Facing the costs of IVF… how are we going to afford this?

Yes, I can sell a bunch of stock to try to have a baby. I’d prefer not to. I’d prefer to keep that money for all the costs that come after having a baby and maybe one day buying a house. But, instead, I’m looking at $40,000+ for a chance at having a child. Even for someone like myself who has managed to save $500k, that’s a lot of money.

The clinic I went to today has high reviews, and equally importantly, is located close to my apartment and has appointments at 6:30am so working women don’t have to miss hours on the job in order to go through IVF and FET. I didn’t love the clinic to be honest – the doctor seemed good, but the other people there were a bit off… but at this point, I have to consider location and ability to have early morning appointments above all else, except maybe cost.

IVF fees are confusing, even when the clinics try to make them straightforward. And, the reality is, no matter what the fees are, there’s still only a 30%-40% chance each cycle will result in a live birth (give or take depending on age and other factors.) So, besides spending tens of thousands of dollars, you’re also confronted with the reality that you may end up with no child in the end. How much will you spend before you give up?

Few states cover any IVF fees. California is not one of them. So, we have to come up with $40k out of pocket to do this. Before we do that, we still have the option of doing timed intercourse with ovarian stimulation and trigger shot ($1000 a month) or IUI ($2200 / month), which may work, and will be a heck of a lot cheaper than IVF. But it also has a much lower chance of working than IVF, and $1000 a month isn’t pennies after a year of trying.

The one really good thing about IVF (at this clinic anyway) is that they have a model where you can bank extra embryos in advance for your second child. This is important to me because I will be over 35 when I have my second child (probably closer to 40 at this rate) and at least then if I have embryos banked it will “only” cost about $10k for a round to transfer them… not cheap, but cheaper than another $40k (as long as one of them sticks.)

I’m still in a bit of denial about the cost of all of this. I’ve never spent $40k on one anything in my life. The most I’ve spent on anything is $13k on my (used) car. It kind of goes against my entire principle of saving to spend $40k on ANYTHING. I also, deep down, still believe that this should happen for free. I mean, my body doesn’t want it to, and I’m going to be 34 in two months (crazy) and I haven’t gotten pregnant yet… but maybe I can. Or maybe I should put more faith into the Femera cycles with timed intercourse and  a trigger shot. Maybe the $1000 a month after a few months will work and I can avoid the $40k IVF… at least this time. But if I avoid that now, I won’t be able to save my younger eggs… and then my chances of having a second child are very slim. Maybe I should just splurge on IVF as insurance for my future, bank my eggs, hopefully get pregnant in the first two cycles… it could work. It could work very well, who knows.

Or it could not work at all – with the exception of draining our bank accounts.

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3 comments

  1. Henrietta Schermeier says:

    As much as it sucks costwise, I’d like to think that I would do it if in the same position. Having kids is the greatest accomplishment of my life and we are lucky to have two healthy ones. My sister-in-law is like you but older (39). But she quit her job 2 years ago to try and start a family. Tried everything you mentioned and finally on the 3rd round of IVF, is currently 20 weeks pregnant with twins. This in NC, so I’m sure the costs are lower, but they don’t earn nearly as much as you. In any case, God-willing there are no issues with the rest of the pregnancy, I totally think it is worth it and I’m so happy for them.

  2. Mr A. says:

    We are doing this right now too.
    However our prices are only $100 a month for Femera trigger shots and $250 for IUI.
    The IVF was $21K but it included 6 rounds/months of it; and if it doesn’t work you get 80% of the money back.
    #Midwest

    1. Joy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Is that covered by insurance at all? I know Illinois covers this stuff… but not sure where you are in #midwest — For Femera we’re paying about $1000 a month. The drug is actually covered by insurance (thank god) but trigger shot isn’t so that’s about $100 and then monitoring and blood tests aren’t covered, so that’s another $800+. IUI at this clinic is $2250 which we probably won’t do as my husband is fine and it doesn’t make sense to waste $ on that. Maybe we’ll try once. Another clinic quoted $1250 so if we do IUI we’ll go back to them. For IVF that’s when things get ridiculous. I’m pretty seriously considering traveling to do IVF… all the clinics in this area are too expensive. Or I help my husband get a job at a company that has really good insurance that covers it (possible) as I don’t think my new company does. Does the $21k include fresh or frozen transfers, and also does that include the drugs at all?

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