Having a Baby When You Can’t Have a Baby


Today, there’s a fertility industry with multiple entry points. The least invasive option: popping a couple of courses of the ovulation stimulant Clomid (about $100 for a month’s supply). Twenty-five percent of women will get pregnant within a three- or four-month cycle on the drug—which is slightly lower than the normal rate of conception in fertile couples. There’s also intrauterine insemination (IUI, though commonly called artificial insemination), in which sperm are deposited into the uterus via a small tube. IUI’s success rate runs 35 percent when used with a drug like Clomid. The cost is comparatively affordable at $600 to $800 per attempt.

The most effective procedure, however—and, at an average of $15,000 to $20,000 per round, the most expensive—is in vitro fertilization. It’s also the most invasive. Injectable hormones force the ovaries to (hopefully) produce an abundance of eggs, which are captured, fertilized with sperm, and grown in Petri dishes. After several days, any surviving embryos are assessed for vitality and either transferred to the uterus (usually one or two at a time) or frozen for future use. There are multiple variables, such as the quality of eggs and a woman’s age, but success rates for women in their mid-30s come in around 35 to 40 percent.

This is from Amanda Faison’s story in 5280 about deciding to go to a fertility clinic after she had a series of miscarriages. Having a baby is expensive. Having a baby when your body won’t let you have a baby the natural way is even more expensive. Folks, this expense is something I am seriously keeping in mind for the future, because I am definitely the sort of person who wants to have children. Babies: I will adopt you, or in vitro you, or find you in a wheat field because your parents sent you into space in a rocket that found its way to earth because their planet was going to explode. Whatever your origin story is, kid, you will be loved.

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