Infertility procedures provide single parents and couples who are unable to conceive via natural methods with the opportunity to achieve their dream of having children. While infertility can be a sensitive subject, it's important to realize that it is quite common and affects a number of people.
While women are most fertile between the ages of 20 and 24, many are not financially, emotionally, or mentally prepared to begin families at this age, as many women are pursuing college degrees or professional aspirations. However, by the time a woman reaches the age of 30, her fertility begins to decline more sharply. Men can also experience issues related to infertility such as low sperm counts.
However, IVF treatments are successful in allowing couples to conceive. Many employers now offer generous insurance plans that cover most if not all IVF costs. While IVF costs can vary depending on a number of factors, typically, a "fresh" IVF cycle can cost upwards of $12,000. This does not include medications which may cost another $3,000 to $5,000.
A "fresh" IVF cycle includes harvesting eggs transvaginally after a period of taking ovulation-inducing medications, after which the eggs are combined with fresh sperm. The entire process is carefully monitored by IVF doctors and specialists.
Recently the Canadian province of Quebec, once considered a leader in the field of IVF, came under fire for proposing a law that would prevent women aged 42 and over from undergoing any kind of IVF procedure. While the Canadian parliament has vehemently denied claims they are trying to reduce IVF costs (Quebec is known for their generous IVF coverage), critics are skeptical. Parliament has instead insisted they are simply looking out for the best interest of mother and child, as older women may experience higher risks of pregnancy complications.