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High cost of fertility treatment sends many into debt

Many women who want a baby aren't letting the high cost of fertility treatments dissuade them—and are carrying loads of debt as a result.

A new survey found that 44 percent of women who sought fertility treatment racked up more than $10,000 in debt, with about a third of them using credit cards to finance at least part of that expenditure.

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An even higher 70 percent went into at least some debt to pay for their fertility treatments—which often aren't covered by health insurance plans, according to the survey by peer-to-peer lending service Prosper Marketplace. (Tweet This)

A technician using the process of in vitro fertilzation.
Science Photo Library | Getty Images
A technician using the process of in vitro fertilzation.

Prosper's survey of 213 women who had sought fertility treatments also found that the cost of treatments was a bigger concern than being able to handle the treatment emotionally.

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More than 83 percent of respondents said they were either concerned or very concerned about costs of the treatment. That compares to 75 percent who said they had at least some concern about the emotional impact.

Cost, likewise, was the single biggest factor for those women who initially decided to delay receiving the treatment, edging out hopes that they would be able to conceive on their own without treatment. Almost 82 percent said the high cost played at least some role in the decision to postpone treatment.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 6.3 percent.

In vitro fertility treatments cost on average $12,400 per cycle, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The vast majority of women surveyed by Prosper had undergone at least two IVF cycles, and nearly 1 in 5 underwent five or more IVF cycles.

About 7.4 million women age 44 or younger have used infertility services, and about 6.7 million women in that age range have impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.