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We receive a lot of questions surrounding infertility treatment or in vitro fertilization (IVF) when potential patients are deciding whether it’s the right step for them. Will I be able to afford an advanced infertility treatment like IVF? Will it work with my particular situation or schedule? Will it be too much of a time commitment to even talk to a doctor about the possibility?
According to Dr. Cecil Long, a Reproductive Endocrinologist at American Institute of Reproductive Medicine – Alabama, many people are hesitant to visit a fertility specialist, instead often feeling more comfortable with their OBGYN. “What many people don’t realize, though, is that their OBGYN isn’t equipped to handle infertility in the same way a fertility specialist is. This is our entire purpose, and we’re set up to work as efficiently as possible for patients,” Dr. Long explains.
Here are three misconceptions about infertility treatment that we’d like to shed some light on.
Misconception #1 – I can’t afford in vitro fertilization.
Many infertility treatments, especially IVF, require a significant financial investment. Most of it will be out-of-pocket because it is generally not covered by insurance policies. However, there is a lot more behind the pricing than what’s on the surface, so it’s wise to do some research before you discount the option of IVF or another infertility treatment.
First, you should look at your insurance plan carefully. You may be surprised to find out that some insurance policies do cover some aspects of IVF as well as treatment for some underlying conditions that cause infertility. Other times, employees of a company have successfully petitioned their employer for infertility treatment coverage so that is something you could bring up with your employer.
There are also grants and scholarships (such as BabyQuest) to help patients pay for infertility treatments and discounts programs for medications available. We partner with CareCredit to provide patients with a healthcare credit card that helps them finance the out-of-pockets costs of their treatment.
Finally, it’s important to note that the pricing for IVF and other infertility treatments will also vary depending on the clinic you go to. At the ACRM – Alabama, we even offer an affordable option for IVF that’s a third of the cost of conventional IVF.
“Not every instance of infertility is the same—and not all reproductive issues are complex and expensive,” says Dr. Long. “It’s all about fine-tuning the reproductive system based on the individual couple’s personal circumstances.”
Misconception #2 – The initial time commitment is too high.
While most clinics require a lengthy three- to four-hour initial consultation for infertility treatment, this is too much of a time commitment for many people who are just exploring the possibility. At American Institute of Reproductive Medicine – Alabama we only spend one hour with you at the initial consultation doing testing and discussing your specific circumstances. From there, you’ll have plenty of answers make an informed decision about next steps.
“You certainly don’t have to come to the doctor every day. We understand that you only have so many hours in day, so we work with efficiency and your success in mind,” says Dr. Long.
Misconception #3 – My location and schedule make it too hard for me to do IVF.
At ACRM – Alabama, we can accommodate you regardless of where you are based and what your schedule is like. You don’t have to live in a metropolitan area like Birmingham to have access to IVF.
The initial consultation with one of our fertility specialists can easily be done over the phone. For those who are coming from a few hours out of town, we’ll do everything possible to make sure your time at our clinic is spent efficiently. Once you’re established as a patient, we will work with your local OB/GYN or REI to get labs and ultrasounds done. Patients can take medications and complete fertility monitoring visits where they are based instead of traveling to our clinic. For the few visits that you will need to make to our clinic, we will help set you up with discounted rates to hotels in the area to ensure your stay is comfortable and cost-effective.
After 30 years of specializing in fertility, Dr. Long is enthusiastic about advancements in reproductive science. “Fertility can be a journey—these days, a couple can go home with as much as a 90% chance of success, whereas 30 years ago they may have only had a 70% chance. The advancements in fertility treatments make the journey so much happier,” he says. “For the most part, it’s pretty straightforward. We’re getting the sperm and the egg as close to each other as possible. It doesn’t have to be so scary—and we’re here for couples every step of the way.”
Ready to learn more about your infertility treatment options? Schedule a consultation with the ACRM – Alabama by calling 205-315-6900 205-315-6900