Thursday, April 30, 2009

IVF Protocols

For the good news first: My FSH numbers dropped back down to 7.?? from the 15.?? they were in January. Caveat: it could possibly swing from month to month depending on which ovary is active (bet you didn't know that only one ovary per month produces eggs, and they alternate).

The bad news: For what this stuff costs I could buy a car or two or three (depending on the model).

Please note I do not have the actual numbers in front of me, most numbers below are ballpark but close enough.

Two options:
  1. Pay for 1 fresh cycle not including medications, freezing of excess embryos, or ICSI $8,000-9,000.
  2. Enter into a shared-risk program allowing for up to 4 fresh cycles, and unlimited frozen cycles (as long as there are embryos to use) not including medications or ICSI for $20,000.
The pharmacy called yesterday to confirm the medication order for this cycle. I about gagged when the rep told me the total for the medications was over $4,000. The summary paperwork estimated $2-3k.

Either way we face a gamble:
  1. One cycle at $12,000-13,000 including medications.
  2. Up to 4 cycles at $32,000 including medications.
If we go with the former and it doesn't work then we are looking at another $12-13k for a second cycle, unless we ended up with some extra embryos, which frankly doesn't look likely thanks to my prior low levels of response. Frozen cycles are about half as costly as a fresh cycle from the procedure side.

If we go with the latter and get lucky on the first try then we are out $11-12k. Of course, if we go through 4 cycles and none work then we get the $20k back.

My insurance does not recognize or cover any infertility treatments - not even as a percentage - so this is all out of pocket for us.

So, not only do I get to have the stress of not being able to do something which so many people do naturally without any problems, I get to have the stress of paying for it. I'm going to be checking on what kind of mental health care the insurance covers because I'm thinking I'm going to be needing it by the time this is all over.


  1. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. It's not fair that pregnancy is easy for some and not for others.

  2. Been reading your blog since I found it on LFCA. I stopped birth control the same month as you and am starting IVF now too. It's nice to read about someone in a similar situation. And we're making the same decision - no insurance $20k for multiple tries v. $9k for one try. I'm stressing about the same thing as you: If it works on the first try, we're out ~$11k.

    What I realized is that I am sick of agonizing over the additional money each month. I've decided to think about it as $35,000 in order for me to have a kid. Period. It sucks that most people pay $0 but that's just not my situation.

    So the combo of $6,300 I've already spent IUIs this year, $20,000 on the global ivf fee, and a few rounds of drugs for the ivfs is what it's going to cost for me to have a kid. It sucks but if I want a kid, I can't change it. If it turns out by some miracle that ivf #1 works, I'll be thrilled but I won't be pissed about the extra cost. I'm not a gambler. And if I were, years of losing the infertility lottery would certainly have cured me of it.

    So now, as I start next week, I won't be agonizing over every last outlay of money - do we do another cycle? do we freeze the eggs? do we try an FET? I hope this will let me calm down a bit. But probably not:) Good luck with your decision/cycle!

  3. Barf. Infertility is unfair.
    Good luck making the decision.

  4. Man, that blows. You really could buy a car for what this costs! Good job on the good temps last cycle, though. I kinda want to give your uterus a standing ovation, but that's probably just because I'm weird. Good luck with this decision, I'm thinking good thoughts for you!