HOW MONEY DECIDES WHO GETS TO TREAT INFERTILITY
I’ve written about this before as I witness so many couples go to any, often extreme, lengths to conceive. When is the end of the road truly the end? When is it time to stop trying or do you just run out of money?
This is an excellent article that breaks down key socio-economic factors affecting women’s unequal access to diagnosis and subsequent treatments. It lists average treatment costs in select Westernized nations for comparison (or shock!) and includes upcoming disruptors in the infertility field working to make information and access more affordable and inclusive.
IUI and IVF are miraculous solutions to infertility when they work, and yet they are far too expensive for most women in the U.S. to try particularly given the statistical likelihood they will need multiple cycles. Surrogacy, donor eggs and adoption are all fertility options that aren't options at all for most families — pricing out a huge swath of the U.S. population. The gap widens (as one would imagine) by income, education and race.
I recognize how lucky I am to get to try IVF; to go to a leading clinic; to be supported by my family as we try to grow ours. IVF is a privilege, despite the pain when it doesn’t work. But why should I get to try before someone else? Someone who doesn’t even have one child? These guilty thoughts don’t serve anyone so I try to imagine them as rising clouds that disappear into the ether of Other Big and Unhelpful Thoughts. Then I resolve to try again, one more time, at the infertility casino. I can afford to go, I say; one more time. Why can’t we all?