Author Topic: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF  (Read 1522 times)

marshmallowaddict

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Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« on: October 12, 2019, 03:40:15 PM »
Hi Everyone -

I am seriously considering freezing my eggs and have two options for treatment - an independent clinic (Kindbody) or a hospital. If the prices were close, I'd rather go to the hospital since it feels more legitimate however there is at least a $3k difference in cost.

Does anyone have any advice on how to decide between the two options, how to choose a good doctor aside from their bedside manner or any other questions that I should be asking during the process? It is a lot of money, but I want to make sure the process goes as well as possible. I also asked my insurance to come back to me with a predetermination of benefits. I know they won't cover the egg retrieval but am hoping they may cover some of the labwork or hospital fees.

A little bit about me - I left a serious relationship over a year ago, am 34 years old and haven't found the right partner. My AMH levels have dropped the past year and I'm concerned.

Thanks in advance for your support :-)



 

BECABECA

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 06:27:10 PM »
Iím not sure how much use I am on your specific questions, but I did go through an egg donation a few years back and I have some tips based on that. I didnít get to pick the clinic or the doctor since I was just the donor. I would recommend a female doctor for this process: the doctor they used was a guy who had no concept of how uncomfortable it is to have a vaginal ultrasound swing from the left ovary to the right when your ovaries are swollen up the size of tennis balls from all the hormone injections. I donít think a female doctor would ever be so rough, even if sheíd done it a thousand times and was in a crazy hurry. Given that I had to have my follicles measured like this multiple times during the course of the donation process, that would have been a big improvement. If both clinics only have male doctors, then Iíd want to talk to their past patients to figure out which doctor has the most empathy.

As for questions, if I was freezing for myself, then Iíd want to know about the statistics of what percent of eggs that they freeze and then later thaw and try to fertilize result in a successful embryo (not necessarily a successful birth, since that is a result of a lot of other factors). Itís my (possibly outdated) understanding that eggs frozen unfertilized do not keep as well as embryos frozen.

$3k is a significant difference, and if you end up having to do two cycles to extract enough eggs to ensure you have enough to result in enough embryos to give a reasonable chance of successful birth, then that makes the cheaper clinic even more attractive (assuming they both have similar success statistics).

Also keep in mind that youíll need to be going to this place multiple times a week for a couple months, so ideally itís close to your home/work.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2019, 06:56:43 PM »
I'm also not able to give you an opinion on one place versus the other. But if you REALLY want to have a child - have a child. Freezing your eggs is NOT a very good way to guarantee having a child in the future. It's a false sense of security.

Now, if you're really not sure if you ever want to have a child, and are just thinking of this as a way to possibly keep that option open, and won't be heartbroken if it doesn't work out in the future - fine. Do it. But if you're really SURE you want a biological child, the best way to guarantee that happens is to get pregnant now, even if that means donor sperm and single motherhood.

A 2016 study showed only a 39 percent live birth rate in women who froze their eggs at 35. Most women have unrealistic notions of the success rate of this procedure. And I suspect clinics that do this give a false impression about their success rates because, well, this is how they make money. There's also only a 6.5 -7.0% chance of a live birth from each transferred fertilized egg .

Not trying to be a downer, just don't want you to regret missing your chance to have a biological child because of over-reliance on a technology that isn't actually that successful. Here's the link to the study:  https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(15)02037-3/fulltext

Chrissy

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2019, 07:53:25 PM »
It's all about the stats.  I chose a clinic who published theirs on their website (Advanced Fertility in/near Chicago, if you're curious).  I also looked at personal reviews on Yelp, Google, etc.  My husband and I were doing embryos, not eggs, fyi. 

I met with the head of the clinic.  He gave it to me straight; my chances of a live birth using IVF were abysmal: 22%.  [And that was before we knew Husband's sperm was wonky, too.]  But, if we wanted to try, he wouldn't say no.  So, no schmoozy optimism or up-selling.  (They had at least one female doctor on staff, which I could've chosen.  Also, the ultrasound tech was the same lady each time.)

I had NY-based health insurance at the time, and they DID cover all the monitoring, which was about $2,000.

During the process, it all went fucking terribly, and they only got 3 eggs from me.  BUT, then our luck changed, and one turned into my 3-year-old daughter, another into my infant daughter, and the 3rd egg is an embryo on ice.  Results not typical.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 09:30:04 PM by Chrissy »

marshmallowaddict

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2019, 09:05:26 AM »
Iím not sure how much use I am on your specific questions, but I did go through an egg donation a few years back and I have some tips based on that. I didnít get to pick the clinic or the doctor since I was just the donor. I would recommend a female doctor for this process: the doctor they used was a guy who had no concept of how uncomfortable it is to have a vaginal ultrasound swing from the left ovary to the right when your ovaries are swollen up the size of tennis balls from all the hormone injections. I donít think a female doctor would ever be so rough, even if sheíd done it a thousand times and was in a crazy hurry. Given that I had to have my follicles measured like this multiple times during the course of the donation process, that would have been a big improvement. If both clinics only have male doctors, then Iíd want to talk to their past patients to figure out which doctor has the most empathy.

As for questions, if I was freezing for myself, then Iíd want to know about the statistics of what percent of eggs that they freeze and then later thaw and try to fertilize result in a successful embryo (not necessarily a successful birth, since that is a result of a lot of other factors). Itís my (possibly outdated) understanding that eggs frozen unfertilized do not keep as well as embryos frozen.

$3k is a significant difference, and if you end up having to do two cycles to extract enough eggs to ensure you have enough to result in enough embryos to give a reasonable chance of successful birth, then that makes the cheaper clinic even more attractive (assuming they both have similar success statistics).

Also keep in mind that youíll need to be going to this place multiple times a week for a couple months, so ideally itís close to your home/work.

Thanks for following up. The hospital has a male doctor, but he is very nice and gets good reviews on Fertility IQ. I will ask about the thaw rates, but from what I understand there isn't good data yet since only a small portion of the frozen eggs have been used.

I know that embryos have better success rates, but unfortunately I don't have a partner. I think the labs are the most important part of the freezing process... the hospital lab seems safer because of all of the backup generators. I also need to ask if there is a discount for the second cycle.. the clinic offers a 1k discount but I'm not sure about the hospital. This whole process is confusing and scary, I'm normally really good about researching prices but I didn't even ask how much the initial consult (which involves 8 blood tests and an ultrasound).

marshmallowaddict

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2019, 09:08:40 AM »
I'm also not able to give you an opinion on one place versus the other. But if you REALLY want to have a child - have a child. Freezing your eggs is NOT a very good way to guarantee having a child in the future. It's a false sense of security.

Now, if you're really not sure if you ever want to have a child, and are just thinking of this as a way to possibly keep that option open, and won't be heartbroken if it doesn't work out in the future - fine. Do it. But if you're really SURE you want a biological child, the best way to guarantee that happens is to get pregnant now, even if that means donor sperm and single motherhood.

A 2016 study showed only a 39 percent live birth rate in women who froze their eggs at 35. Most women have unrealistic notions of the success rate of this procedure. And I suspect clinics that do this give a false impression about their success rates because, well, this is how they make money. There's also only a 6.5 -7.0% chance of a live birth from each transferred fertilized egg .

Not trying to be a downer, just don't want you to regret missing your chance to have a biological child because of over-reliance on a technology that isn't actually that successful. Here's the link to the study:  https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(15)02037-3/fulltext

Thanks for following up. I do want to have children, but am not ready to go the sperm donor/single mom route. Maybe that will change later, and in that case I will have better eggs. I agree that the statistics are scary, and that basically I'm buying a better chance but by no means a guarantee.

marshmallowaddict

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2019, 09:14:07 AM »
It's all about the stats.  I chose a clinic who published theirs on their website (Advanced Fertility in/near Chicago, if you're curious).  I also looked at personal reviews on Yelp, Google, etc.  My husband and I were doing embryos, not eggs, fyi. 

I met with the head of the clinic.  He gave it to me straight; my chances of a live birth using IVF were abysmal: 22%.  [And that was before we knew Husband's sperm was wonky, too.]  But, if we wanted to try, he wouldn't say no.  So, no schmoozy optimism or up-selling.  (They had at least one female doctor on staff, which I could've chosen.  Also, the ultrasound tech was the same lady each time.)

I had NY-based health insurance at the time, and they DID cover all the monitoring, which was about $2,000.

During the process, it all went fucking terribly, and they only got 3 eggs from me.  BUT, then our luck changed, and one turned into my 3-year-old daughter, another into my infant daughter, and the 3rd egg is an embryo on ice.  Results not typical.

Awesome news and congratulations on your two daughters <3. The stats from your clinic will be a good benchmark - I think it would be helpful to ask them the same questions and see how their data compares. Also good to hear about the health insurance ... it is so confusing on what they cover and information comes in piecemeal. In a way, the clinic is better since they bundle all of the prices together. The other good thing that will come out of all of this if I go forward is the ample credit card points so I can take myself somewhere nice to celebrate. 

mozar

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2019, 05:33:23 PM »
I would go and interview the doctors/ nurses at each location. I found that each place i went to had it's own vibe. And you would be seeing these people  a lot. I would assume you will be doing 2 rounds so make sure you can cover that financially. I would try to find people for whom it didn't work, maybe in an infertility Facebook group and ask them for recommendations. I second having the baby instead if having a bio child is important to you but I understand that some people are conservative/ or religious and can't do that.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2019, 06:38:06 PM »
Quote
I do want to have children, but am not ready to go the sperm donor/single mom route.

Just so long as you understand that you may be trading a very good chance of having a baby now for a 60% chance of NOT having a baby later. (Sure, you might meet somebody next week but the truth is, most relationships are going to take a couple years until your partner will be willing to consider having children, and your fertility at 34 is definitely better than at 37 or 38. )

No one should take on single parenthood who doesn't want to. And if you're clear that you would rather take a large risk of never bearing a child than have one now, that's great. I'm just saying, our society has romanticized this idea that women can wait forever to have children and the stark reality is, it's not true. Most of those movie stars in their 40's having children, are using donated eggs. And you don't hear about the many heartbroken women for whom it doesn't work. So just be clear about the decisions you are making.

If, on the other hand, you're fine with adoption if pregnancy doesn't work out, then freezing eggs is reasonable.

marshmallowaddict

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2019, 08:54:07 AM »
Quote
I do want to have children, but am not ready to go the sperm donor/single mom route.

Just so long as you understand that you may be trading a very good chance of having a baby now for a 60% chance of NOT having a baby later. (Sure, you might meet somebody next week but the truth is, most relationships are going to take a couple years until your partner will be willing to consider having children, and your fertility at 34 is definitely better than at 37 or 38. )

No one should take on single parenthood who doesn't want to. And if you're clear that you would rather take a large risk of never bearing a child than have one now, that's great. I'm just saying, our society has romanticized this idea that women can wait forever to have children and the stark reality is, it's not true. Most of those movie stars in their 40's having children, are using donated eggs. And you don't hear about the many heartbroken women for whom it doesn't work. So just be clear about the decisions you are making.

If, on the other hand, you're fine with adoption if pregnancy doesn't work out, then freezing eggs is reasonable.

Right now I'm not willing to be a single mother. I don't think I make enough money to support a child in NYC on my own, if I leave NYC then I could afford it but I wouldn't have a support network.

I also really want a life partner, I'd prefer biological kids but would be okay with adopting. It's a fair point that there aren't great odds ... and some of the replies here have pushed me to ask the clinics directly about their success rates. Right now I think egg freezing is the best option I have. I could afford either place ... the benefit of being frugal is that I have choices, but I'm not sure which option to pick.

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2019, 08:53:23 PM »
I typed out a whole reply and then my web browser ate it.

This article is really helpful: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/29/social-egg-freezing-is-a-numbers-game-that-many-women-dont-understand/

Iíd be wary of kindbody because they donít have much experience.  Iím guessing NYU is the other option, theyíve done this longer, but itís still a very unproven procedure.

AMH alone is not a great predictor in the absence of fertility problems, you need FSH on day 3 of your cycle and an antral follicle count to have a better idea of how well your ovaries will stimulate and how much medication will be needed.  Meds are a substantial additional cost.  My crap ovaries needed $7k worth of meds per cycle and I still didnít end up with any viable embryos in two cycles when I was 35.

I would ask how many eggs they suggest for a 50% and 90% chance of a live birth.  They should be honest with you about those numbers and odds.  Iíd also ask how many eggs theyíd aim for per cycle, so you know the real costs and chances.

Good luck in figuring this out.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2019, 08:39:30 AM »
Good article, SimpleCycle (although for some reason the calculator they link to does not match up to the results in the study).  Hereís another article about the human side: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/01/27/feature/she-championed-the-idea-that-freezing-your-eggs-would-free-your-career-but-things-didnt-quite-work-out/

marshmallowaddict

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2019, 06:33:37 PM »
I typed out a whole reply and then my web browser ate it.

This article is really helpful: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/29/social-egg-freezing-is-a-numbers-game-that-many-women-dont-understand/

Iíd be wary of kindbody because they donít have much experience.  Iím guessing NYU is the other option, theyíve done this longer, but itís still a very unproven procedure.

AMH alone is not a great predictor in the absence of fertility problems, you need FSH on day 3 of your cycle and an antral follicle count to have a better idea of how well your ovaries will stimulate and how much medication will be needed.  Meds are a substantial additional cost.  My crap ovaries needed $7k worth of meds per cycle and I still didnít end up with any viable embryos in two cycles when I was 35.

I would ask how many eggs they suggest for a 50% and 90% chance of a live birth.  They should be honest with you about those numbers and odds.  Iíd also ask how many eggs theyíd aim for per cycle, so you know the real costs and chances.

Good luck in figuring this out.

Thanks for the reply. The other option is Cornell... NYU is even more expensive!!!I don't think I have any fertility problems aside from the lack of a partner. I've had regular periods and all of my OB-GYN visits have been normal but I will learn more as the process continues. My doctor asked me to stop birth control and we are going to redo some of the tests in a few weeks. It's really hard to not regret earlier decisions (my AMH levels were higher a year ago, and dropped a lot) but I'm staying positive.

I know medication is expensive but since I would need it in either case, I removed it from my comparison. Also.. strangely though my insurance doesn't cover IVF/Egg freezing it did say they would cover the meds. I'll feel comfortable when I have something official from them, but still some positive news.

Thanks for your questions... I'm putting together a list for my next visit.

marshmallowaddict

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Re: Need Help - Egg Freezing/IVF
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2019, 06:35:55 PM »
Good article, SimpleCycle (although for some reason the calculator they link to does not match up to the results in the study).  Hereís another article about the human side: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/01/27/feature/she-championed-the-idea-that-freezing-your-eggs-would-free-your-career-but-things-didnt-quite-work-out/

Thanks. The article definitely highlights the wide range of possibilities of outcomes there are definitely no guarantees.