Another blogger posted a link to an article in Newsweek about a local clinic. It is actually the clinic I plan on using next time around as they are developing an EA program. You can view the article here: Should IVF be Affordable For All. This clinic explains it reasons for offering IVF at almost half the price of other clinics ($7500 including ICSI). I applaud them for believing that having a child should be attainable for all couples, not just the wealthy or those willing to go bankrupt. What bothers me about the article is the criticism they receive for lowering their costs.
David Fleming, director of the Center for Health Ethics at the University of Missouri, says the main concern with making fertilization affordable for more people is the risk of “commoditization” of babies. “The more you have access, the more people will do it,” says Fleming, arguing that the unfortunate part of making IVF more widespread is its increased ethical stakes, such as those surrounding more premature births, which ultimately increase the cost of health-care coverage for everyone, and more babies with congenital malformations, which are twice as common in babies conceived through IVF than naturally. “The concern is that we are placing these little humans in danger,” he says. “IVF, with all due respect—is it a question of need or a question of want?”
Really?? He thinks that couples that don't have serious infertility issues will do IVF because it is affordable?? Has he ever done IVF? As a man can he really comprehend what an IVF cycle does to a woman's body? I only did FET which is much less than a full IVF, but the shots and appointments dictate your whole life! I would have preferred to have sex in order to get pregnant, believe me! Just because a clinic will offer IVF at a lower, more affordable cost does not mean I will skip the nookie and go straight to IVF.
And this quote by a RE that I highly respect really irritates me:
A complicating factor, according to St. Luke’s Silber, is that up to 80 percent of infertility cases are caused simply by increasing maternal age. “It’s hard to call infertility a disease. It’s normal aging,” he says, adding that only about 20 percent of women who seek treatment have what’s called a “valid diagnosis,” such as that they don’t ovulate. “Most of the time you can’t make a valid diagnosis,” Silber says. “The incidence of infertility is zero to 1 percent in teenagers. For women in their early 20s, only 1 to 2 percent are infertile. In their late 20s, 16 percent of women are infertile, and in their mid- to late 30s, 25 percent are infertile. By age 40, more than half of women are infertile, and pregnancy beyond age 43 is very uncommon.”
80% Really? He is going to stand by that statistic? I would like to see where that statistic came from. And does that statistic take into account that most couples in their 20s do not rush to do IVF or even see an RE unless their fertility issues warrant it. I started ttc in my early 20s. It took us 11 years to get where we are today. Look at it this way:
A women gets married at the age of 28 and they decide to wait a year to have children. She is still young so there is no rush. At 29 they begin trying but nothing happens. They give it the full year that doctors tell you to wait before seeking help. They go to her OB and begin preliminary testing. It takes 2-4 months for all of the tests to be complete and she has an issue with ovulating and he now needs to see a urologist because his counts are low. It takes another 2 months to get into the urologist, repeat the tests, discover he has a varicocele and needs surgery. By the time the surgery is complete the woman is now 31 years old. The surgery can take a few months before you know whether it is successful or not. So now she is 31 and they have the results and his count is better and they return to their OB to begin treatment. They just need her to ovulate, so begins the clomid. After another 6 months of this and no success the OB sends her to an RE. Another 3 month wait for an appointment. And more tests. She is now past her 32nd birthday. They spend years 32, 33 and 34 trying IUIs with different combinations of drugs only to be told that IVF is their only chance. They spend another year saving for IVF and at age 35 have their first cycle. Negative. A second cycle. Negative again. The reason: AMA (advanced maternal age).
Can this scenario really be considered in the above stated statistics? Most couples do not put off having their children until their 40s. Yes, some do to advance their career or maybe they are not sure if they want children. If you make that choice knowingly then you have to suffer the consequences of natural aging. But for those that do not find Mr. Right until age 38, should she be punished? Or the couple that has tried for 10+ years and are now getting older, should they be penalized?
Sadly, infertility affects couples of all ages, races, and economic status. And no, we do not need children to live. But insurance companies pay for erectile dysfunction and the last time I checked no man ever died from having a softy. Or what about eczema or psoriasis? Neither will kill you but make life uncomfortable. Insurance pays for these treatments. There are many issues that insurance companies will pay for that are not life threatening and infertility should be one of them. And now, after reading this article, I wonder if it is sources like these that keep insurance companies from seeing the need to cover treatments.