Stimulation Medication - these medications work to directly stimulate the ovaries to produce follicles. I was prescribed both Follistim and Menopur. For approximately 10 days, I will inject the Follistim in the morning and Menopur in the evenings into my belly.
Holding Drug - this will prevent ovulation while continuing to stimulate my ovaries with the stimulation medication. I was prescribed Ganirelex, another injectable, and this will start around day 5 of my cycle.
HCG - this medication is known as the "trigger shot", meaning it induces ovulation within 35 hours. It was was prescribed Ovidrel and you guessed it - it's another injectable.
Progesterone - this medication is used with a treatment cycle to support the endometrial lining. There are actually several different types but for the sake of no more needles I selected Endometrin which is a vaginal suppository. This is used after the embryo transfer. If the transfer is successful, use will continue until week 12 of the pregnancy.
Our out-of-pocket grand total for this was $5,183! It's shockingly expensive and you better believe they make sure it's paid in full before they give you the goods. This is after assistance from our insurance company, which after a $3,000 deductible pitches in and cover a percentage of the cost. Fuck, that's a lot of money. When I whined to the pharmacist she reminded me of how lucky we are because people that pay completely out-of-pocket are slapped with a bill in the range of $6,000 to $7,000. And let me remind you this, is just for the cost of the medication. The IVF procedure is whole other bill.
We were also lucky enough to have $450 to apply towards the $5,183 in meds from a health savings account, Tower's company provides. If you are looking into fertility treatments do your due diligence and look into starting a health savings account or a flexible spending account beforehand.
The hugely frustrating thing about the meds is that the Fertility Center gave me a list of medication options under each one of those categories. It was incumbent upon me to do the research on each of them and chose which ones I wanted to use. Additionally, I was provided with a list of specialty pharmacy to call and price out the said drugs. Unfortunately, you can't just go to the Walgreens down the street. This is so dumb - the process is so confusing and stressful as it is. I would be so much more comfortable if they selected the medications. Especially if the recommendations were based on success rates.
I took the easy way out and called just one pharmacy on the list, I selected them because they were local and we could pick up the medications. Believe or not, said pharmacy has a dedicated line to a fertility department and those people know their stuff. They were able to quote me the prices off the top of their head and because they were local were familiar with what most people who go to my doctor select. They also were able to explain which ones were easiest to administer.
The other thing that I am shocked about is that the Fertility Center does not give you any instruction as to how to administer the drugs. Instead they directed me to this website to watch freaking videos. Dumb. And I am scared.
- nineteen eighty