Fast-Tracking Fertility Treatments: Babies for All?

fertilityGood news may be on the horizon for childless couples who are weighing the option of infertility treatments. A method designed to fast-track fertility treatments may save couples money . . . and ensure a better chance that mom will get pregnant.

The study in the newest issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility tracked women going through a standard fertility treatment regimen and women being fast-tracked.

Those in the standard route took three cycles of fertility pills with intra-uterine insemination (IUI), plus three cycles of fertility injections with IUI. Those were followed by as much as six cycles of in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Fast tracking meant omitting the cycles of IUI and fertility injections. Instead, the three cycles of pills and IUI were followed directly by IVF. It struck three cycles off the time plan, thereby allowing women to get pregnant faster. The couples in the fast track system conceived in an average of eight months compared to eleven months before the women in the standard route achieved conception.

According to the researchers, the data reveals more women should be offered the quicker option – because not only time constraints will be lessened but the costs of undergoing treatments (no cycles of injections means not PAYING for cycles of injections).The average couple in the fast-track program saved more than $2,000 over their standard protocol counterparts.

Even better for women who are concerned about multiples (and the world who is already Octo-Mom and Gosselin-hating), the study found the newer protocols should reduce the chances of multiple conceptions.

It all sounds good . . . but (come on, there’s always a but) . . . because this study was conducted with the cooperation of insurance companies, this was addressing fertility treatments covered by insurance (not all are). If this protocol is good for women (and their partners), by all means, make it available.

However, I worry that a portion of the study that founds today’s fertility treatments by and large have good success rates will be overlooked by insurance companies looking to save big. If the current process works, and women need that extra – currently standard – treatment, let’s hope this study is not used to deny them that.

Image: Newsweek

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