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Americans are postponing parenting and using fertility treatments to get pregnant. So what’s the financial toll? A new survey suggests many couples, probably those with inadequate savings, are taking on debt.

Some 70% of women in a new survey who were going through or had gone through fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization incurred at least some debt, according to responses from 213 U.S. women ages 25 to 54 in April. Nearly half the women—44%—took on over $10,000 in debt. The survey, by research company MarketCube, was commissioned by Prosper Marketplace Inc., an online lending service.

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Why all this debt? IVF is expensive. Each treatment can cost $15,000 to $20,000, and for most women, health insurance doesn’t cover it. More than 80% of the women in Prosper’s survey underwent at least two IVF treatments, or “cycles.”

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Prosper’s survey is small, of course, limiting its power. Also, many couples might say having a child isn’t a matter of dollars and cents; they’re ready and willing to break the bank.

Still, the findings show how,... see more