Monday, October 13, 2008

Good Question

So I've been asked by a few of you why I would skip over IUI's and go straight to IVF.
My short answer is money. But of course, I'll give you the long answer. Ha.

Insurance will cover none of my IF. The problem is that my hospital (St. Joe.seph) is Catholic. I am not catholic. My Dr. is not catholic. But because the hospital that my RE works out of is catholic, almost no infertility issues are covered. So my insurance will only cover half of the initial diagnostics, and nothing now that the diagnosis is unexplained infertility. Even if I was able to have my RE write up a lap. as due to endo, because he's and Reproductive Endocrinologist, they will assume it's due to IF and not cover it. If I went somewhere else, they would only cover half of the procedure. That makes a 20,000 dollar procedure cost 10,000 smackers for my DH and I. What a deal, right?
So out with the lap.
Onto IUIs. Each IUI will be just under 2000 big ones. With success rates so low (around 20%) by the time I try IUI 3 times, I've just paid 6,000 bucks. So when I look at those numbers and the increase with IVF percentages (around 45%) it seems like a better idea is to go for IVF. I asked my DR this, and he said because everything seems to be working, IVF is actually a good solution because it takes most of the guessing out of getting pregnant. We know where the egg is, we know where the sperm are, etc. It wasn't his thought (going straight to IVF) it was mine. But he agreed that after 2.4 years of trying that IVF is a probably place to go.
IVF is going to cost about 16,000 greenbacks the first time and a frozen egg cycle is 2500 after that. I asked what if I didn't get pregnant after going through IVF and finishing all potential eggs I would freeze and the finance lady didn't have a figure, but she got a sad look on her face and said a second fresh cycle is highly discounted. I thought she seemed genuine.

I'm thinking I'll try a few more months of clomid with timed intercourse while waiting for summer, but as a teacher I feel like summer is my best chance. I can relax more, I will have an available schedule for all the office visits...
But seriously ladies, I don't know. Am I a moron to skip IUI's? I know some of you have gotten pregnant the first IUI's, but it feels like the blogs I'm reading haven't had much IUI luck (still around the 20 % mark).

Okay, is that enough rambling about money? I am so open to opinions that you guys don't even know!
Bring on the advice!


Shelby said...

If given your position, I would go your route as well. The only reason why I'm even bothering with more IUIs (or bothered with them previously) is because they're really cheap for us. But if this were not the case, I would go straight to IVF. I think you're being logical!

Leslie Laine said...

I agree. We did 2 IUIs before moving onto IVF, but we decided that it was time because we don't have coverage either. It just seemed like a waste to keep putting ourselves through that when we could be investing the money in something with much better odds.

Go with what feels right to you. That's always the best decision.

twondra said...

I found your blog and I hope it's okay that I came here. :) I'm currently doing IVF and awaiting egg retrieval on Thursday. We did 12 IUIs and I can tell you right now that with all the emotional and financial strain we had, I wish we would've jumped right to IVF...and we had insurance coverage! So, I definitely think you're doing the right thing.

If you have any questions at all, please ask! I have a blog at

Good luck sweetie! I hope it's okay I continue to follow you! I'd love to see how you're doing!

I Believe in Miracles said...

Oh Courtney, my heart is breaking for you (and hubby) as you wrestle with this decision. It is so hard. Whatever you decide --- make sure you feel good about it. If you want to talk, please feel free to email me. I'll be praying for you.

As for my story, we have insurance coverage (although I found out hubby has a $1000 deductible, so we've paid about $800ish for 3 IUIs). We were initially going to do 3 clomid IUIs, 3 injectible IUIs, and then IVF. But we skipped the injectible IUIs and went straight to IVF. This was based on the RE and swimmers for the IUIs. There is a much higher percentage of IVF success and I think my RE is pretty aggressive.

I'm very glad that we did this. I think there is more control with the IVF. Regardless, as I've been starting this cycle it has been really hard. I've been more emotional than normal, mourning various losses, worrying about it not working, etc. My recent post is about that...

I'm not sure how hard it is to switch clinics, or if you would get coverage at a non-Catholic hospital (seems weird that a Catholic hospital has an RE clinic that does IVF), but it might be worth calling around. If you can cut down some of the costs, it might be worth waiting to get into a new clinic if you are waiting until the summer anyway. Just a thought.

I'm hear for you and will support you with whatever you decide.


Jen said...

We skipped IUI (we just did one) and went straight to IVF. But we have male factor issues and no female issues, PLUS insurance coverage for IVF.

We originally thought we would have to pay for IVF and decided to do it anyway. You do have to consider the possibility of IVF #1 not working, or that you will not have embryos to freeze. Our first one looked perfect all around and just didn't work. We were lucky enough to have frozens both times.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

i have a friend doing the same thing..skipping iuis and hoping for better results and less money spent.

good luck!

CTagsGirl said...

What a big decision to make! I'm sorry I don't have any insight to share re: choosing between IUI or IVF, but I do have to say it sounds like you've put a ton of thought and prayer into this choice. Sometimes you just have to go with your "gut" feeling. :) I'll be here, cheering you on whatever your choice may be! *hugs*

Dan and Gretchen said...

After having several failed attempts with the IUI's on all sorts of meds (oral and injectables), we finally went w/IVF (mostly b/c I was to scared to try it right away). I think it's whatever you are most comfortable with. We didn't have any coverage either, so we are now sitting on $15000 debt but got pregnant with Triplets on our first round of IVF (2 eggs transferred and 1 split), we have since lost one of our babies, but still have 2 healthy babies due in March.
I didn't catch what state you live in, but I will tell you that the IVF prices sound outrageous. My doctor is well known through out the US and his prices were seriously almost 1/2 of what yours appear to be. It might be worth shopping around a little...sounds kind of tacky, but you may be surprised what you find :)

Best of luck to you in whatever you choose to do, there's no doubt it is for certain and emotional roller coaster.

I Believe in Miracles said...

For Random Reassurance Week, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your realism and how you constantly question things around you.