Infertility affects about 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older).[i] Yet, we live in a world where people are sometimes made to feel embarrassed and inadequate about fertility issues that they can’t control.
The word fertility sometimes seems like a dirty word. Something you can’t even say out loud. What I do know is that although your fertility is private it is not something you should ever be ashamed of. To me that seems like feeling ashamed that you have cancer and just like infertility, a cancer diagnosis is something you can’t help. Fertility problems don’t discriminate; they affect people from all walks of life. In recent years, some high profile couples have opened up to the public about their struggles to have children. In 2009, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick spoke about the fact they used a gestational surrogate to carry their twins. In December 2010, Keith Urban and his wife Nicole Kidman had their second child with the help of a gestational surrogate Kidman has since spoken openly about her ups and downs with fertility, even appearing on Australian “60 Minutes.” Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey also talked about his male infertility problems. Ramsay talked on the UK show The F Word” about how he suffers from low sperm count and his experiences with IVF.
When people talk about fertility, they also talk about cost. Resolve, The National Infertility Association reports that the average cost of an IVF cycle using fresh embryos(not including medications) is $8,158.[ii]
The good news is that many insurance companies cover various stages of infertility treatment. In addition, many states are now requiring that insurers include infertility benefits in their policies. I don’t know about you but reading and figuring out my insurance information is very complicated! A good resource is Fertility LifeLines (http://www.fertilitylifelines.com/payingfortreatment). You can actually call this company and they will help you figure out what your insurance will cover in terms of fertility treatments.
Here are some other great resources:
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders.
Fertile Hope is a national LIVESTRONG initiative dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.
Dr. Licciardi’s Infertility Blog
This site is for those who have trouble conceiving. Dr. Licciardi writes on his experience in daily practice as a fertility specialist. He wants to inspire hope from the lessons of his patients.
Know of any other resources? Have any comments? Let me know!