try the type of procedure in which the sperm is injected directly into the eggs, ICSI, because this can help increase the effectiveness of the IVF treatment, meaning you might have to go through less IVF cycles.
Discount programs for IVF
IVF remains the most popular form of assisted reproductive treatment, and with good reason. However, this procedure is very expensive. A single cycle of in-vitro can cost upwards of $10,000, and many times that first cycle doesn’t work. There are, however, a few ways that you can save money here, and you’ll want to ask about these options before deciding on a clinic.
One good way to go is to purchase a plan that covers more than one round of IVF. These plans will usually offer a discounted rate, and, for some of them, the rate will depend on the age of the woman being impregnated. Check around for different plans, but try to find one that allows for three or four rounds of IVF at a lower rate.
Some clinics are also offering discount plans with money-back guarantees, which can be very helpful. Depending on the clinic, you may get your money back if you don’t carry a pregnancy to full-term, or you may get it back if you don’t carry a pregnancy for more than a certain number of weeks. For instance, some clinics will consider their work done once you are beyond twelve weeks. These programs are often called shared risk programs because the clinic is sharing some of the financial risks of failure with you, which can relieve some of your financial burden and give you the impetus to try again later.
Another good thing about these programs is that they may allow for cryopreservation of extra embryos that you can transfer later on. If the discount program allots for harvesting and inseminating eggs several times, chances are likely that you’ll end up with extra viable embryos, which can reduce your IVF costs down the road if you decide to try again.