If you’ve received an infertility diagnosis and you and your partner or going through or about to undergo in vitro fertilization, it can be stressful. Fertility concerns can impact many aspects of your life: your finances if you lack insurance coverage to afford treatment, emotional when you want nothing more than to be a parent and medically, you may be uncertain as to what is your best course of action to maximize your chances of having a successful IVF outcome. It can be overwhelming but below, we provide you with IVF support to offer direction, resources and hope in the above-mentioned categories.
Financial IVF Support
Whether you have t limited fertility benefits or you have no insurance coverage, below are some suggestions that you can consider that might offer some IVF support as you look to cover your fertility treatment costs:
- If your insurance is through your job, speak to your Human Resources representative.Ask them about how to get IVF covered by insurance. According to this infographic created by RESOLVE, increasing feelings of company loyalty among employees may be helpful. If employees know that they have fertility benefits, they would have reduced stress and worry, as they wouldn’t have to wonder how they are going to pay for the IVF treatment they need.
- Reach out directly to the insurance company and if you know for certain that IVF isn’t covered, call and request for either an Exemption of Benefits or a formal form that’s the equivalent where you can request how to get IVF covered by insurance.
- You can also request any documentation from your doctor supporting why IVF is medically necessary for you to have a family (including any diagnostic codes, tests, and documentation. explaining why your reproductive endocrinologist is recommending in vitro fertilization).
- Speak to your accountant about whether any money you’ve spent previously can be filed under “medical” when you file your taxes.
- Look into whether or not your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or your Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) can be used towards IVF.
- Ask your doctor and/or clinic if there are any IVF clinical trials that you qualify for that may cover either the cycle or any of the medication.
- Some clinics offer discounts to veterans or cancer survivors. Ask you clinical team if you may apply for any discounted services.
Emotional IVF Support
Finding ways to reduce stress while pursuing IVF can help tremendously. We’re not suggesting you should, “just relax.” A study published in Social Science and Medicine showed that a woman’s emotional state doesn’t strongly impact the success of infertility treatment. However, if it can help provide you moments of calm, improve your relationship and you and your partner feel you could benefit from emotional IVF support, you have several options to choose from.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, infertility counseling has become, “more sophisticated and widespread over the past decade.” Some clinics have a mental health person on staff that you can see one-on-one or in a couples setting. Resolve: the National Infertility Association, has a directory of experts. This PDF guide from Reproductive.org also provides a list of resources. You can always contact local therapists in your area and inquire if any of them specialize in infertility.
There’s also the option of going to a support group as it offers the opportunity to connect with others who can empathize with what your infertility experience. Again, Resolve has information on groups that meet in your neighborhood or online groups you can join.
If you’re more of a private person, there are support groups that meet online You can click here for some online resources, plus, there are many online infertility sites that have online communities that you could join. Facebook also provides space for private groups you could request to join.
Medical IVF Support
Below are some options you could discuss with your doctor that would not only offer IVF support but could increase your chances of a successful outcome:
- Pre-implantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy formerly known as PGS on your embryos. PGS identifies the number of chromosomes in embryos, so that your doctor can select chromosomally normal embryos for transfer. Chromosomally normal embryos are much more likely to implant and result in a healthy baby compared to abnormal embryos.
- Pre-implantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic Diseases (PGT-M), formerly known as PGD. PGT-M is available for patients who have been identified as carriers of the same condition as their partner, who have a diagnosis of a genetic condition, or who have a family history of a genetic condition that they were identified to have an increased risk of passing onto offspring.
- Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA). ERA is a genetic test performed on a very small sample of a woman’s endometrium lining to determine which day would be the best day to transfer the embryo during a future frozen embryo transfer. An endometrial biopsy would be taken by your physician and then sent to a lab to be analyzed to find your specific window of implantation. This test bases your receptivity on the expression of 248 genes. The results of ERA may help your reproductive endocrinologist schedule your frozen embryo transfer (FET) around when your endometrial lining will be at its most optimal for implantation.
As you can see, you have so many options to avenues you can explore to lean on for IVF support, insight, inspiration and guidance as you work towards building your family. While fertility treatment can feel isolating at times, we hope you remember that you do have tests, options, advocates and of course, your medical team ready to be there for you every step of the way!