Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our decision

We have decided to try 1-3 treatments of IUI and then pursue IVF if we are not successful.

We are hopeful but not disillusioned of our chances of success. It is daunting to think of taking on the financial burden of IVF.

The cost of IUI is about $1,000. Totally worth it for having a child! IVF with ICSI on the other hand is about $10,500 for ONE treatment and that does not include the several thousand dollar cost of medications! There is also a financing program through Intergramed called the "Cost Share Plan". This program is about $25,200 and also does NOT include the cost of medications. The benefit with this program is that you get up to 6 attempts to conceive and if you do NOT take a baby HOME or you opt out at any time, you get 70% of your money back! The minor downside of course being that if you conceive the very first time you just spent $25,200 instead of $10,500 but what is the price value of a new life???

We hope to start our very first cycle of IUI in December ... your prayers and well wishes is much appreciated!

Now what?

Well, that's a long answer too. The whole time we have been going to the fertility specialists we have been planning on doing a treatment called IUI. (Intrauterine insemination) It is where they take a spun-down, concentrated amount of my husband’s "baby making stuff" and place it with a catheter right next to the fallopian tubes. They also put me on Clomiphene Citrate to have me ovulate more than one egg and increase our chances of conception.

Yet, since Mikel's count went down instead of up our doctor recommended a fertility treatment called IVF with ICSI. IVF or "In Vitro" is where they take a lot of eggs from me and fertilize them outside of the body. ICSI is where they take a needle and physically put the sperm inside the egg. Anyone who has heard of that treatment knows that it is a CRAZY expensive treatment of which insurance basically covers nearly nothing.

The doctor that is treating us said that he would be fine with us trying the much less expensive treatment a few times but warns us not to anticipate it to work. (IUI is a fraction of the cost of IVF!) We met with the finance department at SRM and they were so helpful in breaking down every little detail of the cost of IVF. We were still VERY taken back by the tremendous coast! We had to spend a lot of time discussing our finances and praying about it before coming to such a serious decision.

What happened next?

Our doctors at Seattle Reproductive Medicine (SRM) were great about trying to use the least expensive treatment to help us conceive. They started by trying to treat my husband's sperm count and motility. The prescription he was put on was Clomiphene Citrate, however our pharmacy filled the prescription wrong. A month later we realized that he was on a similar named medicine that is for treating OCD and depression. We were really lucky it didn't hurt him and that he didn't suffer any adverse side effects! Lesson learned ... ALWAYS read the packet you get from the pharmacy before you take the medicine to confirm it is used for purpose of which you are being treated! Long story short ... the medicine did not help his sperm count, in fact it dropped. Oh yeah and he had an allergic reaction to the proper medication. Ha, ha. Poor guy just can't catch a break! I love him for trying though. I guess there is a lot of controversy in the debate in what can really help to treat male infertility. It was worth a shot though!


Mikel & I have been married for a little over 5 years now and we decided after a year of marriage to start trying for children. Like many couples with fertility issues we were completely shocked when we were unable to conceive on our own. Infertility in simple terms is defined as "attempting to conceive without success for more than 1 year." Now that we have 4 years + behind us we more than qualify per the definition.

I was accepted to nursing school this year so we decided to consult a fertility clinic to make sure we did not miss our opportunity to have children if we waited the two years that school would take to have children. The doctors were really wonderful and pointed out that there is no time like the present and there are many factors contributing to a somewhat hurried time line for us. To say that the prospect of going to school and having to go through fertility treatments is stressful is quite an understatement !

I decided to start this blog to keep our friends and family up to date as well as provide myself with a therapeutic outlet when times get really stressful and hormones really kick in. LOL! Enjoy!