We all know that having children is expensive. Across their lifetime, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars on clothing, activities, vacations, and education to name just a few financial outgoings.
But when you are having difficulty conceiving, the cost of trying to have a child can be financially crippling. Learning more about the potential fees associated with fertility treatment, and ways you might be able to manage the costs, can help you plan the journey ahead of you.
Check Your Health Insurance
Before you spend any money at a clinic, check if you have fertility coverage through your health insurance, your partner’s insurance, or via a workplace scheme. If fertility care is covered, call your provider straight away for more information about what is covered. You may find it helpful to enquire whether you are covered for:
- Initial consultations, and how many if you plan to shop around
- Subsequent consultations, and how many in total
- Blood work and scans
- Treatment cycles
Check if there is a cap on any of the above services. If your provider only offers one treatment cycle, you could face picking up the bill if your first round is unsuccessful.
If you do not have any fertility coverage, there are still ways to manage the cost of building a family.
Many couples finance their journey to conception with an IVF loan. Loans can be accessed via specialist fertility lenders, and some clinics offer an in-house finance service, too. Before choosing finance of any kind, you will need to consider how interest rates could affect the final repayment amount and how long you will have to repay the loan. Being accepted for finance may also depend on your overall credit score.
If finance is not right for you, alternative solutions might involve:
- A new job. A different employer may offer a healthcare package that includes fertility care.
- Moving house. Relocating to a state with mandated health insurance may help cover clinic costs.
- Fundraising. Start a campaign to fund your treatment through social media.
- Clinical trials. Enrolling on a clinical fertility study may lead to free or discounted treatment.
- Clinic schemes. Some clinics offer couples who pay for several cycles up front the promise of their money back if their final round of treatment is unsuccessful. However, if you are successful on your first round, you may end up paying more than the equivalent cost of one cycle.
- Become a donor. Sharing your eggs can reduce the cost of your own treatment.
- Consider alternatives. You may choose to start your family another way, for example with adoption.
Visit a Clinic
With all this information in hand, you can start to research what each clinic offers, and their associated costs. After your first appointment and any initial tests, your clinic should be able to advise you on the likely costs based on the treatment you may require. The cost can vary significantly between IUI and IVF, and will increase further if specialist genetic testing or treatment with donor sperm or eggs is likely.
Many couples will require more than one round, with some requiring six or more, and so you and your partner will need to think about not only your emotional health, but your financial wellbeing, too. Talking about how much you are willing to spend, and how long you will try for, can be painful, but it is important to discuss boundaries early on.
Some couples refinance their homes, take on large loans, or get into unmanageable debt while undergoing fertility treatment. Knowing when enough is enough can help you to avoid getting into financial difficulty.
Taking a break from fertility cycles can also help you to gain some perspective. In the throes of trying to conceive, it is easy to lose perspective. If you feel you are losing the ability to make rational decisions, take a few months off and re-evaluate what you and your partner want to do next.
YO Sperm Home Tests
Before you visit a clinic, you can use a YO test to check your motile sperm concentration, a measure of how many sperm are moving. This FDA approved test captures a video of your sperm sample, and indicates how your sperm compares to other men who have fathered children. If you decide to visit a fertility clinic, you can take your YO results with you to give your physician an initial idea of your sperm health.
YO Sperm home tests offer an affordable way to get an idea of your fertility.
It can be expensive to access fertility treatment. If you have fertility care covered by insurance, check your policy carefully to find out which aspects of treatment will be covered. Alternative methods exist to reduce the cost of treatment, such as egg sharing or fundraising. However you fund your treatment, be honest with yourself and your partner about what you can afford, and how much you can safely spend when trying to conceive.