During National Infertility Awareness Week, Priya Fund wants to ensure that no Jewish individual or couple needs to navigate fertility challenges alone. The Priya Fund provides substantial financial, educational, and emotional support to individuals and couples within the Kansas City Jewish community to assist with reproductive and adoption difficulties. Priya is one of the only charitable funds in the country to provide this type of assistance to Jewish couples of every Jewish denomination.
When It Comes to Fertility, Access is Everything
For those who are struggling to conceive, the most fortunate always win.
By Jessica Grose – April 17, 2020
Until the last half-century, if you were biologically unable to have children, you had no recourse — which is why the technological advancements of recent decades have felt almost magical. It has been just 33 years since the first baby was born from a frozen egg, and today the procedure is so mainstream that fertility clinics in America host “Cocktails and Cryo” egg-freezing parties to drum up new business.
Despite these casually liberated offerings, there are still unmovable barriers to having children for a huge majority of infertile people on the planet.
That’s because these treatments are so hard to access — because of cost, geography and stigmatizing laws.
Take, for example, in vitro fertilization. Studies have found that cost is the biggest barrier to I.V.F. treatment worldwide. In the United States, the average cost per cycle of I.V.F. is over $10,000, and most infertile couples pay that fully out of pocket, as fertility treatment is not a benefit health insurance tends to cover. In countries like Australia, fertility treatment is partly subsidized with public funding, but couples must pay a hefty fee — and when that fee went up by 1,000 Australian dollars in 2010, the number of I.V.F. cycles went down by almost a quarter across all socioeconomic groups.
In countries where a cycle of I.V.F. may be fully covered by the state on paper, complete coverage is patchy, says Dr. Joo Teoh, who has studied the costs of I.V.F. across nations. He gives the example of Britain, where two couples living 30 minutes apart may be subject to different rules for I.V.F. subsidies: Though infertile women under 40 may get three cycles of I.V.F. treatment through the most generous version of the National Health Service, local clinical commissioning groups may set stricter rules on age. They may also place other restrictions on coverage, requiring women to be at a “healthy” weight and have no children from previous relationships.