This amounts to 12 percent of the entire reproductive-age population from the ages of 15 to 44. Collectively this year, they will spend close to $5 billion on infertility treatments. Yet much of that medical care is not covered by insurance. Most states don’t require health insurers to provide infertility procedures and neither does the new Affordable Care Act.
So, how much would you spend for the chance to have a child? Would you invest $100,000 of your life savings with a 50 to 75 percent chance of losing your money and receiving zero return?
KCPT tracks the issue through the eyes of three couples. Filmmaker Sharon Liese chronicles their stories as they go about making one of the most personal decisions of their lives. We join the women as they undergo treatment and later in the recovery room as they make peace with their choices. We also meet with a young husband and wife from Tonganoxie who are adamant that their family is complete and will do anything to prevent another baby.
Birthing Pains looks at both sides of a multi-billion dollar industry that provokes medical, societal and ethical questions. On Thursday, January 30, a special hour-long, live edition of The Local Show will bring together doctors and an ethicist to answer your questions.
Stephanie, a 25-year old mother of four, is having a permanent and irreversible sterilization procedure done today that is almost entirely covered by insurance. At no point in her life will she be able to have children again. (Tonganoxie, KS)
Tubal Ligation Reversal:
Angela, a 34-year old mother of two, is having a robotically assisted tubal ligation reversal that will untie her tubes so that she can try to have another child. She was recently reunited with the father of her 14-year old daughter, who she did not communicate with for 15 years, and they are engaged and hoping to have a child together. The procedure is not covered by insurance and costs over $6,000. (Overland Park, KS)
Kristin and Brian Bookwalter are both 35 and in their eight years of being together have not been able to get pregnant on their own. They are undergoing the long In Vitro fertilization process to have their egg and sperm fertilized by embryologists and then re-implanted into Kristin’s uterus. Some of the required drugs are covered by insurance but all of the remaining costs including doctor’s visits, blood tests, semen analyses, and procedures total over $10,000. (Topeka, KS).
Sasha Krieg, MD, KU Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine
Dan L. Gehlbach, MD, Midwest Reproductive Center
John Lantos, MD, Children’s Mercy Center for Bioethics