If it sounds like I have been talking about this IVF cycle forever, it is because I have! I actually called my RE to start things in the end of July. If you have read my previous posts, you know that we ran into some issues that had nothing to do with us but took some time to get through. Here is how things have been going for the last few weeks.
Today marks the 12th and last day of stims…horray! Every day I have taken 5 mg of Lupron, 150 mg of Follistim, and 20mg of HCG MicroDose. For the first 4 days of stimming, I took another 150 mg of Follistim at night. It sounds like a lot, but from what I have read, some people take more.
People have asked me how I feel being on these drugs. My biggest symptoms have been bloating and feeling tired. For the last few days, my stomach has been a little upset but it has not been too bad until today. Overall, the drugs are not fun but I know that it could be way worse. Minus changing my exercise routine, I have been able to carry on as normal.
Today we did a final follicle count. I have 17 mature follicles between 15 and 21mm. My RE said that I do not have one dominant one which is nice and it is also good that they are all about the same size. I am also not over or under responding.
Tonight I am triggering with Chorionic Gonad, 10K. I have to mix it and take it exactly at 10PM. For some reason, I am a little nervous about that injection.
Our retrieval is scheduled for Friday morning. We have to bring $600 for anesthesia. Our copay for the retrieval is about $700 which we pay later after it has gone through insurance. While the costs do seem to add up, I am SO thankful we have coverage!
My RE said about 70% of the follicles will have eggs. We are using ICSI on all of them which is a requirement for genetic testing. About 50-70% of them should fertilize to become blastocysts. Apparently, age is on my side. I am 31 which increases the chance that more will fertilize.
All of our blastocysts will be sent to genesis genetics for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. For that, we owe our RE $2,000 and it costs $350 to ship them over. Insurance does not cover genetic testing but we feel it is worth it. Our infertility is unexplained so the more information we can get, the better. For example, our problem could be that all my eggs are chromosomally abnormal which we would not know if we never tested. I also do not want to do a transfer with an egg that is abnormal. We can not prevent everything but we can give it the best shot possible!
What happens next is TBD. It costs the same to genetically test 1 or 8 blastocysts. If 8 did not make it to blastocysts, we will do another retrieval as soon as my body ready for another one (the time for that could vary). That means we would have to pay another $600 for anesthesia. another $700 copay, and another $350 to send the eggs off again. Sending them off after each batch means the eggs only have to be frozen and thawed once (in the past this often had to be done twice). We would also owe an extra $500 (as opposed to another $2,000) to our RE to get the eggs ready for testing.
Our insurance would only cover 2 retrievals (and most likely one transfer with that). My RE is confident that between two retrievals, we will have 8 blastocysts. We may only have to do one retrieval which would be fabulous. That would leave more insurance money to cover extra transfers. Our insurance covers 15K worth of procedures (this does not include meds, office visits, ultrasounds, etc which are always covered at 90%). The price to insurance of a cycle of IVF is about $7,000 (we pay 10%) which is much lower than the cash price.
It costs $1,950 to test our blastocysts (that includes up to 8 of them). This means that overall, genetic testing costs $4,300 if it comes from one retrieval and $5,150 if it comes from two retrievals. They expect 2/3rds of them to be normal. Then we do transfers until they are gone.
Things are starting to feel real and I am getting really nervous! I appreciate if people could let me know what to expect at the retrieval and if they have any tips on getting through it. Jennie