Healthcast: Understanding Infertility


Infertility is defined as an inability to get pregnant after having frequent, unprotected sex for a year. For couples experiencing fertility issues, seeking in vitro fertilization, or IVF, treatment may be the first solution that comes to mind. However, there are things you need to know before going the IVF route.

Whether they’re naturally made or made with a little help, everyone can agree babies are cute. IVF has become a popular option for women who want a baby but have trouble conceiving on their own. However, the hefty price tag may steer some away.

“It can cost between eighteen and twenty thousand dollars for a single attempt.” Said Eve Feinberg, MD, at Northwestern Medicine.

Most doctors say about 90 percent of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical treatments, which should be prior options before IVF. Less than three percent need advanced treatments such as IVF.

Another thing to note, success rates of IVF treatments go down as age goes up. Women under 35 have more than a 40 percent chance of getting pregnant, while women over 40 have only a 15 percent chance. And genetic testing of embryos can go a long way to ensure that your future baby is free of life-threatening diseases at birth.

“The ability to know from the get go that your baby is unaffected and has a higher likelihood of being healthy is amazing.” Dr. Feinberg said.

Fifteen states, including California, Illinois, and Texas, have laws that require insurance companies to offer coverage for infertility treatments.  

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