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How to Plan for the Financial Impact of Infertility

I’m about to turn 40. I’ve decided that I don’t want children of my own. If I decide that I want kids, then I’ll adopt through the foster care system. However, that’s not the right choice for everyone. Many women want to have their own children.

In recent years, many of my friends have undergone various infertility treatments so that they can have children later in life. The decision to postpone having children until later was right for each of them for a variety of different reasons. However, several of them underestimated the financial impact of infertility.

As more and more of them face this issue, they have begun to caution our younger peers about it. When you’re in your twenties, you might not know whether or when you’ll want children. It’s wise to start saving up anyway so that if you end up requiring fertility treatments, there’s a financial plan in place.

Common Costs of Infertility

Pregnancy is expensive. Children are expensive. Most people don’t expect that getting pregnant while also be costly. However, that’s exactly the case if you have any fertility challenges. While age is a common reason for fertility issues, it’s not the only reason. You or your partner might have medical complications. If you are single or in a same-sex relationship, then you may choose fertility assistance to get pregnant.

Here are some of the costs that you might incur:

  • Pre-pregnancy costs. Before you even begin the process of trying to get pregnant, you’ll have to take certain steps. Often, both partners will go through tests to check for fertility issues. Many times women have polyps, fibroids, or other internal issues that are best resolved before trying to get pregnant. Additionally, you may pay consultation fees when meeting with fertility specialists.
  • Hormone injections. There are several different pregnancy procedures including IUI and IVF. Without getting into the specifics, you’ll likely need hormone injections for the process. Those cost money.
  • Various procedure costs. IUI costs less than IVF, but they’re both costly procedures. You’ll likely pay for multiple doctor’s appointments along different phases of the process. Neither procedure is likely to be successful the first time, so you often pay for several rounds.
  • Sperm donor costs. If you aren’t using your partner’s sperm for the procedure, then you may have to pay for the sperm that you use to fertilize the egg and make your baby.
  • Surrogates. Sometimes women can’t (or don’t want to) carry their babies. A surrogate may carry the baby, in which case you not only pay their medical costs but also give them a fee.

These are just some of the typical costs that you might incur as you go through the process of trying to have a baby.

What Does Infertility Cost?

Each person’s experience will be different. If you do IUI with your own partner’s sperm and get pregnant on the first round, then it will obviously cost less than if you do IVF and it takes many rounds. If you live in an expensive city such as San Francisco or New York, then the doctor’s fees will likely be higher than if you live in a small town in the south or midwest. People getting sperm may spend less by choosing a local sperm bank.

Most insurance companies don’t cover fertility issues. However, some do, and some will cover specific fees but not others. Furthermore, you may or may not have to take a lot of time off of work for doctor’s appointments. If the hormones affect you a lot, then you might have to take sick days. Depending on your income situation, the financial impact can vary widely.

With all of that in mind, it’s tough to say what infertility costs in dollars. Self.com shared stories of several regular people who went through the process with out-of-pocket costs ranging from $10,000 to in excess of $100,000. US News reports that an average IVF round in 2017 cost $25,000 (with most people needing 2-3 rounds for success.) IUI is a bit less expensive, with an average cost somewhere between $500 and $4000.

Planning for Infertility Costs

Many people get into their late 30s, realize that if they want to get pregnant, then their time to do so is limited, and will pay any amount necessary to do so. Having not planned accordingly, they often end up incurring credit card debt, refinancing their homes, or taking money out of their retirement plans to pay for their fertility treatments. If you can plan, you’ll be in a much better position to deal with whatever costs come up when you’re ready to have a baby.

Do your research when you’re young so that you can be aware of your options. You don’t have to know what you want right now, but it’s good to know your choices. This includes understanding ways to limit fertility costs, such as finding insurance that will cover more of the costs. It also means that you budget your income to set aside a particular portion to savings just for this expense. If you get pregnant without needing to use this money, then you can put it towards your child’s education. If you decide not to have kids, you can boost your retirement savings.

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