Cost of infertility, trying to get pregnant after miscarriages

Christiansburg couple making hard decisions, struggling with infertility

By Jenna Zibton - Anchor

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - 10 News is taking an in-depth look at infertility--- sharing the new treatments, struggles, medical technology, cost of infertility and more. You can find more of those stories by clicking on Only on 10 tab at the top of wsls.com

Infertility treatments can cost thousands of dollars. Many families take on credit card debt or borrow money from family when they can't have a baby on their own and doctors have to get involved.

Will is full of energy, keeping his parents Katie and David Hundley busy.

"We like to say he was three years in the making," said Katie, who has PCOS -- a hormonal disorder that can make it difficult to have a baby.

She struggled to get pregnant with Will and is now going through that same struggle again.

"I hate taking a pregnancy test. It's the most fearful when that day actually comes and it's time to take the test. I'm terrified that it will be negative," said Katie.

She allowed us in for a doctor's appointment, where she got disappointing news that she still had a cyst after a recent miscarriage. The Christiansburg woman has now had three miscarriages and has to wait to try again while her body recovers.

"It's really a roller coaster, the best way I know how to describe it and it's private," said Katie.

She's not being as aggressive as she could with fertility treatments because she doesn't have any insurance coverage, a problem thousands of other couples face.

Katie's spending a few hundred dollars for each try with an IUI but moving on to IVF can cost more than $10,000.

"You keep on throwing money in and eventually you're just sitting there trying to figure out bills and everything else, but you don't ever want to put money above having a kid but you also have to plan for the future and everything else. At one point, it's no longer feasible to keep going so there's a lot of tension around it," said David.

To help, Katie has taken on a second job.

"I've always known I didn't want our financial situation to stop us from being able to grow our family; that doesn't seem fair or right," said Katie.

Over the past couple of weeks, Katie has been visiting the doctor getting ready for her next round of treatment.

"The cyst is gone, so I'll begin hormones tonight. I'm excited and scared and all the things, but definitely ready to be moving forward in this process," Katie explained as she gets the go-ahead to start treatment again.

"I just finished day five of hormones. Unfortunately, my egg follicles aren't ready. They still need to keep growing and doing their thing, so I will go back Monday. This is kind of how it goes in this treatment process. You don't know when your body's going to be ready, so you have these scans, you take your medications, it's almost taking it day by day," Katie said.

And just last week, more heartbreak. The follicles that were developing eggs aren't showing anymore.

"It's really disappointing and at the same time, we can't control all these factors. We probably do need to take this time for some rest and give my body a chance to recover from all that. I believe in my heart that we are still going to have a baby it's just not right now. We'll see what that means down the road," said Katie.

They will now take some time off from treatments to let Katie recover.

"It's hard and there's nothing that we can say or do to take their pain from them but support that we provide them, try to give them answers for why these things are happening but a lot of times we don't have the answers," said  Dr. Adrienne Gentry, Carilion reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist who has helped treat Katie.

Doctors say many couples can have a baby without IVF.

Dr. Gentry says she is not allowed to discuss cost, saying each patient gets a quote from a financial advisor specific to their treatment plan.

The Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia in Charlottesville says depending on what you need, IVF costs $8,600 plus another $3,000 to $4,000 for medicine.

More companies are offering infertility coverage. You'll find some frequently asked questions about insurance here.

Katie has written a blog post about her experience. To see her advice for other couples who are in the same situation, click here. 

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