It's no secret that reproductive assistance is prohibitively expensive. Take in-vitro fertilization (IVF), for example: The average cost of one IVF cycle in the United States is between $10,000-$15,000, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). And that's just one cycle. Many people require several rounds of IVF before getting pregnant, which can end up costing between $50,000-$70,000 total, according to SART. (For perspective, the average household income in New York City is $57,782.)
"Unfortunately, fertility treatments are exceptionally expensive, and they're out of reach for most people who need them," says Deborah Anderson-Bialis, co-founder of FertilityIQ, a startup that provides crowd-sourced data about fertility clinics and doctors. "We always feel like it's really sad that not everyone who would be an amazing potential parent can necessarily do it, because they're boxed out and can't afford it."
For these reasons, FertilityIQ is awarding 10 grants of $1,000 each to pay for members' fertility treatments. Anyone who reviews a doctor on FertilityIQ's site is eligible, and the grant recipients will be selected at random, Anderson-Bialis says. At the moment, she says there are three FertilityIQ grant recipients who are pregnant. "There's nothing more gratifying in the world than getting to talk to all these people who are pregnant, have gotten to build their family, and otherwise treatment would've been unaffordable for them," she says.
If you want to throw your hat in the ring, you have between now and February 14th to submit a review. The Valentine's Day tie-in was completely intentional, BTW: "For all of the lucky fertile people of the world who get to go out to a romantic dinner, have chocolate and a bottle of wine, and get pregnant for free, for some of us it’s just not quite that way," Anderson-Bialis says. "This is kind of our Valentine's Day way of filling the gap." Speaking of "lucky fertile people," if someone wins a grant, but has finished IVF treatment or doesn't need it, they can award it to a friend, she says. "It can be a best friend who has supported you through treatment that hasn't been successful," she says. "They get to share the love."
While this is just one company offering grants for a specific period of time, there are lots of state-specific organizations all around the country that provide grants and discounts to people seeking IVF treatments. Hopefully these programs help make reproductive assistance more accessible for those who need it.