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Trying-to-Conceive Blog

two steps forward, one step back

Our ivf consult went great. The hospital staff was excellent, the doctor was really nice, the treatment plan he proposed was just what we were hoping for, and the live birth success rates for the procedure were outstanding. And then we saw the price tag............

I'm no idiot -- I know ivf is expensive, but due to the minimal stim treatment protocol, we expected it to be roughly $5,000 cheaper than standard ivf. And technically it is cheaper, but the doctor's fee is substantial, so while the medications are much less expensive, the expertise and the success rates come at a premium. All told, we'd be looking at $12k. 

Part of me wishes that they had sucked and we hadn't liked them so much, that way I wouldn't feel so deflated. It's a lot more money to come up with, which will delay things even longer. We don't feel comfortable borrowing that amount of money: even if we're successful, we'll have lots of other bills to consider and don't need to be weighed down with extra debt. We're trying to consider all of our options, but right now it really doesn't look promising. I could apply for a grant, but even then we'd be looking at another year. What's another year I guess?

I don't know. I wish I had all the answers. 


We can't reverse time. So in 5 years if you are still paying off the debt, you'll either have had success or not. But if you don't try, you will always wonder. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks. It's a lot to think about. :(

We've had some more time to let the idea settle, and I think we might do it. There are a lot of different financial strategies I hadn't fully considered, and you're right -- we know we have to try, and better now than years from now. We deserve the freedom to live our life beyond the "what ifs", and whether it's baby or bust, it's all better than waiting needlessly. Hopefully in the next week or so we'll have it sorted out, and then i can call and schedule. I think we'd be looking at October for the retrieval (we're already overbooked in September). Frozen transfer some cycle after that (they don't do fresh transfers with mini ivf, part of their success I think). Our friends keep saying we would start a GoFundMe... haha.

Did you guys finance your ivf? Are you comfortable with the decision, if so? (I assume since you have your babies that you are, lol, but you know me... many questions.) Thanks as always for keeping up with me and offering me your insights and support. I don't have anyone to talk to this stuff about with firsthand knowledge, so this community has always been a huge help.

I live in a state where coverage is mandated but I was prepared to finance. I had lines of credit available before I knew. I was prepared to do what needed to be done. I met women who have had to finance more than one IVF cycle. It's not pleasant. One in particular moved to a cheaper apartment. Traded in their cars for cheaper ones. Didn't go on vacation, didn't buy each other gifts, worked overtime... I stopped going to the Resolve meetings so I don't know how her cycle went. But for her and the other women, it sucks. But it comes down to can you live with the what if's in your thoughts.

I think that if you did a cycle and it failed, more testing can be done. I don't know what you've had done, but there's things like MTHR ... I think I may be missing a letter in that acronym, sometimes women need to take a baby aspirin... There's so much other things that can be tested for but they're rarely offered and need to be requested. Sometimes you have to push the doctor. The more financially invested you get, the more you have to investigate. There's also a technique called natural cycle IVF...

Anyway, I'm not familiar with mini IVF but when I did my cycle, I was way too hyperstimulated. My estrogen was through the roof. I thought they were going to not allow me to do fresh. But they did, and I've always regretted that and suspected it's why it didn't take. My frozen cycle was so much more easier on my body and I was much more relaxed. I think frozen is the best. Snow babies come from strong embryos who were strong enough to make it to the freezing stage and survive thawing.

I'm so glad to hear you are talking about financing. I think it's too early to give up when you still have options.

I've been following your story for a long time. I'm really excited for you. Even with a couple of failed cycles (IF on both sides), IVF was a great experience for us.

We did finance our first IVF cycle. For full IVF it was 16k, no ins coverage. The insurance company also said they wouldn't cover meds but the clinic submitted a claim anyway and it got approved(all three times)! We had money in the bank but didn't want to tap ourselves out if we didn't have to, so we financed a loan against some of our savings for a low interest rate. Unfortunately that cycle did not take. We paid for a frozen cycle out of pocket, we put it on a credit card and then paid it off that month (points!). The frozen cycle was a bust as we kind of expected it to be, but we had a lot of info at that point from the previous cycles and we felt like we had one more cycle in us. We paid a majority of that full cycle out of pocket (credit card, then paid a large portion of it off that month) The second fresh was WAY better than the first and we got pregnant with twins. About a month after they were born we were free from all IVF debt, mostly because my husband has major anxiety about debt and savings, but I know many couples who made minimum payments and paid it off by first birthday. Also, when you have a child (or in our case two) you get a nice tax deduction... which can help in paying off that debt. Additionally, we were able to claim all IVF expenses on our taxes. If you will commute to the clinic, keep track of gas receipts and anything else related to the cycle and you can claim it all as a write off. Best of luck to you. When it comes to fertility, time is more valuable than money.

Please keep us posted, I'm sure I'm not the only one following from afar. Best wishes.

Thank you so much for sharing, maybemiracle! Such a positive and amazing story. It's so amazing how many of you have twins. :) I love it.

I'm nervous about debt, too, just one of those people who doesn't like to have stuff hanging out there, but as you both have said I do believe it's a worthwhile endeavor. It's slow trying to work it out, and kind of emotional for me, but I'm not giving up just yet!

I randomly decided to check back here and read your blog post :)
I'll share my two cents, not sure if you remember seeing me here BUT we did IVF last summer and were successful on our first try. I had our AMAZING baby boys this past March. We ended up paying close to $12k including meds....the whole shabang. We have great credit and very little debt and we wanted to keep it that way but we also new if we waited and saved up the cash for our procedure it would've taken us years. So we got 2 zero interest credit cards (citibank offers one with 21 months zero interest), put the procedure on one and the meds on another. At the end of the year we were able to write off our medical expenses on our tax return and paid off the smaller of the 2 cards with our return and have the other almost completely paid off now. Obviously we have no regrets, we are so in love with those boys and trust me the expenses don't stop LOL....I'm praying for you guys to make the best decision for your family, sending LOTS of positive vibes :)

Ahhh Katie, so happy to hear from you. :) Congratulations on your boys! I'm hoping we will have similar luck, both financially and with the procedure itself.