Monday, December 22, 2008

ivf costs?

So...I've been thinking. We're planning on doing another injectable cycle in March/April-ish. (Whenever my acupuncturist says I'm ready, pretty much.) We pay OOP for everything. ZERO coverage (thank you, state of Indiana). So an injectable cycle costs us (including meds) right around $2500 total. It's actually not that bad, really. But I got to thinking. We've had 1 failed cycle with injectables. I'm sure that the RE is going to push for us to do one more. But would our money be better spent if we skip right to IVF? Would we have a better outcome or even be able to perhaps find out if something else is wrong? Would we save money in the long run? I figure...if it takes 2...3...4 tries with injectables, then why not bypass that and spend our money on the "good stuff?"

So that started my wheels turning. I mentioned it to J last night and he actually agreed which shocked the crap outta me. He has been somewhat anti-IVF. He's said before that if injectables don't work, he doesn't see us spending 10K on IVF. Buuuuuttt......our doctor gives a discount for those who pay OOP. A 25% discount. And we were expecting $3500 per injectable was only $2500. So I decided to call and get a cost chart for IVF, just to see.

Here's how it pans out:
  • Injection conference: 82.50
  • Baseline u/s: 106.75
  • Follicle u/s (3 expected): 213.75
  • Estradiol b/w (4 draws): 300
  • Progesterone b/w (3 draws): 202.50
  • Venipuncture (4): 60
  • Egg Retrieval: $1400
  • Tranfer: $650
  • For a total of: $3017.50

This obviously doesn't include drugs (which I realize could double-or more-this amount. So I have some questions for you, please play along if you are currently or have ever done IVF!

  1. What was the cost of your IVF meds and what meds did you get?
  2. How many injectable cycles did you try before moving to IVF?
  3. Did you pay OOP or did you have coverage of some sort?

THANKS SO MUCH for any insight. I'm really considering this and would obviously have to discuss with my RE. But I think he might go for it. Or maybe he'll say one more try of injectables. That would be okay with me. But from there, we could take about 6 months off and not have to pull anything from savings to pay everything in full. That would be amazing!! But I need to be brought back down to reality if the drugs are actually like 6K or something crazy like that. (Which very well could be...I have done zero research on this...)

Thanks again.


  1. I am right there with you!! We have to pay OOP for all of our cycles. We have been through 2 IUI cycles w/injections and of course, both have failed. Hubby says we do not need to fork out $3000 more for another IUI, but wait and use that money for IVF if we need to. Im still really hoping that we do not need to!

    IVF would be almost $13000 for us I am stumped as to what to do. We will be on a break for quite a while!

    **Here from ICLW**

  2. Am I reading that right? $3000 for IVF without the meds? If you are up for it, I don't think it would be much of a decision for me. IVF does help you understand if you have other issues (i.e. fertilization, poor egg quality) plus you know for sure the best sperm find your egg!

    If you tell me how much drugs you took for your IUI cycle, I can help you guesstimate the cost for IVF. (i.e. as a poor responder, I took 4 x my IUI dose for my IVF cycle). We had some coverage on the procedure and good coverage on the drugs,so my OOP costs were lower.

  3. I am researching this also. Is your DR in Indianapolis? The meds are expensive and it depends on what he puts you on and how much is needed. I'm guessing around 4K to 5K for the meds but I could be wrong. Also, you need to think about whether or not ICSI is needed or if you will be freezing embryos. I think those add to the costs.

    Let me know what you find out in your research!

    PS my word verification says "taters"

  4. Here from ICLW.

    I am in total agreement.

    In response to your questions, in reverse, 1) I didn't start trying (beyond OPK and sex) until I had insurance coverage. 2) By that time I was so old that all the REs said "straight to IVF." 3) A LOT!! But not relevant to you, since I was on the very maximum dose, because I'm ancient (in terms of fertility). The REs tell me I respond right on target for a 45 yo.

    Enough about me! YES, you get more bang for your buck with IVF. MUCH higher chances of success and lower risk of high order multiples (3 or more). Since you're self pay, there's no reason for your RE not to do IVF next if that's what you want. Insurance companies often require a certain number of IUIs before paying for IVF. Switching to IVF benefits the dr. More $ for him and higher success rates for his clinic.

    Make sure you check your clinic's success rates on the SART website.

  5. We did 6 IUI cycles with injectables. All BFN. In hindsight I wish we would have switched to IVF (especially since that gave a BFP) after 3 IUIs, but at the time I was not ready for that yet in my head.

    Yes, IVF can give you an added insight in what's wrong. In our case it might have been that many embryos showed fragmentation (although they have no explanation for that).

    I did do a breakdown of our IVF cycle, including meds, a few weeks ago on my blog (12/3) but I'm in France, so I doubt that will help you much.

    Good luck with everything and thanks for commenting on my blog! *ICLW*

  6. We're OOP for everything as well. I would agree that perhaps you should go on to IVF..I know that's probably what I would do.

    I hope you are able to make a decision. To me, one of the hardest things is the waiting, second guessing, and decisions.


  7. I have done the IUIs and finally pushed for the IVF, the IUIs can be very traumatic when you are constantly living on overloads of hormones and a continuous two week cycle.

    My meds cost about $2000 for all of them, including the progesterone following the retrieval and through the first trimester.

    My RE had me order my Menopur which was the most expensive from, they were really great and a about five days after my order I received the meds from London.

    Let me know if you have any questions- and good luck!

  8. Sorry I forgot to leave my blog site:

  9. I am not sure about IVF because I haven't done it yet but I did read an article that stated that many people waste a lot of money trying before going to IVF when they would have been better served to start with IVF. I thought it was interesting...sorry I can't remember where I read it.

  10. That makes sense. 25% off is fantastic!

  11. an OOP discount is amazing!

    we did 6 IUI cycles before IVF, I think that at least 3 of them were injectables. Now I am kicking myself. I am wishing that I would have just gone to IVF sooner. I keep thinking (and my RE agreed) that I wouldn't *need* IVF to get pregnant.

    We were lucky and had coverage for our meds, we only had to pay the co-pays which was about $120 for the whole cycle. I have friends who paid about $4K for meds...that is definitely something to look into!

    Good luck!

  12. Not sure if you need any more assvice, but I would say do some more inject/IUI cycles. IVF did not work for me but Inject/IUI's did. Unless your doctor things there is an underlying reason (PGD?) that you need IVF, IUI's might work for you. Good Luck!

  13. Wow, IVF at your clinic is a bargain! This IVF plus ICSI was just over $10K without the meds, entirely OOP.

    1. For IVF #2 (currently in progress) the meds were just over $4K for Gonal-F, Repronex, Centrotide, progesterone in oil, estrogen, and HCG. They were cheaper for IVF #1 which had a simpler protocol.

    2. 2: since we have unexplained IF, the RE didn't think there was a point in continuing with injectables since the odds are much lower than IVF.

    3. Almost entirely OOP. This time, insurance covered part of the progesterone in oil and estrogen, but that probably saved no more than $200.

    Personally based on the small cost difference between IUI and IVF for you, I'd go for IVF. I am dubious enough about the long-term side effects of these meds that I'd prefer to do fewer cycles. IVF isn't that much more invasive than IUI, and the odds are so much better (at least in my case).

    Whatever you decide, good luck!



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