Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IVF Dilemma.

Yesterday, my RE's office decided to return my call from 4 days ago (6 if you count the weekend). The IVF coordinator apologized for not getting back to me sooner but explained that they are right in the middle of October's IVF cycle. You know, the cycle I was supposed to be in before I had to make responsible financial decisions. Blah! Thanks for rubbing it in lady! She did give me some dates and details

-November 10th: Mock Transfer. I didn't do one of these with my first IVF cycle, no sure why though.

-Call ASAP when AF shows up so they can get me in for blood work and antral follicle count. I'm expecting AF around November 18

-November 30th: Mike goes in for his part of the labs. Infectious disease blood work and a "sample" for his semen analysis. I am sure he is going to be THRILLED about this, but oh well. If I have to have a huge needle in my lady parts the least he can do is donate a few "boys" for testing. HAHAH!

It looks like I will start my stims in mid January and ER (egg retrieval) at the end of January.

All of that is fine and dandy but we have a little problem and I need your help. I am so torn about this. While on the phone with my nurse she was going over the my insurance coverage and what I can expect to pay for. She was breaking it all down for me. 20% of IVF, 20% of ICSI, etc... Finally she got to cryopreservation, (AKA: Freezing our embryos) and our insurance covers NOTHING! Now, and I always say this, I don't want to sound ungrateful because I know we are extremely lucky to have our IVF coverage. However, I do recall them telling me that this was covered when I first called to get our benefits. I called our insurance company to check and she was right. They cover nothing for freezing and storage. I'm gonna type this part in bullet points, and not because I'm annoyed this time. Mainly because I think I am going to ramble and make zero sense if I don't. Here are the facts.

-It will cost us an extra 1800 to have our embryos frozen. I know this doesn't sound like that much money but we are already forking out a large chunk of change for the first cycle.

-Under our insurance plan we have 6 IVF cycles covered (and another 6 FET's) so if we don't get pregnant from our IVF cycle in Jan we can do another fresh cycle for FREE a few months later (because we will have already paid our max out of pocket for the year so after this first IVF cycle, everything else will be covered 100% until next Jan)

- It would suck to not get pregnant and have to wait 3 months (which from what I hear from my fellow IVF bloggers is the standard wait time between IVF cycles). You can usually do a FET (Frozen embryo transfer) alot sooner.

-I'm getting older, I'll be 30 in February so each time we do a fresh IVF cycle we risk the quality of my eggs not being as good as the cycle before. This is kinda silly I know but this is the kind of crap infertile woman worry about, how much egg quality will deteriorate in 3 freaking months. HAHAHA!

-UGH, I don't wanna do another fresh cycle. They are so hard on me, both physically and emotionally.

- Our last IVF cycle worked the first try. I know that it doesn't mean we are going to be that lucky again this time. What if we are though? But then again, what if we are not, especially since I am only allowing them to put 2 embies back in this time. We put back 3 when we got pregnant with London, so I'm afraid only putting 2 back won't result in a pregnancy, which will mean we NEED to have some frozen.

-I am assuming we would have something to actually freeze. Last time I had 7 left, but who knows if we will even have any this time. This whole debate might be for NOTHING.

I flop back and forth between wanting to freeze and not wanting to freeze.

Right now, I think I will save the money. Do this fresh cycle and another fresh if we have to. Next cycle go ahead and freeze that way I don't have to potentially do 3 fresh cycles in a row. We also won't have to fork out another $1800 bucks if we don't need to.

Who knows what I am going to think tomorrow though.


*FYI: unused embryos will be donated


In Due Time said...

Maybe wait and see how many you even have? If it's just 'a few' then perhaps donate, but if it's more than 'a few' freeze?

Just something to think about, a wait and see type of thing.

Amanda said...

I agree with In Due Time. If you have a lot left, then freeze.

Man your insurance coverage rocks!

Lora said...

I don't know much about all of this, but from your post and from a sheerly financial standpoint (which I know is ridiculous to say because so much emotion is involved) I think your plan to do one fresh cycle and then a second if that doesn't work and then freeze the second time makes a lot of sense. That way if you do get pregnant the first cycle you aren't out $1800 that could be used towards all that cute baby GIRL stuff you are going to have to buy :)

Maddy said...

I vote for freeze now (if you have enough good quality embies to freeze). I went through a fresh IVF cycle and 2 frozen embryo transfers, and I can say that it is SO SO SO SO much easier to do the frozen embryo transfer. It is WAY easier on your body becase you're not stimulating your ovaries with ridiculous levels of drugs. There are way fewer monitoring appointments and WAY less stress. On top of that, there is no surgery to retrieve the eggs. To me, that would totally be worth the $1800.

What did you do with the 7 embies that were left from your last IVF? You chose not to freeze then too?

RELH said...

You have a lot to think about!

ILCW #26

Kakunaa said...

Ugh...these decisions are so difficult. Money, body concerns, etc. Alright, if it costs less to just do the 2nd cycle, go with that, and keep in mind that your eggs aren't going down the toilet in 3 months, hon. And remember, you may not even need a 2nd cycle! You have a great track record :)

Jody said...

Have you talked with your fertility doc about this? He/she might be able to help you sort through your options when you consider your insurance coverage and plans for more children. We only got one frozen embryo from our first cycle. I ended up having a long discussion with our doctor about how many more children we wanted and she helped me see the best options for us (1 more fresh cycle in the hopes of getting a pregnancy and a few more frozen embies - then we hope to do an FET or two later as well. We want 4 kiddos.)

I agree with In Due Time and Amanda above - maybe just wait and see how everything pans out before stressing too much over this decision.

Anonymous said...

I would vote for doing a FET if cycle #1 doesn't take - that is if you have enough TO freeze, it may be a moot point totally.

Moe said...

That's a really hard choice to make. I think that I would try the first time without freezing and if you have to do a 2nd cycle then maybe freeze after that. 1,800 is so much money when hopefully you're gonna get pregnant that first time!!! Wooot!

And - I worry about egg deterioration too. Even though I don't know if I have fertility issues. I guess I just "assume" that I do because so many people out there I worry about that even though I'm not trying to have a baby now. Freakish. I know.

Chon said...

Ugh I don't envy your decisions.

on the one hand if you have some to freeze that is great but at $1800 that is alot of money especially if you get 6 more free cycles. but then on the other side is always that thought what if that was the one that was going to stick?

having been through 1 fresh and 2 fet's i have to say the fet's are much easier on your body but having failed all i can't even give you a whole rousing speech about what works best.

maybe it is best to wait and see the quantity and quality.

oh and on the age thing!!!! of the last three girls to get a BFP on our IVF forum two were 39 and got better results than the younger girls. as an old age 32 speaking i think you will be ok :)

Nick and Kristi said...

It sounds like you are going to a SIRM? I used them with this second IVF and was shocked when they told me what their freezing storage fee was...At my old RE it was 640 so I was able to get them to price match it for me:) Maybe try telling them you want to do it but wont pay that much as you know its cheaper elsewhere...I know my Mock Embryo x-fer was not covered by insurance either Im appealing it though but we have awesome insurance and everything else was covered 100percent

Sarah said...

Why on earth is the freezing so much $$? Well...I am not sure how much ours is I guess. It is wrapped up with the IVF cost, but then there is a $400 a year storage charge.

Anyway, I vote freeze. It sucks to spend the money, but I am a person who hates to regret things, and if the cycles doesn't work it feels like you might look back and regret not keeping them. Does the part you pay for IVF go over $1800?

Anonymous said...

Hm. This is a hard question. For us we had no frozens our first fresh cycle so when it didn't work we HAD to do another fresh. I was able with my clinic to just get one period in between. So the first one failed in Feb and I was able to do another fresh in April. I wish that I would have had frozens to do after the first failed fresh, but I didn't have that choice. We also had to pay for EVERYTHING but the meds out of pocket. So of course the frozen would have been less expensive. The second fresh cycle we got pregnant and now we have frozens for a sibling. I would personally say pay for the fee to freeze. Fresh cycles are so hard. And for me even though it may make me sound greedy I didn't want to donate any of my embryos until I knew we were DONE. I have an egg queality issue too so I wanted to keep all of my embryos that I could until I know for sure we are done trying. But of course that is just my opinion. You should do what you feel the most comfortable with doing. :)

Krissi said...

$1800 is a lot to shell out but totally worth it if any frozen embies are the ones that will give you a baby! I agree with Maddy. Frozens are WAY less stress on your body! You don't have the harsh stims or the retrieval or the possibility of OHSS to worry about. That is priceless!
I got pregnant with my last FET with TWINS! I realy didn't have much faith in them before that but now, to think my babies were frozen in time for 6 months is kind of unreal! I know these comments are all over the place so I hope you decide what's best in your heart! Happy ICLW! (#72 & 106)

Ritkiss said...

So much to think about. Our #1 IVF failed with nothing to freeze. Our #2 was canceled due to hyper stimulation, but we had 17 embryos to freeze. Our FET resulted in a beautiful boy. He is now 2, and we are now considering FET #2. Hopefully it will work, b/c the docs say I probably would have more problems if we did IVF again. The frozen cycle is much stims.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is twice as much as it will cost us to freeze. I can definitely see why you'd want to save money.

I'll be doing IVF in January too ;-)

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