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The Cost of Fertility Treatments--Editorial

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After reading different accounts of people wanting babies, your heart can break for those couples who have tried and tried but for whatever reason have not reached success. On the other hand, your heart can swell for the couples who try and finally have their baby. Most information focuses on these aspects – the struggle, the fertility options and then the outcome – not the price tag. But the price tag is a big part of the picture, especially if you consider all the other factors involved.

I was reading an article entitled, "The Gift of Life, and Its Price", by Stephanie Saul in The New York Times, which told about one couple who reportedly spent $1.2 million dollars by the time they had a success story. The couple felt that it was worth it, but can it be honestly stated that their decision is only going to affect these two alone?

Let me explain. First, let’s admit that some insurance companies do not pay for fertility treatments, but for those that do, the costs can be pretty expensive. Sometimes it’s not the fertility treatments, but the care of the baby or babies when they are born that are costly. Most couples who need pregnancy assistance want to enhance their chances of a successful delivery so they request that multiple embryos be implanted. Doctors – pressured to give the prospective parents what they want or for the extra money to be made – proceed to implant multiple embryos, thereby increasing the woman’s chances of having twins.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine and its affiliate, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, have reportedly been working feverishly to reduce the number of multiple births produced from IVF (in-vitro fertilization) with some success. Why? Multiple birth implantations are discouraged due to the risks – on the babies as well as the mother. Twin babies (or more) from this procedure are more likely to be born with complications which may increase their chances of mortality or lesser disabilities and prematurity. Of course, the mothers may experience pregnancy complications too.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.