Monthly Archives: January 2012

you guys are awesome

Thank you so much for all the comments on my previous post.  I really appreciate all the feedback and it helps me to get a good ballpark for what this is going to cost.  They were not able to give me a straight answer at the clinic yesterday — they’re just going to charge piecemeal for each visit, ultrasound, and blood draw, and tally it up at the end.  Boo.  Since we’re doing Clomid, at least the drugs are cheap.

Regarding what my husband did to get his numbers up — this is what we’re looking at:

  • 7.9 million (up from 3 million)
  • 58% motility (up from 13%)
  • 4% morphology (up, but I don’t remember the old number)

We don’t have any hard evidence for this, but we suspect it has to do with him going off Prozac and Deplin.  He has cyclothymia and has been on one antidepressant or another for over 10 years, and from time to time has combined them with various mood stabilizers.  Over the past few years his cycles have gotten much milder and less frequent, and he made the decision about 4 months ago to go drug-free.  Since stopping the Prozac, his libido has definitely been much higher (lower libido is a known side effect).  After getting the latest SA results I did a little bit of poking around online to see if Prozac or Deplin have any effect on fertility.  It looks to me like this just hasn’t been studied.  I found one tiny little study that seemed to indicate SSRIs could decrease sperm count, but I can’t find where this has been studied on any kind of significant scale.

I asked our RE about this as well, and he said he just doesn’t know if there’s a link there.

That’s our best guess, and if we’re right it should mean that he’s doing even better now than he was last month, since it takes a while to produce sperm and it takes a while for the drugs to leave the system completely.

Here’s hoping!

 

they really ought to be red

The pills, I mean.

I took my first dose of Clomid last night and, like the overwrought drama queen I am, I really feel I’ve gone down the rabbit hole.  It’s hard to believe that since August 2008 — after seeing three REs, being misdiagnosed, having surgery — swallowing those pills was my first real step forward.  This could be our first legitimate shot at getting pregnant.

I am on 100mg of Clomid once a day until next Friday Sunday.  RE wants me to start OPK next Thursday.*  Friday they will check my follicles, and hopefully we will be good to go for our IUI!

It’s kind of amazing, really, that it has taken us this long to get to this point.  Three and a half years of infertility with no end in sight — and now here we are with a real chance.  It feels sappy to say it, but my life in the last six months has really turned the fuck around,** and I’m sort of left wondering what I did to deserve all this good fortune.

Like I said, the pills ought to be red.

* Believe it or not, that’s another thing I’ve never done before. 

** Nothing cuts sappiness like a good old F-bomb.

baste me

Last month we went to see our new RE.  He wanded me, did some blood work, and had the Husband give a sample.  Then he gave us the Best News Ever:

Husband’s numbers are up, and we are now candidates for IUI!

The RE actually called me himself to give me the news, which I thought was nice — instead of having a nurse or receptionist do it — and he told me to call on my next CD1 to make an appointment for CD3.

I am some kind of Patron Saint of Bad Timing, because CD1 happened over Christmas weekend, and the clinic was still closed on CD3, not to mention we were out of town anyway.  Knowing this was likely to happen, we talked about changing our travel plans, but I called the clinic to check to see what we could do and since they were going to be closed anyway I figured we didn’t need to change our plans.  After all, after 3.5 years of waiting, what’s another month?

Today is CD1 again, which means I should be able to go in on Wednesday and (hopefully) get started with something that, I have heard tell, can occasionally result in pregnancy!  Holy crap.  Clearly rejoicing is in order.

But.

As I think I have mentioned before, my insurance is not covering one red cent of this.*  That first office visit + testing has set us back $608 so far, with another $165 likely after the insurance company denies the claim for the SA (for some reason the clinic thought it would be a good idea to submit that one and have it be denied rather than just have us pay out of pocket).

We have decided that at least for now, we’re going to just go ahead and spend what we need to spend.  We don’t have a lot of extra money, of course , but my husband has a good job, I just started working, and frankly I don’t know how much longer we can wait.  We have very little savings but excellent credit, so we’re going to go ahead and be financially irresponsible and put this stuff on the credit card.  We figure we would rather spend years paying off the debt than spend the rest of our lives never having tried.

So what I’m trying to figure out is, about how much should I expect an IUI cycle to run out of pocket?  Can anyone who has done this help me understand if this is in the ballpark?

  • I figure at least four office visits, two with ultrasound (one on CD3 and at least one to monitor follies, then the actual IUI and the beta).  Each office visit is $278; I’m not entirely sure if they charged us an additional $165 for the ultrasound or if that line item was for some of the blood work.  So that part will probably be somewhere between $556 and $886.
  • The actual IUI procedure is (I think) between $300 and $400.
  • Some quick googling gave me a figure of $1000 for meds — what do you think?  Is this too high?  (Tell me it’s too high.)
  • I assume they will charge separately for the sperm washing.  More googling — $200?
  • $165 for the beta.  (And another $165 each time I have another one — assuming it’s good and I start looking for doubling!)
  • Giving me a grand total of somewhere between $2,221 and $2,861.

Does this sound right to you?  Has anyone paid out of pocket for IUI?  Obviously I’m going to ask the clinic about this, but they were not really very straightforward about the total cost of the first visit — I was not expecting it to be as high as it was, and I’m afraid there will be hidden costs they don’t tell me about.

Like I said above, we are fucking doing this regardless of the cost, but if it’s really going to be close to 3 grand for 1 cycle, I don’t want it to be a surprise.  Especially if I get a giant bill out of the blue after a failed cycle.  (If it’s a success, I will GLADLY carry the debt, of course.)

I hate that I even have to think this way.  I hope it goes without saying that having a baby is more important than the cost, and that as far as I’m concerned this kind of life event is what credit cards are for, but still … I would like to know what we’re going to be looking at.

* They also didn’t cover my husband’s emergency room visit last month.  Tell me again why we’re giving them several hundred dollars every month?