A major part of IVF costs is the expense of fertility drugs. These are the medications that induce ovulation, regulate your cycle, and even help the eggs mature at the right time for the IVF cycle. Fertility medications can range from $3,000 to $10,000 per IVF cycle, depending on your age (older women require higher doses) and what your fertility specialist prescribes.
Given these costs, some women have taken to buying black market IVF drugs through online message boards, trying to stretch their dollars to get the baby they desperately want. This is illegal, and doctors strongly advise against it. Why is it dangerous to use black market fertility drugs?
You Don’t Know What You’re Getting
You may be lured into online illegal IVF drug buying by people in chat rooms or in social media. Some of the people selling black market IVF drugs are reselling fertility drugs left from their own treatment. They want to make money on their leftover meds instead of disposing of them properly. Others are importing them from foreign countries where they may be less expensive. Putting aside the fact that these are illegal drugs which are not sold through an approved pharmacy, there are real dangers.
Medications may be expired or have lost their potency because they weren’t stored properly. If they aren’t kept at the right temperature, you may pay good money for something that isn’t going to work. You may not get the right dosage, even if you think you’re ordering the same thing your doctor would prescribe. Foreign IVF drugs may not be manufactured to the same standards as drugs in the U.S. Foreign drugs also may get tangled up in customs, and be harmed by storage conditions while they are waiting to clear customs. People have even received counterfeit drugs from online scammers. This is a real danger when you’re making contacts online to buy IVF drugs from people you don’t know instead of buying from a legitimate online pharmacy.
You Can Actually Harm Your Fertility
Using illegal IVF drugs without medical supervision can be very dangerous. Even legitimately acquired fertility drugs can have rare but serious side effects, and patients need to be monitored closely in case ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or other potentially deadly side effects occur, such as blood clots and strokes. Black market fertility drugs that are past their expiration date or have been improperly stored can cause those side effects as well as other problems with your ovaries and cardiac arrhythmias. Counterfeit drugs can contain ingredients that cause dangerous side effects, and don’t work at all to help you have a baby.
A recent news story on CBS News New York highlighted the dangers of buying illegal fertility drugs online. Reproductive endocrinologists, who are the experts on fertility, stress the dangers of buying black market IVF drugs, including the chance you could die from unsupervised use of these medications.
Getting Help with Paying for IVF
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