Nothing says good morning like calling fertility clinics! I called the first clinic on my list (first because it’s literally down the street from my and hubs work, and was recommended by our genetic people) and had a decent experience. I searched the Internet and made a list of questions that I’m going to ask each of he possible clinics to help us make the best decision possible and was able to get many clinic and billings related questions answered. Given, I found some answers on their website, but it’s different talking to another living and breathing human being. The front desk phone person sounded a bit rushed (but then again I was calling first thing in the morning and I took up 15 minutes of her time when she might have been trying to multitask…) but she answered all of my questions and did not seem off putting. She gave me the number to the billing department and that lady took her time (another 15 minutes) and she gave me some quotes since we’d be paying out of pocket.
Here are some general numbers I got:
$11,500 for tests, monitoring, egg retrieval, and cycle one of IVF
$1,200 for embryo biopsy of up to 8
$1,200 for embryo freezing
$50 (about) for doc visits each time
As we already have the genetic company that would be doing the biopsy we would move that expense to that company which puts us somewhere around $12-13k….
I don’t think I talked about the genetic side of things yet so let’s look at what this entails. Unlike traditional fertility thing-a-ma-bobs we are jumping straight to IVF due to our need to do something that’s called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (or PGD for short). The dumbed down version means that they are taking the egg and sperm; combining them, and five days later testing one of each of the surviving embryos cells to check out its genetic material to see if the embryo has the BRCA gene. If it does, we don’t use it, if it doesn’t have it, that embryo is considered viable and it gets saved for implantation. Which by the way, by doing this they can tell at day 5 whether it’s a boy or a girl. Crazy.
Anyway going back to my initial experience calling clinics. It was worth while to have my list out and ready so I could shoot off questions. It made me seem somewhat knowledgeable and I felt confident asking the right questions. It also made me feel good having someone who had answers answer the phone immediately- no phone tree of doom!
I still have 5 more clinics to call ( the perk of being able to drive to Chicagoland) and then we’re setting appointments to check out the actual docs and the feel of the clinics. This has been a good start!