Fertility Treatments: What Are Your Options Under Different Insurance Plans?

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…infertility? While infertility affects 1 in 8 couples, unless it happens to you, it’s hard to imagine how you’ll handle it. With so many options for fertility treatment it can be discouraging, overwhelming, and downright stressful. Let’s see what your options are available to get you on the road to the family of your dreams.

pregnant woman's belly with an ultrasound projecting on it
Infertility may be caused by a number of different factors, in either the male or female reproductive systems.

What is infertility?

Infertility is a disease of the male or female reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. The 2 most common fertility treatments are IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization).

Intrauterine insemination

The first treatment doctors usually suggest if you’re facing infertility is intrauterine insemination (IUI). IUI is a type of artificial insemination that helps healthy sperm get closer to an egg when it’s released by an ovary. IUI  coupled with ovulation-inducing medication is usually the first treatment for unexplained infertility. It’s also the fertility treatment option that is generally tried first if a woman needs to use donor sperm, has endometriosis-related infertility, or if the woman’s cervix is preventing sperm from reaching the egg. IUI is relatively safe, straightforward, and quick. From start to finish, one cycle lasts about 28 days (the same as a menstrual cycle). The procedure itself only takes about 10 minutes and once it’s over you can go about your day without any restrictions. While the total price varies, one IUI cycle costs between $500 and $4000. It can take multiple attempts and depending on the type of insurance you have, some, not all costs may be covered. IUI is often required to have been attempted for insurance companies to cover in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

In-vitro fertilization

Quadruplets and higher-orders of multiples are rarely the result of IVF.

IVF is another type of fertility treatment and while it’s the most effective, it is very time-consuming, expensive, and invasive. In most cases this is why other fertility treatments are often tried first. IVF involves a lot of blood tests, ultrasounds, and hormone injections before eggs are collected and fertilized with sperm to create embryos. Once fertilized the embryos are transplanted and then 9-12 days after a pregnancy test is given. There is a 20-35% success rate per cycle and three full cycles increases success to 45-53%. On average, a cycle costs between $12,000-$15,000. As mentioned before, insurance companies may only cover IVF if a certain number of IUI’s have proven unsuccessful so be sure to get all the details of your plan. If IVF is covered by insurance, different insurance companies may have policies in place regarding the preferred number of embryo transfers at one time. While the intricacies are difficult to navigate, rest assured there are options available to cover the costs associated with these 2 common treatments.

We can help!

If you find yourself struggling with infertility it is smart to make sure you have the best insurance plan for your needs first. Speak to an EZ agent to see what plans are available in your area and what coverage options they have for different levels of infertility treatments. Next, talk to your gynecologist and see if they can refer you to a specialist who can get you started on a fertility plan that works best with your insurance coverage to minimize the out of pocket costs. Starting a family is an exciting journey, but you shouldn’t have to dampen the mood with overwhelming bills. Make sure you have the best coverage for your fertility journey by speaking to an EZ agent today. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890.

Infertility Rates in Women Are Rising, Find Out What’s Going on and What You Can Do

The U.S. birth rate is the lowest it’s been in more than three decades, and the U.S. fertility rate is at a record low. Fertility issues in women are increasing, with an estimated 15% of couples having trouble conceiving, and this number just continues to grow. All of this means that around 5 to 10% of couples will seek help conceiving a baby each year. Infertility can also cause issues beyond trouble conceiving: it can also lead to mental health issues like depression. If you are worried about conceiving, know there are some ways to reduce the chances of infertility; if these don’t work, there are many treatment options available, including medications, surgery, and IVF.

What Is Infertility?

Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant even after having frequent and unprotected sex for a year or more. It can affect both women and men, with one-third of infertility cases generally due to a problem with the male partner, one-third due to a female problem, and one-third due to a combination of unknown reasons. 

IVF treatment with egg and sperm

Female infertility, or female factor infertility, can have multiple reasons behind it: for example, a menstrual cycle that is too long or too short, or other medical issues such as pelvic inflammatory disease. If you are having trouble conceiving, speak to your doctor, who will run tests to help determine the cause of your infertility.

How Common Is Infertility?

Infertility is fairly common, with at least 10% of women dealing with some form of it. The chances of being infertile increase as a woman ages; poor nutrition, high BMI, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol and drug use can also affect fertility. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of infertility, but, for women, the reasons can include problems with:

  • The uterus- Fibroids, polyps, or adhesions inside the uterus can cause fertility issues.
  • The fallopian tubes- Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea, can cause infertility because it affects the fallopian tubes.
  • Ovulation- Irregular ovulation can pose a problem when trying to get pregnant. Many things can affect ovulation, such as a hormonal imbalance, substance abuse, or a thyroid condition.
  • Egg number and quality– Women are born with a limited number of eggs that are released every time they have their period. Some women have issues with their eggs, such as chromosomal issues that will make them less likely to become impregnated. 

Why Are Female Infertility Rates Increasing?

Many factors can increase a woman’s risk of infertility, including genetic traits and lifestyle choices. The biggest factor in determining infertility, though, is generally age: as a woman ages, the chances of becoming pregnant decrease because of egg quantity and quality, as noted above.

But there are other reasons that rates of infertility are increasing:

  1. Environmental factors- Chemicals in foods and cleaning products can contribute to infertility. This means that sticking with a clean diet and using greener household supplies is a good idea if you’re trying to get pregnant.
  2. Lifestyle factors- Having a high or low BMI, being regularly exposed to chemicals, smoking, drinking, and lack of exercise can contribute to women’s infertility. 

Diagnosis & Tests

To diagnose infertility, doctors will perform tests including a pap smear, pelvic exam, ultrasound, and blood tests. They may also perform:hospital room with doctors looking through the stomach with a tube

  • A laparoscopy, in which a small instrument is inserted into the abdomen to look at the organs. 
  • A saline sonohysterogram, during which your doctor will fill your uterus with saline and use an ultrasound machine to look at the lining of the uterus to check for any polyps, fibroids, or abnormalities. 
  • A hysteroscopy, in which a small device with a camera will be inserted into the vagina to provide a better view of the inside of the uterus. 

Reducing Your Chances

Most forms of female infertility cannot be prevented; however, you can make some lifestyle modifications to reduce your risks of infertility. This can be done by cutting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight by eating well and exercising.

Living With Infertility

If you are diagnosed with infertility, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Once your doctor determines the cause or causes of your fertility issues, you can discuss the right treatment options for you. If the cause is structural, surgery can correct it; if it is hormonal, medication might help. 

And if all else fails, artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization can help a woman to get pregnant. One study by Fertility Solutions showed that females aged 30-33 have the best chance of success (58%) during their first cycle of IVF compared to females of other age groups.

Dealing with infertility is not only a medical condition: it can be a mental health one as well. Studies show that dealing with fertility issues can lead to depression in both women and men. Speak to your doctor or a mental health professional if you’re feeling hopeless, or feel that your mental health is suffering in any way because of your physical condition. 

To get tested, and treated, for infertility, you’ll need a good health insurance plan. If you’re looking for an insurance plan, EZ can help: we offer a wide range of health insurance plans from top-rated insurance companies in every state. And because we work with so many companies and can offer all of the plans available in your area, we can find you a plan that saves you a lot of money, even if you don’t qualify for a subsidy. There is no obligation, or hassle, just free quotes on all available plans in your area. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890.