When you’re fully engrossed in the world of infertility, your circumstances can feel immensely isolating. But you’re really not alone, especially if you look at the statistics of how many people are affected by infertility. Infertility affects 7.5 million women of reproductive age in the United States alone, in as many as 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age. But, as the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology revealed, the number of women using IVF has gone up — way up.
According to the most recent SART National Summary Report released earlier this month, 2,000 more babies were born via IVF in 2012. (Data is always 2-3 years behind, what with the whole 9 months of pregnancy to determine live birth outcomes and all.) From CNN:
That also makes 2012 the year with the highest percentage of babies born through IVF than ever reported previously, according to the society. That upward trend is the opposite of American birth rates overall. Since 2007, the American birth rate has been declining steadily. In 2012, more than 3.95 million babies were born, the Centers for Disease Control reports (PDF). That’s below what demographers call the “replacement level,” the level at which the generation can replace itself. Of those births, IVF treatments account for about 1.5% of all babies born in the United States that year.
A study conducted by RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, found that the price of IVF was directly proportionate to the amount of clinics available; if there were fewer clinics and doctors who provided IVF services, the price went up… More families may be employing IVF as a viable fertility resource, but the cost needs to become more uniform — not to mention more transparent.
I can certainly relate to the high cost of IVF, with added costs for going the donor egg route. All told, including our insurance premiums (because we pay 100% out of pocket for our insurance premiums), we spent ~$27,000 for our single IVF cycle, where $11,000 was just in IVF procedure costs alone and not insurance premiums.
I would argue that the infertility community should push for expanded insurance coverage of infertility treatments, but with the Affordable Care Act in a precarious state at the moment, I’m not really sure what we can do as a community. I’d love for folks to share their thoughts below. And, in the meantime, check out my list of Financial Assistance Resources Page for Infertility.