Shady Grove Fertility first introduced the Shared Risk program in 1993 with a simple guarantee: receive up to 6 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles for a fixed cost with the goal of welcoming home a baby, or receive a 100% refund. You may withdraw from the program at any time during treatment and receive a refund. (Note: Some exclusions may apply, please talk with your financial counselor to learn more.) In 2015 alone, over 1,300 couples enrolled in the Shared Risk program.

Today, about 82 percent of our Shared Risk 100% Refund Program participants will go on to take home a baby.

We actually created our Shared Risk 100% Refund Program for IVF in response to a patient’s tearful frustration. She told us that, after having paid for an unsuccessful IVF cycle elsewhere, another failed attempt would financially devastate her and her husband and preclude them from then adopting a baby. They could not risk gambling their adoption money on the possibility of another unsuccessful IVF cycle. Therefore, they were not going to try again using the traditional fee-for-service option despite good odds of success. Our response was to develop an innovative refund option for qualifying patients.

Over the years, many patients have thought the program was too good to be true, but with 10,000 new families and counting, the program continues to grow and provide men and women with a financial safety net when considering fertility treatment.

Am I eligible for the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program?
The Shared Risk 100% Refund Program is available for patients either through our autologous program, meaning the female partner will be using her own eggs, or our Donor Egg Program, for those women using donor eggs. Each of these treatment options has its own set of eligibility criteria. We estimate that nearly 70 percent of patients in our practice who are using their own eggs would meet the qualifications for the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program.

If you are an international or out-of-state patient, you may also participate in these programs. Depending on your situation, we can make arrangements to coordinate your care with your local physician or fertility center. Typically, we only require patients to come to our centers at a few critical points during your cycle.

What fees are covered in the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program?
The Shared Risk 100% Refund Program includes:

  • All medical and laboratory services for up to 6 complete IVF cycles — from the start of medications through the first blood pregnancy test — are included. This includes assisted hatching of embryos and ICSI, if clinically needed.
  • If using an egg donor, the costs of monitoring, completed at SGF, and egg retrieval are also included.
  • Cryopreservation of viable embryos not transferred during any fresh Shared Risk cycle as well as the costs of FETs, until you have a baby or choose to withdraw from the program. 

Shared Risk costs do not cover consultations, diagnostic testing, outside services, medications, urologic male sperm retrieval procedure, or costs associated with complications or non-IVF care.

What is ICSI?
Your doctor may recommend ICSI as part of your IVF procedure to treat many causes of infertility, especially when there is a problem with the sperm, such as low motility (movement) or a low sperm count.

ICSI is especially useful in cases where the sperm cannot penetrate the egg, or if the sperm are abnormally shaped. It is a process in which an embryologist (a specialist in egg fertilization) injects a single sperm into the cytoplasm (center) of each egg. ICSI is commonly used in cases of male factor infertility and/or diminished egg quality.