When you’re trying to conceive and month after month it’s not happening, it’s emotionally devastating. As someone who has dealt with infertility I know how it can take over your life, especially once you start fertility treatments and must come to terms with the harsh reality that treatments are expensive. It’s important to be informed before diving into fertility treatments to optimize your chances for success and that includes being financially informed.
Like most things, this is easier said than done so we turned to Ashleigh Marie Brown, who has 12 years of clinical and executive roles in assisted reproduction technology and is the founder of CLAIRE Fertility, a wellness platform serving women navigating reproductive challenges, to get her expert insight on how to financially prepare for fertility treatments like IVF, IUI and/or egg freezing.
See the doctor first.
“This is important because without a trans-vaginal ultrasound and fertility hormone panel lab workout, you won’t know how much medication your ovaries require to be stimulated and the spectrum can mean a difference of up to $3,000. So know where you stand and what you need before you start budgeting for the procedure. It’s key that you see a reproductive endocrinologist (REI)/fertility specialist and not just your OBGyn — unless your OB has done a reproductive endocrinology residency and taken specific boards, they are likely not a REI. A REI is going to look at the same things as your gynecologist, but with a differently trained eye.”
Look for the best deals.
“Research doctors, number of eggs they’re typically able to get (based on profiles similar to yours, not in general) and their prices and weigh out what’s going to be the best option for you. Also, learn which doctors have payment plans or accept insurance.”
Dig for any connections you might have.
“For example, if you know or have a family member or friend who is an anesthesiologist and your physician is willing to allow them to work in their lab, you can save $800-1,000. There are other small things like this that can be of help like checking with your gynecologist for records from your last annual and making certain you’re not repeating any unnecessary blood or Pap tests.”
Do some research on financing.
“Fertility Pharma programs like Compassionate Care and Reunite can help save on the injections you need. Also, check with your insurance company to see if they have coverage for IVF-related procedures and if that includes egg freezing, even if you think they don’t. Increasingly companies are offering these things, and if you’ve been with the company a while, be sure to check in.
Invest in supplements.
It might sound counterintuitive since you’re trying to save money, but part of financially making it through egg freezing is optimizing your results so you can attempt to avoid a need for additional rounds to retrieve more eggs. Starting basic supplements like CoQ10, myo-inositol and an organic prenatal vitamin with methylated folate one to two months prior to your cycle is a great way to fire up your ovarian function and increase your chances for success.