Struggling with infertility can be a frustrating and heartbreaking journey. If you find yourself trying to conceive a baby but end up disappointed month after month with negative pregnancy tests, you are not alone; one in every eight couples experience difficulty getting pregnant. There are many causes of infertility in women and men, sometimes it just takes a little time for nature works its’ magic, and sometimes it takes assisted reproductive technology to help couples become parents. When a couple makes the decision to visit a fertility specialist in order to conceive a baby, there are several in fertility solutions that the doctor may recommend:
- Fertility Medication
Fertility drugs are administered either through a pill or an injection, and serve as a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that increases egg production and makes the environment of the uterus more susceptible to implantation of a fertilized egg. This treatment plan is successful in almost half of the women who use it. Most commonly, a doctor will recommend fertility medication as a first course of action for couples experiencing infertility, especially for women who have irregular ovulation cycles.
Approximate Cost: The cost of fertility medication varies widely by the medication used and additional medical procedures that go along with the medication. It can cost as little as $60 per cycle or as much as $6000 per cycle. Fertility medication is often covered by insurance, at least partially.
- Artificial Insemination
Artificial insemination is a process in which the sperm is inserted into the uterus at the precise time of ovulation, to promote conception. This process is often combined with fertility medication that makes the uterus more susceptible to implantation of the fertilized egg. Artificial insemination is often used when the source of infertility is the quality and count of the father’s sperm, or if the condition of the mothers cervix prevents viability of the sperm through natural conception methods. Artificial insemination often takes several cycles to achieve conception, but holds a 70% success rate of achieving a pregnancy within six cycles.
Approximate cost: About $800 per cycle
- In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization is a process in which the mother’s eggs are extracted from the uterus and fertilized with the father’s sperm by a fertility expert in a lab. After the eggs are successfully fertilized, several of them are transferred back into the uterus and the mother carries the child as any other natural pregnancy. In vitro fertilization is often recommended after the previously mentioned methods are unsuccessful, when the cause of infertility is unknown, when the father’s sperm count is low, when the mother is older than 35 years or has damaged fallopian tubes that would prevent natural fertilization.
Approximate cost: About $8000 per cycle. Many states require insurance companies to offer at least partial coverage of in vitro fertilization.
Did you utilize a fertility specialist to get pregnant? What treatment did you use and how long did it take for you to achieve conception? We want to hear about your experience; please join the conversation in the comment section below.