Many options fill the list of concerns for people facing infertility: emotional stability, how to choose treatment, which doctor to choose, social pressure, spiritual crisis, stigma, fear treatment will not work, physical effects of treatment, marital issues, balancing work with treatment, and of course how to pay for the treatment. All of these are very significant, but one of them in particular exacerbates the others in a unique way. A recent study found that the biggest concern is cost.

Cost Concern

Fertility Treatments in the United States: Sentiment, Costs and Financial Impact. May 2015, MarketCube sponsored by Prosper.

Not only did costs top the lists of concerns (84%), for those “very concerned” it topped the list by over 15% to the next option of handling the treatments emotionally (62% vs 45%).  Cost tops the list for the reason people delay treatment (82%) and remains on top of the list of concerns even once treatment has started (70%). Costs top the list of concerns all around.

The irony of this is that for many people, addressing infertility is one of the hardest challenges facing us in our adult lives. To be sure, life can dish out some bad challenges. For most, however, infertility is completely unprecedented. For other issues, perhaps we have thought about them, we can prepare to address them, we can see a logic even if we don’t agree, we can give a good fight and feel better about it. In the case of infertility we often  feel out of control, unprepared, and simply at a loss. It lasts with no known ending. The stress of infertility has even been compared to the levels of stress when facing cancer. Yet the cost of treatment is cited as a bigger concern than the emotional toll.

To truly address the communal issue of infertility, we do need to address most if not all of these concerns – the emotions, the spiritual crisis, the marital issues, the stigma, the everything. When Hasidah was founded however, the basic premise was that the Jewish community spends millions and millions of dollars helping kids be Jewish. Of all the things standing in the way to having a Jewish child,  financial barriers ought to be something we can remove. We can do it.

The emotions will not go away if treatment is financially out of reach. The decisions are made for us if the options are not affordable. For sure we need to address the difficult emotions and decisions. However, if we are going to start at the top of what is concerning people experiencing infertility, then address the costs.

 

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Awareness can mean many things from people knowing about infertility to the development of a culture that understands the reality of infertility and knows how to support those experiencing it. Hasidah is building awareness on many levels from increasing knowledge to making the change in the Jewish community’s culture to be more supportive. During this National Infertility Awareness Week,  Hasidah will publish a several perspectives and helpful pieces of information to help expand awareness. Please share!

Not so successful

Source: RMANJ: Infertility In America 2015

Myth: Infertility does not effect regular healthy couples that much
Myth: Infertility treatments like IVF’s have low success rates

Reality: American’s are overconfident about natural fertility.
Reality: 1 in 8 women have a fertility impairment.
Reality: That 1 in 8 number was extremely generous. It does not include men (that issue alone is worthy of a lot of awareness!). It does not factor age in accurately (it starts at age 15). The Jewish community tends to marry and have children later than the average American which increases infertility rates.  In other words, for the Jewish community the rates of fertility impairment are likely closer to 1 in 6. Ask your friends. You are likely to find that it quite common to have experience with fertility impairment.
Reality: IVF is 32%  on average (SART.org 2013)
Reality: Natural fertility is a 20% chance. (See chart)

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