Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | February 6, 2009

fertility vs economy

Has the current state of the economy affected your plans for fertility treatments? Things are super fucking shitty right now, and I’m sure fertility clinics must be hurting. I’m waiting for the “2 Cycles for the Price of 1!” specials to start showing up. Or maybe a discount on a package of follicular ultrasounds. Or “Free semen wash with purchase of IUI!” Who the hell can afford IVF these days? Many people pay for this stuff by taking out loans or refinancing their house. Good luck now. People are being laid off left and right. Bye bye health insurance, shitty coverage though it probably is.

My husband was informed last week that to avoid layoffs, his company was reducing everyone’s salaries by 10% and reducing benefits. This is certainly better than being laid off, but it hurts. Especially when each injectable cycle is costing us $2000-2500 out of pocket.

I’m not sure if I’ve discussed my job situation before. I left a great, well paying job that I liked in another state to move here two years ago. S has a great job, already owned a home here, and the cost of living is low. We figured that even if I didn’t find work, we’d be okay. After all, we’d have kids right away, and I’d quit my job anyway to stay home. HA! The joke was on us.

Two years later, no baby, and I can’t find a job. I haven’t been working since I moved here two years ago. There are NO JOBS in my field here. The unemployment rate in our state is one of the highest in the nation. We had been doing just fine on my husband’s paycheck. We live within our means. We have a smaller house than we like, but the payments are very low. We don’t live extravagantly. Our vacations consist mostly of road trips tacked on to business trips. My car is 7 years old. We try to be careful with money, but this pay cut comes at a very bad time. If the next two injectables cycles don’t work, we need to move on to IVF. How the hell can we afford that? Even if we can come up with the money, can we justify it? What if we do IVF in May and then my husband loses his job?

I’m 34, and 35 is looming upon me like a runaway freight train. I feel the urgency, believe me I do. I’m in panic mode about trying to conceive, but I’m also concerned about the ridiculous cost of treatments and the instability of the economy. My husband is not saying that we should stop treatments. His thinking is that the next follistim cycle could very well work, and then we don’t have to worry about IVF. I worry that he knows how important this is to me and that will cloud his good financial judgement. I’m sure he feels a lot of pressure being the sole provider in the family.

We have some difficult decisions to make. Should we back off the injectable treatments and try some femara cycles? That could mean wasting some precious months of my 34th year. On the other hand, it could potentially work, but with our combination of male factor plus pcos, injectables + IUI give us the best statistics, short of IVF. I think we’ll still try another injectables cycle next month (if my cysts are gone), but after that, we may need to reevaluate.

How is it affecting you? Are you making the decision to be more conservative with treatments? Are you taking a break? Or is it so important that it is a higher priority than making the mortgage payment?

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Responses

  1. I have definately started saving money and not making crazy purchases, but then I have always been frugal. We are not in too bad of shape financially, but if one of use loses our job who knows when we might find another one. That would hurt.

    Right now I still have some insurance lifetime max to help out with fertiity treatments. Once I start paying cash I plan on negotiating price as hard as I would if I were buying a new car. After all, I think you are right and clinics will see a significant drop in business. For once, we might be in the driver’s seat.

  2. B and I were just talking about this today in the OR waiting for the ET. I was worried for all of us, but I actually found myself being worried for my RE. Is she going to be out of a job next year b/c people have to pick mortgage v. child? the economy will have an effect on all of us, I am scared. i find myself trying to monitor TP use, thinking: I’d better be careful, I might not be able to BUY TP soon!

    Yuck!

  3. You should see my shoes. Actually, I would rather you did not. The job my husband has is very safe. If he looses his job, it will truly mean that everything is in the crapper- everywhere.

    We started trying to live on one income two years ago. Because I wanted to stay home with a baby. We also agreed that when it came to the point that we were spending more than we could easily afford we would stop and start saving for adoption.

    Right now we can afford it. We have very good benefits. We could NEVER swing 2000 a month. Never. If it came to that we would stop.

    The economy has just made us more adamant that we will not spend ourselves broke to have a baby. We won’t go into debt. We won’t try to refinance.

    So when we are spending more than a grand a month, we will stop. Most likely we would have to stop at 700 a month.

    For me, the highest priority is getting a Living, Healthy, child under 1 year old. I am willing to spend up to 50,000 to get that. But it will take us 3 years to save it.

  4. I can completely relate to where you are at! It is so frustrating. We are also 2 injectable cycles away from having to move to IVF and I just don’t foresee that happening anytime soon. We’ve debated whether or not we’re wasting $$ on the injectables and maybe we should move straight to IVF. It’s just such a gamble.

    Good for you that you guys are prepared for this financial strain. I think it’s hard to see it from the bigger picture (I know it is for me, at least), but it could certainly be much worse (new car, house you can’t afford, neither one having a job, etc.). I hope that you find a job soon and I would say to stick to the injectable cycles…more bang for your buck. GL!!!

  5. If one of us lost our jobs we would be screwed. We could make it on one income, but quality of life would greatly go down… heat and ac would become luxuries.

    I feel lucky to have the ability to afford as much as I have so far. $2000 per month cycles would really reduce the number of cycles we could do per year. I’m just hoping I don’t get that far.

    I don’t have that added biological clock ringing in the background to add to the stress of it all. I definitely agree with you that you should go ahead with the next injectable cycle, but after that??? You’ve got a tough decision to make. I guess I would ask myself which stresses me out worse, $$$ or a lower chances of success and make a decision you can live with based on that.

    Have you had recent FSH levels drawn to know your approximate ovarian reserve? If your ovaries are still rockin like a 26 year old, maybe the femara won’t be so scary?

  6. I wish I could tell you the right answer. The economy is definitely making me feel scared and nervous to move forward with our treatments. We’re basically handing over our entire emergency fund, hoping that if we need emergency money down the road, that family and friends can help us out.

    Our clinic is in a really upscale area, so I know they won’t be doing any discounts soon! We thought about waiting another year, but after four I just couldn’t wait. My mental health and marriage would probably suffer if we waited, so we’re taking the plunge this once, then will move on to other, less expensive options.

  7. That sucks about the job situation, but glad your husband isn’t getting laid off.

    I had to take a part time job. I only work about 2 days a week, at the domestic violence shelter… The reason I took the job was to have extra money for injectables should we go that route soon. It helps.

    My car is 11 years old now… I’ve had it for 6 years. We only have then one car, we used to have two. We have not bought a second one yet, because we are trying to save money… so my husband and I work out a plan to get each of us where we need to go.

    My RE has a monopoly of the area. The only five RE’s within an hour of my home, are in the same practice. The closest RE after that? 2 hours away. So, I foresee price hikes actually here, since they know that they have no competition. Maybe I’m wrong… but I have already noticed that my RE charges more money than most of the woman on the forums REs. Monopoly.

    Just like the stupid gas industry.

    Ungh.

  8. Same boat. I worry every month if I should be spending this much on injectables and IUIs. We are out of pocket for the meds, and they pack a mighty punch. I have a 2000 yearly limit on fertility coverage, and that really doesn’t go far when you are on a monitored cycle. They aren’t giving those ultrasounds away.

    I know if the IUIs don’t work soon, I’m going to want to move on to IVF. The only problem is we don’t have that money, and I’m scared to take out a loan right now, but I’m not getting any younger.

    This recession is really messing up my chances at reproducing.

  9. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or thinking or planning. You have to do what is right for YOU. Only YOU can possibly know whether it would be right to press on or take a break.

    I can tell you that I am in the same boat, spending $2000 a month on injectables + IUI (on two teachers’ salaries, no less!) because, as you said, with PCOS and male factor that gives us the best statistics. What will we do if it doesn’t work? I don’t know. We will cross that bridge when we come to it and not before. On the one hand, I am only 27-almost-28, so I don’t feel the same timecrunch you do right now. Mo, though, is 38 and feels it more than I do.

    I guess all this rambling is just my way of saying to trust yourself and your instincts and do what YOU think is best. (Provided, that is, that that doesn’t mean carrying octuplets to term. . . and trying to raise 14 children with no spouse and no job. . LOL!)

  10. Im on Australia, so the economic situation isn’t quite as bad, but everyone is on red alert and running scared. Our house value has dropped significantly over the last 6 months, below our mortgage which is super scary. There is no way that we could live on one wage with the mortgage that we have (and this is for a 3×1 in one of the dodgy areas of Perth!). It really scares me that we might not be able to continue IVF for financial reasons, but at the same time, my husband and I made the decision that there is no point having a home without children in it, so I guess we decided where our priorities lie.

    It’s a really hard situation, and I guess you guys need to sit down and work out what is right for you.


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