Starting a family can be a thrilling time, but it’s not uncommon for the process to be harder or more costly than you originally imagined.
It’s estimated that 10% of American women of childbearing age are diagnosed with infertility according to the Office of Women’s Health. If you or someone you know has been hit with this disheartening news, it’s important to be informed about what lies ahead, and what you can do to help.
Which fertility treatment option is best for you?
After researching possible causes and working with your doctor, you may have determined that natural conception is probably not in the cards. Now, it’s time to weigh your options and forge ahead with a new plan for the type of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that’s right for you.
There are five commonly prescribed drugs to treat female infertility that often serve as the first step along the path to conception. These aren’t for everyone, however, as depending on the health and age of the patient, certain fertility drug complications can arise.
2. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
This method is a common choice for male-factor infertility and proves less expensive and less invasive than IVF or In Vitro Fertilization. That said, many studies show that it can take multiple attempts before conception is achieved and with each cycle costing about $3,000, what seems like a more affordable option can add up quickly.
3. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
More than three million babies have been born as a result of this incredible procedure, according to WebMD. Together with an outstanding 41% success rate for women under 35, this is one of the most sought-after treatments available. With the high price tag of over $12,000 for one cycle of treatment, however, many couples prefer to explore other options first. To help determine the approximate cost of IVF for you, use this IVF calculator.
Three ways to supplement the costs of IVF treatments
With only 15 US states requiring ART to be covered by insurance plans, you’ll likely need to examine supplementary funding options.
Many organizations offer financial assistance through the use of scholarships or grants. Each site specifies what requirements are needed so that it’s easy to determine if you or the couple you know are able to apply.
- The Cade Foundation offers a bi-annual scholarship called The Family Building Grant which awards up to $10,000 to help cover fertility treatments and adoption costs.
- Parental Hope provides the chance to receive one of two different grants to help finance fertility treatments carried out at the Institute for Reproductive Health.
- Baby Quest Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization offering grants to help offset the high price of medications required while undergoing treatment.
2. IVF financing & shared-risk programs
These solution-oriented organizations focus on helping couples manage their finances as they navigate the process of ART.
- Lending Club provides loans for your specific medical needs and creates personalized payment plans to help make overwhelming costs more manageable.
- Shady Grove Fertility offers discounts on treatments if a pregnancy or live birth doesn’t occur within a specified period of time.
- Glow First helps facilitate peer-to-peer assistance through an app downloaded right to your mobile phone. Members each contribute $50 a month and at the end of each cycle, the proceeds are split amongst those who did not yet get pregnant.
3. Crowdfunding for IVF
This method of fundraising is gaining popularity in recent years as people everywhere are getting more comfortable with using their social networks to raise the funds they need to cover these pricey treatments. Organizers have started thousands of IVF fundraisers on GoFundMe since 2010.
IVF fundraising tips
Set your fundraising goal
Behind every successful fundraising effort is a basic plan of action—and we’re here to help you choose your goals for your fundraiser. It begins with setting a goal amount. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to factor in the price tag of the procedure itself, and all the smaller expenses that can really add up—including any unpaid time off work, expensive medications, transportation, copays, etc.
Tell your story honestly and clearly
You might think your friends and family already know your story, but telling your story well can make a huge difference in your fundraising efforts. On your fundraiser page, tell your story honestly and clearly—share your personal experiences and add photos and videos. This is the story that you’re inviting your supporters to become part of. See our post for more tips on fundraiser storytelling.
Through the power of social networks, your IVF story can reach family, friends, friends of friends, and even sympathetic strangers around the world. When posting a link to your fundraising fundraiser on social media, ask friends and family to share it. To add your own spin to your fundraiser, come up with a fundraiser hashtag that allows people to more easily follow your journey. You might even consider creating a blog to tell the story of your journey. For more tips on how to use social media with crowdfunding, see our social media tips.
Bring people into the story with updates
Posting frequent updates is essential. It helps keep supporters in the loop and shows potential donors how much their donation could help. Showcase your gratitude. Share messages of hope. If you keep supporters engaged, they’ll be more likely to donate again, or repeatedly share your story with their social networks. For more guidance on posting updates, see How to Write a FundraiserUpdate.
Thank your supporters
In the world of fundraising, there’s a whole set of best practices and guidelines around thanking people who donate to a cause—and it isn’t just about showing good manners. In this case, the cause is yours—take a moment to familiarize yourself with our essential guide to thanking donors.
Successful IVF fundraisers on GoFundMe
Successful in vitro fertilizations fundraisers can serve as a model for your own. Take a look at how these families told their story, post updates, and more:
After eight years of marriage and four years of trying for the baby they so badly yearned for, Courtney and Briger Harrison had exhausted their options—and their savings account. Seeing the emotional toll that this absence was taking on her best friend, Shianne Chambers stepped in with a plan. She created a GoFundMe fundraiser that explained their plight. Within 6 months, they raised enough funds to help them pay for their IVF costs, and were blessed to find out they were expecting not only one, but two bundles of joy.
Rachael Rogers and her husband, Matthew, had been trying everything under the sun to get pregnant. After months of experimenting with everything from vitamins and vacations to acupuncture and faithful prayers, they decided they were ready to call in the experts. After a disheartening diagnosis of endometriosis, they knew it was time to try IVF, but were wary of the $20,000 price tag placed on their dream. Rachael started a GoFundMe fundraiser where she could share their story with the community. In just three short months, the couple reached their goal and used the $20,225 in donations to fund their medical costs. Today, they are joyfully expecting a little baby girl and couldn’t be any more grateful.
Start fundraising for IVF today
In vitro fertilization fundraising is a natural fit with GoFundMe’s crowdfunding platform and giving the community. Start your free fundraiser today.