Having a baby is the one of the most fundamental needs that people have, yet 12% of couples cannot conceive without the help of fertility treatment. Add to that same-sex couples and single women that want to become parents, and the demand for assisted reproductive treatment is surging along with prices to match.
To make matters worse 74% of Americans do not health insurance coverage for IVF. This means that if treatment is required, the patients will be left to pay for it themselves.
How Does Fertility Testing Work?
Right now, the only way to get a complete fertility diagnosis and treatment plan is to go into a fertility clinic and have a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist.
This takes an average of 3 months just to get the first consultation, and costs over $1,500 in consultation fees, lab fees and co-pays, before any treatment has been rendered. This long wait time and high cost puts many people off from even getting started.
In addition to the long wait times and high cost, many patients dislike the awkward clinic visits and are scared of hidden medical costs. Having to take time off in the middle of the work day, driving there, sitting in a waiting room. Or getting forced into an expensive treatment they are not sure they can afford.
Why Is Fertility Treatment So Expensive?
In the US an average cycle of IVF costs upwards of $17,000 and offers no guarantee that you’ll get pregnant. In fact, while we’ve made significant advantages, the national average live birth success rate is 48% under the age of 35, meaning many patients will need more than 1 IVF cycle or transfer to get pregnant.
To understand why that is, we need to zoom out on the fertility industry. In the US there are approximately 2,000 practicing reproductive endocrinologists (the doctors that perform IVF treatments). About 44 fellows graduate every year, and about the same amount of fertility specialists retire. This is causing stagnant supply of treating specialists which has been overloaded by exploding demand from patients.
This supply demand issue is causing a bottleneck in the system that is forcing patient prices and wait times at an alarming rate.
How Does FWRD Fertility Fix It?
Our solution to the supply demand problem is to shift reproductive endocrinologist time from new consultation appointments with untested patients to performing IVF procedures. By pre-testing patients prior to specialist consultations, we free up reproductive endocrinologist time to perform more IVF cycles at a reduced price point.
What Does That Mean for Patients?
We’ve built the first virtual fertility clinic. Through our platform patients can order all of the necessary male and female fertility tests online and meet with fertility trained doctors over telehealth to review their test results and understand their treatment options, in a fraction of the cost and time of going into a clinic.
Patients that qualify for lower-level treatment options such as changes in diet, taking prescription medication or doing a timed ovulation cycle with doctor oversight, are able to try these less invasive and less costly treatment options first.
For patients that are recommended to proceed with IVF or Egg Freezing can then choose which reproductive endocrinologist they want to go for treatment with, after reviewing transparent prices, success rates and reviews.
How Does It Make Fertility Treatment More Affordable?
Patients can go online to FWRD Fertility and order all male and female fertility tests for $150, compared to over $1,500 at an average fertility clinic. They can use their insurance to cover the cost of labs, and our ordering fee includes a virtual consultation with a fertility specialist at no extra cost.
We also cut the average wait time from 3 months, down to just 2 weeks to get a diagnosis online – make it much faster, easier, and more affordable for patients to understand what’s going on in their bodies, and what their best path to pregnancy is.