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IVF For Free?

sleeping babyAt our last appointment with our doctor we had an in depth conversation about the IVF procedure since we’re dangerously close to the point where that might be the only option we’ll have in order to conceive biological children (and that’s if it works!). It’s a lot to comprehend, no? While I was dealing emotionally with all that our doctor was saying (I’m still not quite there) she handed us a sheet with the cost breakdown of the procedure. Probably not the best thing for me to see considering the state I was in.

Since the emotional aspects of the procedure are what take up most of my worrying time, I haven’t really taken a good long look at the monetary cost of things. On average a standard round of IVF costs $13,775 in the US – not really an amount you can cover with spare change you find in your couch cushions. This is completely frustrating to me. Not only do I experience the stress of not being able to conceive, I have the added stress of not being able to afford the procedure that could make that happen. I’m sad that my financial resources will probably be what determines the size of my family.

While researching our options of covering the cost, I was interested to read this article from The Huffington Post about the country that has become the world capital of in vitro fertilization. I was surprised to find our that that country is Israel. As quoted in the article, Israel “provides free IVF procedures for up to two take home babies for every woman under the age of 45.”

The article goes on to explain more in depth about why this is the case. The one factor that I was most intrigued by was that Israel defines barrenness as a medical condition while health insurers in the US see childbearing as a “socially constructed need.” As an infertile woman, this makes my heart ache. How can it not be treated as a disease? As found in the dictionary disease is defined as, “a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body.” If infertility doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.

I’m now wondering if a move to Israel is too drastic but that could be the hormone drugs and sad looking bank account talking.

image: Lawa on Flickr

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