About Infertility: A Nasty Triple Threat
Let’s talk about something we really ought to be talking about a whole lot more: Infertility. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 6.7 million American women aged 15-44 (that’s about one in every ten) will or would have trouble getting pregnant.Yet there’s still this horrible stigma around talking about infertility.
The struggle to get pregnant is one of the worst triple threats a woman or couple could face. Several friends have been trusting enough to open up to me about trying to conceive, and, as a journalist I’ve interviewed many women coping with infertility over the years—yet the confusion, sadness, and frustration many feel never ceases to cut to my core. I’d call it more of an emotional hell than an emotional struggle. Then on top of that, you’ve got the physical struggle. Many fertility procedures are invasive (think surgery)—and getting daily or weekly fertility injections can be brutal.
Finally, and for some, most importantly—you’ve got the financial struggle. The thing is, the emotional and physical struggles are almost always worth it to women who want more than anything to become mothers. But the financial burden can only be “worth it” to those who can afford it, and that’s not everyone.
The high costs of fertility treatments often act as a flat-out barrier to those who can’t afford them. Sure, there are some places in this country where couples having trouble trying to conceive get awesome support—like Massachusetts, where insurance companies that provide pregnancy-related benefits are required to cover diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including IVF. That’s amazing . . . if you happen to live in Massachusetts. If you live in, say, Georgia, your insurance company isn’t required to cover any fertility treatments. Not one.
If you’re curious (or simply really need to know!) about infertility support where you live, you can look up fertility clinics in your area here, and then check out the just-released, state-by-state Fertility Scorecard, created by the phenomenal people over at the RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. They’ve got an interactive map, showing you how each state ranks in terms of providing women with the tools they need to get pregnant. I think anyone looking at the facts will agree that we’ve got a long way to go when it comes to infertility support in America.
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