Today is my first day of the egg freezing cycle (second day of my cycle, but first day of the egg freezing cycle). Before I’ve even given myself a single shot or had my first ultrasound, I had thrown down $13,600. No shopping for this laying hen for a while! Here’s the breakdown up to this point:
Drugs so far = $4,400:
Ten days’ worth of Follistim shots at 450 IU’s per day comes to about $400 per day. These are the Gonadotropins – they stimulate the ovaries to produce as many follicles as possible (read more on that here) and I am really hoping my ovaries cooperate and don’t require more, because this is the most expensive of the drugs. So far, the total for Follistim comes to $4014.00.
I also have about 3 days worth of Ganirelix, which comes out to $386.70. These are the GnRH Antagonists that ensure you don’t ovulate prematurely – that would be a disaster after having injected thousand of dollars worth of Gonadotropins! (more on that here). While these aren’t as expensive, I have a feeling I may need more.
I haven’t purchased everything I may need. During my cycle, my doctor may decide to decrease my dose of either of the above drugs – this is why a lot of women are left with extra at the end of their cycle. I also decided to hold off on buying my trigger shot because depending on how I react to the above, there are different brands and types of triggers.
Last thing to note on the drugs is that these aren’t prescriptions that can be filled just anywhere. Your local Duane Reade doesn’t carry this stuff. There are only about three pharmacies in Manhattan that do, and unfortunately for me, they’re all uptown. I filled mine at Apthorp on the Upper Westside. They were lovely and helpful, and they delivered because I couldn’t wait around until the prescription was filled (and importantly, they carry my favorite skincare brands, which I walked past – I was already spending enough on ‘hope in a jar’).
The lesson: The drugs are expensive so don’t just blindly accept the initial prescription. The easiest thing to do is to pick it up all at once, but you could potentially be buying medicine you don’t need, and at about $500+ a day, you probably want to pace yourself. Talk to your doctor or the nurse about what she thinks you need to get started, and then tell the pharmacist exactly what you want filled.
The cost of the cycle/procedure = $9,200
This payment was due immediately after the blood work and just before I went in for the ultrasound. I’m not sure why they run the program this way, but I think it’s the easiest way to keep us all moving through the process. Needless to say, like an idiot, I left my Amex at home, and my Chase debit card has a daily limit, so in between blood work and the ultrasound, I was on the phone with Chase asking them to raise my daily spending limit. It was embarrassing and stressful, but Chase was in a cooperative mood, so it all worked out.
The lesson: Like a spa or a nail salon, this is a business (except at the spa, you pay AFTER your’e done), so don’t forget your means of payment – they don’t mess around.
In seriousness, the real lesson out of all of this is that sadly, very few women can actually afford it, and I’m so grateful that it’s an option for me. It’s why I have a bad taste in my mouth after the EggBanxx event. Part of their business model (the most profitable part, I’m sure) banks on the fact that many women can’t afford to pay this lump sum all at once. So they offer high interest loans, exploiting some women’s biggest fear of never being a mom.
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