Sunday, November 16, 2008


Let me preface this by saying that I know how incredibly fortunate we are to have infertility insurance coverage. I can't see a way we would have been able to attempt 7 IVF's without coverage. Some of our cycles have been out-of-network and we have a high deductible and co-pays, so, we've still paid plenty over the last 2.5 years, but, I know that it doesn't compare to what couples paying completely out of pocket have paid.

We went into this last cycle knowing that, if it wasn't successful, we only had one covered cycle left. And, while it was easy for me to say that we would use that last cycle for a donor egg cycle, in reality, I just don't feel ready for that.

This past week was open enrollment in my company. We've been under Glenn's insurance for the last 2 years because it had much better infertility coverage than mine. Now that we only had 1 IVF left on his, it was time to explore mine. As it turns out, mine will give us enough coverage for 1 IVF, giving us a total of 2 more! I have to be dual covered, but, the dollars make sense, so, I signed up.

Now, for our options. First of all, we are done with Clinic C. The decision is practical, as my insurance requires in-network and they aren't. But, honestly, if we felt they offered any hope for us, we'd pay out of pocket. But, I think we've seen that this isn't the case, sadly.

So, first decision - try one more time with my eggs or move right to donor eggs? I know how much greater our chances are with donor eggs. I really do. And I know that it wouldn't take us long as we're already at the top of the donor list at Clinic A, so, if we go donor, we will go back to them. But, I also know that I'm just not ready to give up on the genetics thing. I'll explain more in my next post.

Second decision - if we decide to try one more time, where? We could go back to Clinic A, but, really, they pretty much wrote us off and told us they had nothing left to try. [Edited: "wrote us off" is a bit strong. Basically, they said they had no other protocols they would recommend, but, that we could keep cycling as long as we wanted to in the hopes of getting a good embryo. That's when we went to Clinic C, who had several other things for us to try.] I would talk to them about this last protocol and the fact that we got 5 eggs, but, who knows if they would be willing to try it. So, that leaves us with a big decision. Do we consider a new clinic, Clinic D? They are widely known as the best in the country (those of you in the IF world will know who I'm talking about). I am going to do a phone consultation with them and see what they say. Given that cycling with them requires travel three quarters of the way across the country, I'd have to sense a real reason to cycle there, but, I'll only know that after talking with them.

And, as my husband has been reminding me lately, neither of us is getting any younger.

Yes, we have options, but, lots to think about. Sometimes I wonder if not having options would be easier.....


Robin said...

Hey Lisa!
Wow! You have a blog! Just added you to my follow list.
Listen, I had no idea you were going through this. If you ever need a shoulder, I am here.
Cousin Robin

Cassandra said...

Congrats on the good news with the insurance.

Something to consider for Clinic D (and I do know which one you're talking about) -- will your insurances cover you for out-of-state care? My RE works in hospitals in two states because we're close to a state line, and if I have things done at the hospital in the other state it often requires bureaucratic hoops.

Clinic A doesn't seem worthwhile. If they've written you off, you should write them off too. You can and will find a clinic that can still offer you hope and new ideas, whether D or another (anyone else with a good reputation closer to home?).

Best of luck, regardless.

WiseGuy said...

Hi there....though I am not qualified to advise you, I do want to share something I learnt yesterday. My doc was discussing a case of a lady who was not producing good embryos at all. The embryos were created but were not viable for pregnancy. She had been referred after 13 such cycles! So, there is still hope. And I completely understand your hesitation about using donor eggs and the genetics issue.

Secondly, tell DH that Madonna had her first issue when she was 42. So, you still have three years to be that much younger!

Emily said...

I think clinic D sounds like a wonderful option! I know who you mean ;) I will be anxious to hear about your phone consult!

nh said...

Pass on your options - ask me about clinics in the UK and I'd be able to advise... but clinic A does sound like a bad idea.
But as to your comment about not having options - it's true it might be easier, but what about hope? I think having options gives us hope.


Hi Lisa- I have so been where you are and I understand those choices are tough.

Regardless of where you go remember you are in the drivers seat.

If you want to learn more about egg donation, there's a really great site: it's a non-profit.

Hang in there:)

Kami said...

I'm very sorry the last cycle didn't work. I'm also sorry I missed that post until now.

I know genetics are important to you and I support you 100% on whichever you decide for this next cycle.

When I was contemplating DE, one of the things I learned was that odds of success go way down after 4-5 failed cycles. Some studies put poor responders at less than 2% chance of success.

Yes, I still sometimes wonder if we could have gotten lucky with one more try, but I am also glad we no longer need to keep trying.

Wishing you peace and success on this journey

Modern Orthodox IF said...

just wishing you good luck with your decision!!

Ms Heathen said...

Decisions such as these are so very complex, and also deeply personal.

Whatever you decide, we'll all be here to support you.

the Babychaser: said...

Wow, that is a LOT of insurance coverage. Ours ran out after 3 cycles (and only covered half), and I still felt lucky!

We are reserving 2 cycles for donor sperm. I know we're going to do one more with J's sperm, but I want more than one shot with the donor, because I think once we get on board with the donor approach, we're going to want to give it a fair shot (which for us is more than one). So for what it's worth, that would be my approach. (Unless, of course, you think you can afford one out-of-pocket, which might change the equation.)

I'm with you on the whole options thing. Options are a bitch, and they're the reason I'm still in this hellhole after 3+ years. But they're our salvation as well. I guess I have a love-hate relationship with science right now.

Good luck making those ridiculously hard choices!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, I envy your IF insurance. I can't even think about how much we've spent so far without my gag reflex tripping!

So many difficult choices.....aack. I hear you about having too many options. But, at least they're good options!

And I'm so sorry the last IVF was a no go.

Hang in there!