Monday, March 5, 2012

IVF 101: FAQ about IVF

  1. Does insurance cover any of it?
    1. No, it does not cover any of the costs associated with IVF.  Some states require coverage, but Minnesota does not.  Our insurance will cover up to $2,000 in infertility services up to but not including IVF.
  2. Can you make payments?
    1. No, all of the money must be paid upfront.  If you don't use all of what you paid in, you get a refund check once everything is completed.  This happened the last time we did IVF.
  3. How much does it cost?
    1. Our clinic breaks it down as follows:
      1. Medications: estimated at $3,000 for a woman under 35.
      2. Monitoring (includes ultrasounds and blood work): estimated at $2,436
      3. ART services (includes egg retrieval, embryo transfer, anesthesia, and lab costs): $7,444
      4. ICSI: $1,000
      5. Grand total: estimated at $13,880
      6. If we decide to freeze any remaining embryos, there is an additional $1,000 for freezing plus a $550 yearly fee.
  4. How long does a cycle take?
    1. Approximately 5 to 6 weeks from start to finish, usually on the longer end.
      1. My last cycle was like this:
        1. Sign paperwork and make pre-payment.
        2. Three weeks of birth control to regulate my cycle.
        3. Ten to 14 days of shots, with visits to the clinic for blood work and transvaginal ultrasounds.   Meds are adjusted as needed based on these tests.
        4. Egg retrieval
        5. Depending on how many embryos there are and their quality, embryo transfer is either 3 or 6 days after egg retrieval.  The longer the better because it means stronger embryos.  Some people opt to freeze at this point and transfer later in what's known as a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). I've always done a fresh transfer.
        6. Another 10 to 14 days before blood pregnancy test.
  5. Can any of the meds be taken orally?
    1. Unfortunately not.  Almost all IVF meds are shot based.  Stimulation and suppression drugs are subcutaneous shots; the trigger shot and post transfer progesterone in oil shots are intramuscular.  Some women have used progesterone suppositories, but success rates seem to be stronger for the shot based progesterone (at least in the viewpoint of my doctors).
  6. Does every IVF patient use the same drugs in the same amount?
    1. No, each cycle is tailored to each patient's needs.  Adjustments to medications are even made during the course of the cycle.  There are some standard meds on the market though.
    2. In addition, each IVF patient attends a "shot class" where a patient is taught how to mix the meds, and the proper way to inject them.
  7. Where do you get these drugs?
    1. There are pharmacies that specialize in fertility medications; almost all are mail order and ship FedEx.  I've used pharmacies on the East Coast in past for my meds.  They supply everything that's needed: the meds, any mixing agents (some meds are in powder form), needles, swabs, and Sharps container.
  8. Do the shots hurt?
    1. The subcutaneous shots don't really hurt.  It's a bit like getting pinched.  The intramuscular shots are quite uncomfortable and can leave bruises.

No comments:

Post a Comment