My wife and I live in PA and have NO INSURANCE COVERAGE, not even prescriptions!! We will be trying IVF and taking loans out for all the costs. Needless to say, we want the best bang for our buck. RMANJ’s Allentown, PA location is about 4 ½ hours away, and their success rate is pretty high. My question is: How much does travel play into it? How often are we going to be there and will it contribute to the health of my wife? Should we stay local even if success rates are 20% lower? (all SART numbers)
Where are u from I’m from Pittsburgh sounds like u may be around here ? I used both Magee an RHS… Both pregnancies come from Magee RHS has fantastic sart data. In my opinion depending on UR diagnosis I might try them first. We’re also 100% OOP spent about $50k … And we are by no means well off unfortunatey that’s the norm seems like. You’ll have to go there for baseline testing which is cycle dependent and you would likely need to be there at least 3-4 days depending on if u can find a place to do blood work and u/s during the cycle and if the Allentown clinic would allow u to do that. If they want u to monitor at their clinic it would be 10-13 days in town. If you’re hell bent on not staying local might as well go to the best like CCrm they’re at least super used to traveling patients. If you’re in my area and want to chat please PM me
There is a lot of monitoring and one would expect to have at least 10 visits for an entire cycle. You could ask your RE at the clinic where you want to try if you can see a local RE for the monitoring purposes. If he/she is cool with that, you will save at least about half the number of trips. Once on stims, you can expect a checkup every other day.
Just so you know, RMAPA does all their embryo retrievals and transfers at their Basking Ridge, NJ location.
I would suggest travel depending on the diagnosis. I think a 20% difference is quite large. But, if you are going to travel, I would consider CCRM. They have a ton of patients that travel all over the world to see them and are very good at dealing with out of town patients. They are expensive, but it is cheaper to do one IVF with an expensive clinic than 2 with a cheaper clinic (I didn’t find travel added that much to the cost of the cycle). I had to take out loans also, which I do not regret at all, and ended up at CCRM for my second cycle. Travel is a little difficult, especially depending on your work schedule b/c it is up in the air as to when you will go, but I think worth it for going to the best clinic possible. I ended up staying for about 10 days I think, but how long you stay will depend on how long you stim for (usually 8 to 10 days) and if you have a 3 or 5 day transfer. You do not have to stay at CCRM, or probably any out of town clinic, for the entire stim period, usually just the last few days. I also went to NY and I was there about the same length of time.
I would make sure when you are researching based on stats, you make sure the clinic is not extremely selective in cherry picking patients. If so, it will artificially increase their stats. You want to make sure they treat the hardest cases.
I traveled out of state to SIRM for both IVF and FET. The RE we chose was familiar with out of town patients and had success rates 20% higher than my local RE. We opted to participate in a shared risk program because at my age, it was statistically likely we would need to do IVF twice to get pregnant.
It was not difficult to schedule on the front end but things were a little loose later on in the cycle, because everyone responds differently. I responded well but if I had not there would have been one or two more monitoring appointments, lengthening my out of town stay. This is what my fresh IVF schedule looked like:
Cycle Day 8 - ultrasound monitoring and bloodwork (with local RE, $425), no cysts found and estrogen level ok
Cycle Day 12 - ultrasound monitoring and bloodwork, cleared to start stimulating medications
Cycle Day 18 - ultrasound monitoring and bloodwork
Cycle Day 20 - ultrasound monitoring and bloodwork, cleared to administer trigger shot in PM
Cycle Day 22 - egg retrieval, your wife will feel crummy after retrieval so plan to spend at least two nights in a hotel
*we opted to freeze all eggs and transfer in June, but if not…
Cycle Day 27 - egg transfer, some RE’s advise bedrest and some advise taking it easy
Cycle Day 35 - beta test (with local lab, $65)
Cycle Day 39 - bets test (with local lab, $65)
Essentially, there will be an intense week to ten days of monitoring and recovery from the egg retrieval. The actual monitoring appointments are quick, about 30 minutes. My husband was present only for one day to provide sperm but other than that I traveled or stayed by myself in a hotel. Financially, it made sense (he’s a lawyer and can’t work remotely) but emotionally it was a bit tough. Now that I have been through it, I would be fine doing everything solo again except the egg retrieval because I felt ill for two days afterwards.
I don’t feel that travel negatively impacted my health during the process. There is a lot of anxious waiting involved in IVF, so the travel or being in a different environment was a nice distraction sometimes.
We are also out of pocket for everything. Its amazing how much I dislike paying our $1080/month insurance bill! But I digress…
For prescriptions, call around to multiple pharmacies, both specialty fertility pharmacies and the big chains. I found price differences that saved us hundreds. Our RE also was kind enough to give us samples of Follistim from his drug rep. And save all your receipts. For most people, IVF is a tax write off.
Thanks everyone. It seems like every patient varys greatly and that travel would be so difficult. I guess RHS and Magee are my only options. Besides SART what influences who you pick?
What is your diagnosis rhs will cherry pick patients I obviously had great sucess with magee but met with rhs several times and loved them rhs is more expensive hands down. Rhs has a better lab they do standard day 5 transfers magee does not although I did push for one this last time and im so glad I did !!! Please PM me if I can help