By Michelle Katz
Do you have baby on the brain? Well, “making a baby” can be as stressful as actually as having a baby with all the infertility options out there such as IVF, IUI, ICI, IVI etc. If you are headed down this path, one of the key components to having a successful pregnancy is not to stress, but if you are not prepared financially, this may be almost impossible. One of the less expensive ways to go through this process is through Natural IVF, which is becoming more popular among women who have either a low ovarian reserve or have failed stimulated IVF and are not interested in a donor egg in part because it is less expensive and are afraid of ovarian stimulation drugs. Here are my top 3 tips for saving money while trying to conceive that perfect baby.
1. Set a Budget and find the right team
Remember, it only takes one egg, and while it may seem rare, it can happen to women on their first attempt and at any age. If you look at a place like Dominion Fertility, they have a patient that had her first child at the age of 48 after only two attempts via natural cycle IVF after spending thousands of dollars at another nearby clinic on stimulated IVF and being told she could only get pregnant with a donor egg. Also understand that if you decide to transfer more than one egg, you might end up with twins, or even triplets or more. So be sure you set your budget to compensate the extra bundle of joy just in case. The key is to find a team that make you feel comfortable and work with your budget while laying out ALL of your options so you can make the most informed decision for yourself with as little stress as possible.
2. Price around for your pharmaceuticals
This is where you can spend the most money depending on your treatment (an average of $4,000 – $10,000 per cycle) and why many women opt for a method like natural cycle IVF, because you only need one Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) “trigger shot” along with your antibiotics, etc which may only cost an average of $100 – $500 per cycle. Also, know that the price of these medications will vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, week to week, and depending on what (HCG) hormone is prescribed such as Pregnyl, Noveral, Ovidrel etc. It is always best to price around for these meds BEFORE you start your treatment and inquire if the manufacturer has any special programs based on financial need before your doctor prescribes; this way you can be sure you get the best deal since your doctor may not always know what “special discounts” are going on at that time and can prescribe what is best for budget at that time.
3. The extras add up
Acupuncture, fertility diets, Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) etc are all extras that can kill your budget, so choose the course of your treatment wisely. There is not enough scientific research to prove that acupuncture or fertility diets actually work, but again, do what is best for you and within your budget. Some clinics may actually provide a PGD and/or PGS in an attempt to identify those embryos that are genetically abnormal so that improved embryo selection will—ideally—result in improved pregnancy rates and lower miscarriage rates but you need to ask if this is included in your treatment since the price may vary from $2500 – $5000 and on up. If decide to invest in these tests, it can result in selecting the best embryo for your transfer, which may bring you that much closer to a successful pregnancy, thus avoiding the cost of an additional cycle.
Guest Name: Michelle Katz
Guest Title: Healthcare Consumer Advocate
Guest Twitter: @michellekatzmsn
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Guest’s Website: about.me/michellekatz