40 Force: Fertility Treatment – In Vitro Fertilization
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Over the last three decades, in vitro fertilization, or IVF, has become the go-to treatment option for couples struggling to conceive, like Tara Roberts and her husband from Springfield.
“Without it, I wouldn’t have even had the chance to even have this wonderful miracle that’s actually due on my birthday,” says Roberts.
The process starts with hormones. A woman will take fertility pills to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs, which are eventually extracted in an operating room.
At Baystate, the fertility lab sits adjacent to the OR, so doctors can quickly shuttle a woman’s eggs to her partner’s waiting sperm.
“Based on the treatment strategy, we will fertilize them in the laboratory, either through just going with the incubation of sperm and egg together in a very small petri dish in a very small medium, or we will perform the procedure call intracytoplasmic sperm injection, where only one sperm is picked up and injected right into the egg.” says Tayyab Rahil, director of Reproductive Biology of Baystate Health.
Fertilized eggs are then cultured in special incubators for three to six days until they’re mature enough to be implanted back into the woman’s body as embryos.
After one cycle of IVF, the average woman typically has a 20 to 35 percent chance of getting pregnant. One cycle of treatment isn’t cheap, though. .
Luckily, here in Massachusetts, most couples have at least some fertility coverage.
“Maybe two $45 copayments, so about $90 so far,” says Roberts, who’s baby is due in October. “I mean, I’m still expecting my deductible to come in, but that should be about $500 and that’s nothing compared to what some people pay.”
“It really varies from couple to couple, how much coverage they have,” says Kelly Lynch, a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Baystate Health. “A typical cycle of IVF in our program costs about $10,000.”