Wednesday, 23 April 2014

100 Days of Pregnancy: Day 67

Resolve to Know More

A lot of people are unaware of just how expensive infertility treatments are. They may have a number in their head, but do they really know how much we spend out of our bank accounts to even just TRY to start a family? And just imagine spending all of this money only to be told that you have to stop your cycle for one reason or another, or that your trigger shot didn't work and no eggs were retrieved, or they retrieved eggs but none were fertilized, or the fertilized eggs did not mature like they should, or you transfer your one and only embryo and it doesn't work, or you have multiple frozen embryo transfers and none of them work. IVF is not a guarantee of a baby.

My hubby and I went to The Fertility Clinic for our treatments. On their website, they post that for 2011-2012, in women under 35 years old, they had a 43% success rate (meaning IVF resulted in a clinical pregnancy). That's not even a 50/50 chance of IVF working for you.

And then there are the costs of all of the treatments...just looking at the list of costs is overwhelming. My doctor had a sense of humour (and he's lucky I did as well) because one of the first things he said to me was "well, you're one of the lucky ones that has blocked tubes because IVF is covered for you." I'm lucky?! Seriously, Doc, if I were lucky I wouldn't be sitting in front of you right now. At The Fertility Clinic, some of the prices are as follows:

Orientation Fee - $500 (that's $500 out of pocket just to get your foot in the door
Advance Semen Analysis - $300, plus an additional $200 if it needs to be repeated
IVF - $5000 (this is covered if you have blocked tubes)
ICSI - $1500
Surgical Sperm Retrieval - $2250
Embryo or Blastocyst Freezing - $600
Annual Storage of Embryo/Blastocyst - $250
Thaw and Transfer of Frozen Embryos - $1000 (this is also covered if you have blocked tubes)

This is just a short list of some of the expenses you may encounter (here's the full list from the website). And then on top of all of the treatments, there's the cost of the medication (one small vial of medication alone cost $800). We were extremely fortunate that our insurance plan covered 90% up to $3000 per person for a lifetime maximum. It was a bit of a struggle trying to get them to cover anything under my hubby's $3000 lifetime maximum because they were trying to tell me that it was just for the females, which I had to sternly patiently point out that no where in our policy book did it state anywhere that it was only for female members of the family. And let's face it, we wouldn't need ICSI if it we were just facing a female factor and we wouldn't need an advance semen analysis if we were just facing a female factor. Eventually, after a written note from our doctor explaining this to them, they agreed to run the cost of ICSI, the advance semen analysis, and the blastocyst freezing under his lifetime maximum and the other costs (orientation fee and medication expenses) were covered under me. I'm hoping I'll be able to also run the annual storage fee through our insurance as well (it doesn't hurt to try or be pushy).

So this just goes to show how expensive infertility treatments are. Yes, my husband and I are very fortunate that most of our expenses were paid for, but many couples are not this fortunate and many couples don't just need one IVF cycle, they need multiple! So multiply all of those numbers by 2 or 3 or 6! To many couples, this is their reality, this is where there money is spent, trying so desperately to start their family.

These couples are in my prayers. Just because we have received such happy news doesn't make me forget the pain of infertility and what these women and men are going through. If you can, add them to your prayer list. I strongly believe there is power in prayer and infertiles need prayer warriors.


  1. These prices seem more affordable than the prices in the U.S. Although, "affordable" is not the right word at all!!!! None of our expenses were paid for, but it doesn't even matter now! (: Praying for you and Baby. And I'm so enjoying your posts this week.

    1. I think you are right, Logan! These prices do seem on the cheaper end of things when compared to other clinics. I'm still praying for you and Bonnie...we're almost there!

  2. These prices seem much more reasonable than what we could be looking at. I was thinking here that IVF is anywhere from $15,000-$30,000 yikes!! Either way none of it is cheap that's for sure, but if I had it I would spend it in a heartbeat to have a baby :)

    1. I think the prices at my clinic are on the cheaper side of things. I just took a quick peek at the prices CCRM (since a lot of bloggers have mentioned this clinic) has on their website and my jaw dropped!! I wish IVF treatments were covered for everyone.

  3. So great that you're spreading the word about the ridiculous costs of infertility treatments. By the time we are done with our donor cycle, we will have likely spent close to $80,000….which is downright ludicrous. Right now, we are just trying to save, borrow and beg money to move forward…a crappy place to be. Hopefully Resolve will help get these treatments covered by insurance for infertile in future.

    1. It breaks my heart that so many couples are facing these struggles. I'll continue to keep you in my prayers! I really hope Resolve can make a difference in the future. I know our provincial government is making a huge step in 2015 to fund an IVF cycle for infertile couples and I think everyone should be given this opportunity.