Many people in this world are faced with the devastating issue of infertility. This is where one is not able to conceive a child naturally. When you are young you don’t ever think that something like this could happen to you. In the world we live in many believe and have dreams that once they are of age or ready, they will get married and start a family. I know that this is what I thought about my life. I pictured being married and having a son or daughter that I would give the world to. But the fact is, is that I could not conceive naturally. My wife and I would have to turn to medical help to have any chance of bringing a beautiful life into this world. Another thing that people don’t think about is the cost of infertility. From my personal experience, there are two types of cost. The first and most obvious cost is financial costs. The other and hidden type is emotional cost.
The financial costs of infertility can have a very wide range. You could be one of the lucky ones that spend very little with only taken medication to help conceive, or you could be like us, and be on the much much more expensive end of the spectrum with IVF. Most infertility specialists follow a protocol based on test results from an individual person. They will usually start out by offering Clomid or a relative form of medication. Most of U.S. based insurance companies will insure this type of medication. The cost to the individual is minimal if anything. This is the way we started after years of trying naturally. We completed six different cycles of Clomid with zero effect. I have known couples to conceive this way, but it did not happen for us.
One of the next steps usually recommended from the fertility specialists is IUI, pending that both the man and woman have working reproductive systems. This is where the doctors will take a sperm sample from the male and pull the best specimen and then insert it medically into the female at the exact opportune time. This process involves the female to take more medications both orally and injections. The insurance coverage of these medications is varied. Some are covered and some may not be. You could be looking at between $200 and $700 in medications alone. The procedure process is not covered by a lot of U.S. based insurance companies. The cost of this can range between $1500 and $3500. We were lucky and our procedures were on the low end around $2000. The success rate of this really varies by age and the individuals. Many doctors will want to repeat this process a few times before moving to more drastic measures. We had four of these procedures completed with no luck.
After IUI your doctor will determine if you are a good candidate for IVF. This is where the eggs from the female will be united with the sperm from the male medically. If all goes well Embryos will develop and be ready for a transfer back into the female reproductive system. Many of these embryos will be frozen in a very careful process. This is the current process that my wife and I are in. IVF is very expensive financially. The cost has a wide range, starting from around $12000 and ranging up to $30000 for the process alone. The medications for this procedure is also very expensive. You could pay between $3000 and $6000 for just the medications. Most U.S. based insurance providers do not cover the procedures or the medications. There are however grants that are offered by many non profit organizations to help offset some of these costs. We received a grant of $4000 that enabled us to be able to pursue IVF and for that I am very grateful.
Financial costs are not the only costs that come with infertility. There are great emotional costs as well. For most of us suffering from this, the emotions in our bodies is a roller coaster ride, with many ups and downs. You have the lows of trying to reason with the fact that you have fertility problems. One of the hardest things is trying to wrap your head around “why me?”. It seems so unfair that we can’t do the one thing that our bodies were made to do. Then once you visit a fertility specialist and set up a game plan, you suddenly have some hope and start to feel good. If your plan doesn’t have success in the beginning, its hard not to go back to the low place. This continues with each procedure. Another emotion you will face is feeling alone. Most of your friends, families, and coworkers do not have nor understand the feelings of not being able to bare children. This causes them to say things that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about. Things such as “you should change your diet, you should exercise more, it will happen when its your time, just hang in there, you don’t need a doctor”. Honestly these things tend to irritate me. It is good to find some kind of support system with those who are going through the same thing.
Another emotional stress is formed in the relationship. When a couple goes through infertility it can cause strain on your relationship. Usually when one person is down the other can help to bring the other up. One can be the anchor and strength in the relationship. But infertility affects both people in the relationship. It is very difficult for one person to help another in the relationship if both are feeling the same way and are under the same rigorous stresses. This has caused some issues in my marriage in the past. I tend to get very quiet and keep my feelings inside, while my wife wants to talk about them. It makes me feel even worse that I can’t emotionally be there for her because, I too, am in pain. This puts distance between each other. The distance then leads to arguments. Arguments that we would not have if it weren’t for infertility. You begin to lose hope, and wonder if going through all of this is even worth doing. To combat this we have renewed our faith in God. This has reminded us why we are fighting. It has brought us closer than ever before. It has helped to curb the stress and take us back to having hope and positive attitudes towards the plan.
The most unfortunate stress is seeing others have babies. It is like a knife to the chest every time. Everyone is happy and excited to announce that they are pregnant as they should be, but most of us going through infertility can’t help but to feel annoyed. It is not there fault, nor is it ours. It is natural to feel that way on both sides. I know if it ever happens to me, I will be overwhelmed with joy. I will want to yell it off a mountain side. Most of us will feel that some of the things other say is insensitive. It will cause pain, stress, and other terrible feelings inside. There is no way to avoid any of this. I try to keep in mind that they don’t mean to be that way, they just can’t help it. I also try to think that if I weren’t going through this, would I do the same thing as them. And the answer is probably yes. I found that the only thing I can do to combat these feelings is to turn to God and to my support system. Both Instagram and Twitter have great communities with others going through the same thing. Almost all of these people are very supportive and uplifting. It is nice to read others stories about there there struggles and successes. These are people whom you can actually communicate with and they know how you feel.
In the end, no matter what happens, know that you will feel both hope and defeat in some form or fashion. Some costs will be financial costs and others will be emotional costs. There will be highs and there will be lows. I feel that the mere possibility of having a child of my own is worth all of it. With determination and time the financial costs can be overcome. With the right support system and stress relievers, the emotional costs can be reduced. I pray for each and every one of you facing this unfortunate issue. I hope that you don’t give up, and that your not overcome by sadness. I hope that each of you reading this may have your miracle baby!