Counting The Cost

When a couple discovers that they are unable to conceive a pregnancy, they are often willing to do whatever is necessary to find the cause and rectify it. This can prove to be a very expensive endeavor.

The Reasons Are Myriad

Infertility can happen for any number of reasons, so both partners should be tested to discover the cause of infertility and to determine a course of action. It is well known that infertility is attributable equally to men and women, making proper testing very important.

There are a wide variety of tests used to determine fertility for both men and women, such as semen analysis and blood tests, ultrasound scans and in some cases specific surgeries. Infertility testing can become very costly and there is the added dimension of stress. It is important for a couple to discuss how much testing they want to undergo before the testing begins. There are times when the cause of infertility is illusive, even after many tests, so making a decision beforehand can help lower the stress levels.

It All Begins With A Consultation...

Before doing any type of testing, the doctor will first do a consultation, medical history and physical examination, which will include a pelvic exam and Pap test. This alone may cost as much as 400 pounds.

Costs vary based on the type of testing that is done. The least invasive tests, such as blood tests and those that measure hormone levels for the release of the eggs, (luteinizing hormone and progesterone tests to see if ovulation is occurring) can range from 20 pounds to 75 pounds. Invasive fertility testing, such as an endometrial biopsy, or hysterosalpingogram (HSP), may cost anywhere from 100 pounds to 500, depending upon the extensiveness of the surgery. The most invasive types of testing, such as those requiring anesthesia become very expensive, are costing up to 2,500 pounds.

Doctors usually start with the least invasive tests and move to more invasive testing if a cause for the infertility is not found. Since both men and women have equal instances of infertility, the testing will involve both partners.

Health Insurance Is A Good Thing To Have

Fertility testing is often covered by health insurance plans because infertility can be associated with other health problems, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. When a woman is covered by insurance, out-of-pocket expenses may range from 50 to 700 pounds, sometimes more depending on the number and type of tests being done. If fertility treatments are done in a hospital, then there may be an additional fee for use of the facilities.

Embarking upon fertility treatments is a big decision and costs mount quickly. Spend time with your doctor and a qualified endocrinologist to discuss the costs of testing and subsequent costs for treatments should you decide to have them. Remember that you can decide how far you want to go with testing and treatment; it is not decided for you.