A couple of months ago a study came out in the journal Human Reproduction about what the authors called “affordable ART.” (ART stands for assisted reproductive technology.) As anyone who’s undergone fertility treatment for any length of time knows, “affordable” isn’t the first word that comes to mind – in fact it’s fair to say that the term “affordable ART” is a contradiction.
The study looked at 104 women who underwent embryo transfer after receiving Clomid (clomiphene citrate) and some gonadotrophin, followed by an egg retrieval if they had at least two follicles greater than 18mm. The cycle was monitored only by ultrasound (no blood tests). The researchers found that they got what they called an “acceptable” birth rate – 19% per embryo transfer – at a cost of $675 for IVF and $725 for an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycle. (It's definitely worth noting that this total doesn’t include lab equipment or professional charges. The researchers deliberately left these expenses out because they believe that a low-cost ART program is a social and moral obligation that should be offered to couples who cannot afford traditional IVF and other procedures, but who deserve as good a chance as any other couple to conceive.)
Now 19% may not be the greatest success rate you’ve ever heard, but as long as cost remains a huge burden for so many couples trying to conceive through medical treatment, it’s good to know fertility experts are taking that to heart and trying to find ways that would-be parents can afford, without mortgaging their house or racking up crushing debt.
Have financial concerns affected your treatment or decisions you’ve made as you are TTC?