A little under five years ago, my wife and I started going through the IVF process to have a child. Being the product of IVF surrogacy, donor sperm, and a mother, Maggie Kirkman, who is an expert in women’s experiences of infertility, I felt uniquely qualified for the process.
However, nothing really prepares you for the anguish of seeing a blastocyst on a screen, falling in love with it, and then feeling it die while you are pumped full of pregnancy hormones.
Going through IVF is the worst thing that has ever happened to me physically and emotionally. The financial costs made the whole thing far more stressful and limited how many attempts we could have. I know of people who have sold their houses and given up everything to pay for cycle after cycle to have the child they always dreamed of. What’s so infuriating, though, is that it absolutely does not have to be this expensive. This is what happens when medical care is run for private profit instead of public good. We laugh at Americans for thinking their healthcare really is that expensive, and then turn around and say: “$15,000 for one cycle of IVF? Sounds about right.”
Back when my parents were assembling the necessary components for my existence, the whole thing was very expensive, as you would expect for ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind treatment. But the charges reflected the actual cost of the medical procedures, and the people in charge were the doctors who were dedicated to getting the best outcomes for their patients without having to be concerned about how controversy could affect corporate profits.