Couples who have never conceived are said to have primary infertility. Couples who are unable to conceive even though they've had a child previously have secondary infertility. In fact, infertility sometimes first surfaces when. couple attempts to have a second cild. In many cases, however, couples experience both primary and secondary infertility.
Treatment for Infertility
Thanks to modern technology, help is available for couples having difficulty conceiving. The treatments range from fertility drugs that can help the ovaries release eggs to microsurgery that can repair physical problems in both women and men. The biggest treatment breakthrough in reproductive technology during the past thirty years has been in in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure in which fertilization occurs outside the body when an egg and sperm are joined in a laboratory; the embryo is then implanted in the woman's uterus.
Costs for Treatment
The costs linked to fertility treatment can vary greatly, depending on the procedures you have done, where you live, and which doctor you see. Treatment costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars if you and your partner must undergo high-tech procedures, use donor eggs, or engage a gestational carrier.
Does Insurance Pay?
Although infertility is considered a disease, insurance coverage for fertility treatment is mandated in fewer than fifteen states. That means there's a good chance you'll be paying out-of-pocket for most of your treatment.
Even if your insurer offers coverage, there's a wide variance in which services are covered. For example, an IVF procedure may be specifically excluded, or it may be included only if you use your own eggs and your partner's sperm. In other cases, your policy might require that you have a specific history of infertility resulting from a condition considered to be a general health problem, such as endometriosis or fibroid tumors. In addition, your policy might require that you be under a certain age, or it may have a lifetime limit covering a maximum number of treatment cycles for each covered procedure.
If you see a fertility specialist, someone in his or her office will discuss costs and your insurance coverage with you. It's important to understand the costs early on, so that you don't encounter additional stress due to unexpected financial obligations.