Many people often associate infertility treatment with IVF (in Vitro fertilization) or IUI (In uterine Insemination). But, these two examples are actually considered heavier artillery when it comes to fighting infertility. Not only are they invasive, but they are also expensive. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover such treatment because it is considered almost not needed, and carries the same connotation as cosmetic surgeries. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
But which is the lesser of two evils? Expensive procedures? Or expensive drugs? Often the drugs, though still pricey (again depending on insurance policies) are “cheaper”, I use this term loosely, and therefore, the better alternative. Often doctors, will turn to drugs first, and then later, if needed, combine the drugs with the procedures mentioned above.
For example, in my personal experience, my doctor first had me try three months of the drug Clomid or (Clomiphene); however my husband and I often referred to it as “Clo-mood”. It aids in ovulation. Actually, there is a slight risk for multiples with the drug because it can cause the woman to ovulate more than one egg, therefore creating a chance of more than one baby. The risk is slight and depends on the dosage of the drug. I started on 50 mg, then I was upped to 100, and then 150 mg over a 3 month span (the dose was increased each month I failed to conceive). The emotional side effects of the drug made a bout of PMS look like a chocolate cakewalk in comparison. I recall myself being a weepy mess, which was compounded with the emotional roller coaster that trying to conceive already entails. I would go from raging at the pregnancy test commercials on tv, to huddled in my sweat pants on the couch watching Pride and Prejudice for the 500th time. However, I must give credit where credit is due. Clomid worked in that it did make me ovulate. In fact, when I ovulated, I would know, simply because it would give me cramps.
Another class of drugs (my experience with these are much more limited) is a class of drugs called Gonadotropins – which include drugs such as Pregnyl, Novarel, Profasi, and Ovidrel to name a few examples. After my 3 months of Clomid, I tried 2 rounds of IUI (in-uterine insemination). At this point, my husband and I had learned that our problem was “male-factor”, which in my opinion is just a polite euphemism for saying that it is the man’s fault. This time I was taking Clomid to produce multiple eggs, and then I was given a shot of Ovidrel, once the eggs were determined to be mature. This made me ovulate 24-36 hours after the shot and made it possible for the insemination procedure to be performed during ovulation. So for us, even though I ovulated fine on my own, the drugs were used merely to control the time-table in which everything happened. I don’t recall weird side effects from the shot. Other than it was an 80 dollar shot with insurance and that it had to be purchased at a specialty pharmacy – not like we could stroll into our local Rite Aid and get it. Oh and, I had to hide it in our fridge. And to be honest, I was not thrilled with shooting myself up with expensive drugs on the remote chance that it might get me pregnant. I was “lucky” enough to only have to use the shot to time ovulation for the IUI procedure. However, some women, who don’t respond to Clomid, are put on Gonadotropins for longer use to induce ovulation if Clomid fails.
Both Clomid and Gonadotropins can be used alone or in conjunction with a procedure like IUI or IVF. I’m not one with numbers and I never have been, so I won’t attempt to do the math, but for us (this will vary according to insurance) one month of Clomid (with our insurance) was roughly twenty dollars at a local pharmacy. That was do- able. But one single dose of the Ovidrel was eighty dollars at a specialty pharmacy (and I can’t recall if our insurance picked any of that up or not). I cannot imagine the literal cost of a week’s worth of it nor can I imagine the emotional cost.
Fertility drugs are often used in the beginning like a metaphorical BB-gun. An IUI procedure is like loading the gun with real bullets and IVF procedure is like shooting a ten thousand dollar cannon. I say that because, that’s a rough estimate of the minimum cost of a single round of IVF.
Fertility drugs alone will really only work if the problem is solely lack of ovulation. Completely useless, in my experience, if the problem is low sperm count and low sperm motility. And even worse, is that some couples use the drugs when the problem is “unexplained”. Meaning that the man’s sperm is fine and the woman ovulates. So look into your fertility drug options with caution, before heading down this road.
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