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Questions About Fertility, Answered by Fertility Patients

Many women and men having trouble conceiving often have similar questions about fertility treatment, the associated costs, and if they will ultimately be successful. A panel of successful Shady Grove Fertility patients answer these questions about fertility which have been submitted from other patients and those interested in learning more about fertility treatment.

Question: What was the hardest part of your IVF cycle? How did you afford your IVF cycle? Was it successful on the first cycle?

Questions About Fertility – Answered by Fertility Patients

kerryKerry: The hardest part of our IVF cycle was the emotional part of waiting and thinking about what if this doesn’t work, then what do we do? When you get to the point of having to do IVF, you have already been through so much emotionally with trying to get pregnant. The good thing about going through it is that you have a hope that your dreams of having a child will come true. We have been fortunate to have 4 wonderful children through IVF but we have had a lot of heartbreak too which comes with infertility. We had 8 miscarriages before my 1st son was born, lost another baby that was a twin of my second son and just very recently had a miscarriage at 19 weeks from a frozen embryo transfer. Those are the hardest parts of being a fertility patient and learning how to get through that.

We all know that IVF is very expensive. We went through 3 fresh cycles and were very fortunate that all were successful on the first try. We used frozen embryos in between our 1st and 2nd sons and none took. We did have a successful frozen embryo that took after our 3rd son and we had a daughter. Before we had to go to fertility treatments, I never would have imagined spending this much money on having kids and we are not people that have a ton of money either. To do our IVF cycles, we took out loans and a line of credit on our mortgage as well as borrowed from our 401K. To do our frozen embryo transfers, we used my husband’s flexible spending from his work. We are still paying back all of our loans but we have never thought about the money because we feel so fortunate to have our kids. I think when you go through as much as people do with infertility; you are able to gain a different perspective about what is truly important in life. Don’t let money deter you if you can find a way to do it. We do put a lot of faith in God because sometimes that is all you have to hang on to. Good luck on your journey!

Christine - Fertility Treatment Patient PanelChristine: By far the hardest part for me was the emotional side and the wait after retrieval and before transfer. I did not have very many eggs retrieved and worried that I would not even get to the embryo transfer (but I did twice, and have a 22 month old and am 9 weeks pregnant with our second). The two week wait was also hard but I felt a little more in control of things at that point because the embryo(s) were in me. We did the Shared Risk program for our first cycle (and got pregnant on the first try) but felt better about choosing that program as we knew what the costs were and did not have to stress over additional money if it did not work the first time. Both of my IVF cycles were successful on the first try. We have male factor infertility and did IVF with ICSI.

Holly - Fertility Treatment Patient PanelHolly: Before I started this process, I would have thought that 100% of the answers would be all the shots, blood work, and ultrasounds. But to be honest, my hardest part was the 2 weeks wait. After transfer, not knowing if your miracle is growing inside of you or not, if it’s healthy, etc… is hard to go through. During this time, you NEED to make time for yourself, time for you and your partner, and take care of yourself!! I cried every night during those two weeks while getting my shots.. .always questioning if it worked. Our first two IVF cycles failed (one failed at 7 weeks of pregnancy). We will be back at Shady Grove Fertility in 2014 to try again. I can say we were extremely lucky and our place of business gave us $15,000 towards treatment and after that we were only responsible for 10%.

rachelRachel: The hardest part of the IVF cycle was the fact that you were actively thinking about it all of the time, surprisingly even more than just trying to conceive the traditional way. IVF requires that you be monitored frequently, give yourself shots, have egg retrieval etc. There was something, almost daily that you had to do or have done to you to ensure that the process went smoothly. I think having those to-do items on my list each day made me feel even more emotional and strung out than I had in previous cycles where I was perhaps just trying to have sex during certain times, or even just taking meds by mouth. Never before had I been so invested in an uncertain outcome!

My husband and I were always invested emotionally each month as we tried to get pregnant. However, with IVF, all of the things we had to do to get to the final embryo transfer made us feel even more emotionally invested.

Financially, we could not afford it without taking out a loan. We used Fertility Finance and took out a loan to help pay for IVF. We didn’t feel like we were gambling with our money, as we participated in Shady Grove Fertility’s Shared Risk program (essentially guaranteeing we would get our money back if our IVF cycles did not eventually result in a baby).

We were very fortunate – we did get pregnant as a result of our first IVF cycle. If you would want to read more specifically about our step by step of the IVF cycle with Shady Grove Fertility, feel free to read some of my blog posts, detailing our experience: http://inconceivablefaith.blogspot.com/search/label/IVF

Kathleen: We had a small amount of insurance coverage and used Fertility Finance to pay for the majority of the costs.

JessicaJessica: The hardest part for me was the weight gain. Not everyone experiences weight gain from the hormones but my body retained fluid right from the start. During the entire process it was really hard to see my weight increase so much from where I started. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that I was truly okay with the weight gain. My husband and I paid for part of the treatment with cash and used a 0% interest credit card for the rest. Our insurance covers fertility but my husband had a vasectomy when he was married to his first wife so it negated all insurance coverage. Be prepared to spend a little more than you are quoted. My estrogen levels were not high enough so we had to get another $1,700 worth of medication halfway through the treatment cycle.  We did the Shared Risk program with Shady Grove Fertility. We were lucky and were successful on our first attempt. We had a grade A embryo and just transferred one. We have two frozen embryos for future use :).

NititaNitita:  The hardest part for me was the thought of giving myself the injections, being that both my husband and I are terrified of needles. I remember when I first gave myself one of the many injections, I thought I was going to pass out but it wasn’t that bad once I followed all the instructions and I can honestly say I became a pro at it. My husband and I were able to afford the IVF cycle because insurance covered us at 50%. We paid out of pocket for the rest, and thank goodness for us we only did one round of IVF after two failed IUI’s and it worked. Best of luck and well wishes!

Megan - Fertility Treatment Patient PanelMegan: The hardest part of the IVF cycle is the constant shots and of course the unknown of if it will work or not. Staying positive and making the shots as part of your daily routine makes it a little easier. My first IVF cycle did result in a pregnancy but then ended a few weeks later in miscarriage. My second cycle was a Frozen Embryo Transfer was also successful and that was the pregnancy that lasted and I now have 2 beautiful twin daughters.  Always have faith that you will in the end get the outcome you want.

YuliyaYuliya: The hardest part was the uncertainty of the outcome. We had insurance coverage for just one try. There was lots of pressure. I found that talking to friends, to a psychologist specializing in infertility, and online TTC communities was very helpful. Yoga, reiki, massage, and swimming, and a diet change helped too. I did get pregnant on the first try, but I miscarried at 8 weeks. In our case, we were able to freeze 3 embryos. I took 3 months off from treatment and came back for a FET. A FET only costs a fraction of a fresh IVF. We transferred 2 embryos, and one of them became my beautiful baby girl!!!

AndreaAndrea: The hardest part of my IVF cycle was definitely the emotional aspect of wondering if it was going to work for us or not. We ultimately decided to utilize Shady Grove Fertility’s Shared Risk program to maximize our chances of success while paying a flat fee. We also had the peace of mind of knowing that if we didn’t bring home a baby that we would get a 100% refund of the money we spent.

We decided to use Fertility Finance to assist us with financing the cost of Shared Risk. It was a great option for us since it allowed us to make monthly payments rather than pay for our treatment in full up front. Our first fresh cycle of IVF was unsuccessful. It was very disappointing but since we were in the Shared Risk program, we didn’t have the added financial stress of paying for another cycle. We then moved on to a frozen embryo transfer to transfer our frozen embryos that we had leftover from the first cycle. We made the decision with our doctor to transfer both of our frozen embryos and we now have 20-month old boy/girl twins.

If you have questions about fertility or are ready to schedule an appointment at Shady Grove Fertility, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.

13 Comments

  1. Martha Robelli

    October 21, 2013 - 10:09 pm
    Reply

    Excellent! I was able to find answers to many of my questions about IVF cycles. Thank you!
    Fertilização in Vitro

  2. Leigh

    October 19, 2013 - 2:27 am
    Reply

    IVF…..where do I start. I was so excited to start!! Planned my Saturday at home waiting for medication to be delivered. We had some insurance coverage but had to take out a loan. The cost for shared risk was too great especially because medication costs aren’t included. Just like a lot of others, we didn’t qualify for any help. Our cycle failed miserably. We got to egg retrival and had no fertilization. Absolutely devastating. What’s even worse is that finances prevent us from doing it again. We can’t go bankrupt over trying. So…..fingers crossed something else works one day:(

  3. Tiffany Yesavage

    October 18, 2013 - 3:34 pm
    Reply

    I think that it is very important to include not only single mothers, but also at least one person in non-traditional (LGBT) type of relationship. This is especially true if you are going to have as many as 10 different stories! It is too bad to see the lack of diversity represented. A simple glance around the clinic on any given day indicates to me that there are many types of stories that are not being told here.

  4. sweet pea

    October 18, 2013 - 1:04 am
    Reply

    My husband and I are about to trigger and trying to decide if we should consider transferring two embryos. Any advice or comments?

  5. Kristen

    October 17, 2013 - 9:12 pm
    Reply

    My husband and I are anxiously awaiting the results of our test, which is tomorrow. We just completed our first round of IVF and transferred 1 grade A embryo. I’m curious to know what everyone’s physical experiences were like during the 2 week wait. I know that the symptoms – cramping, bloating, spotting, fatigue, sore breasts – are common/may not occur at all, but I have experienced every single one of them. To be honest, the symptoms have taken a lot of wind out of my sails especially because they mimic PMS. Today, the day before my test, I woke up with pretty bad cramping and started spotting. I’m trying to stay positive, but I’m convinced that it didn’t work. I feel like the only thing stopping my period from coming is the medication. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    • Becky

      October 18, 2013 - 2:37 am
      Reply

      Kristen,
      Hang in there!! A good friend of mine was recently convinced she was getting her period after her first IVF and she was actually pregnant! My husband and I just transferred our frozen blastocyst yesterday and I am so anxious about the unknown. Trying to stay positive. Warmest wishes to you all!

  6. Jenny

    October 17, 2013 - 8:14 pm
    Reply

    Oh man, I relate to all of these so much!

    I’m currently just shy of 11 weeks pregnant after my very first round of IVF. I have to be honest, the hardest part for me, personally, wasn’t even the 2 week wait. It was the news of success, and then having to wait to see if it was real. I think on some level, I sort of saw IVF as my way to make peace with my body’s problems; as long as I *tried*, then I could move into adoption or even childlessness without regrets. So when we had a positive pregnancy test at the end of this whole thing, it was thrilling and utterly terrifying. Suddenly the thing I thought was really just not possible… was happening. Suddenly I felt very emotionally vulnerable and scared that I’d allow myself to be joyful and hopeful, and it would all be dashed away by a blighted ovum or a broken reproductive system. Suddenly the thing I had never dared wish would be real was, for the moment, real. I wasn’t prepared for the devastation of failure after real hope.

    I think I still kind of feel that way. It’s coming up on the end of the first trimester — all too soon I will have nuchal screening and the like. But the hardest part is still the disbelief that this is real, even as I need to go bra shopping because absolutely nothing fits! All that said, I know I’m so SO lucky to even get to have this “hardest part”. I hope all of you do, too. Best of luck and warmest wishes.

  7. Alexandra

    October 17, 2013 - 6:34 pm
    Reply

    I’m wondering why there are no experiences about the IUI process. Or any of the other fertility treatments you offer. I’m new to this whole thing and I’d like to hear from women who have done other treatments besides IVF.

  8. Eleanor McConnell

    October 17, 2013 - 5:57 pm
    Reply

    Why have you neglected to talk about the challenges of this process for single women? All of your examples are married, yet many single women like me are going through this, with the same problems as everyone else, but also with a bunch of additional burdens that married people don’t have to deal with. You should acknowledge all kinds of patients and experiences, not just the privileged and partnered.

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      October 17, 2013 - 6:02 pm
      Reply

      Hi Eleanor – I completely understand where you are coming from. The women that responded to the question were volunteers – and yes, it seems as though many went through fertility treatment with a partner. If you would like to volunteer to share the experiences from a different perspective, that would certainly be welcome. Feel free to email Sandee at sandee.murray@integramed.com to sign up to be on the panel.
      Thank you.

    • alicia

      October 17, 2013 - 8:08 pm
      Reply

      Bravo Eleanor!!
      I agree with you. I am also planning a single mother by choice and all the SG stories are about couples. I did mention this to Sandee so hopefully she will get the ball rolling on this (very fast growing) group of women.

    • Brandynicole

      October 17, 2013 - 8:57 pm
      Reply

      Eleanor – You took the words right off if my fingertips! I also wonder why only IVF patients are featured. There’s lots of discussion throughout the SGFC website about IVF with blurbs here and there about IUI. Especially when thinking about financial options. Many times I get “if you can’t afford IUI, ou can’t afford a baby,” but how often do we she’ll out $2,000 – $2,500 all at once. Particularly in a situation where you don’t know the outcome. Perhaps I will research helping patients not needing the extreme of IVF receiving financial options as well. Thank you again for speaking up!

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