This week, we found out that our funded cycle for IVF would occur in October. The original plan, since I was told that the waitlist was 9-12 months, was to pay for one IVF cycle, and bank those embryos. We have always wanted to have two children, but as luck, and age, would have it, we may not be able to. IF, with a big I-F, we get several embryos that are genetically normal, that would be a fluke. So what does this mean?
We had completed our karyotype testing and were waiting for results. We got these results a few weeks ago. Everything was normal - yay! My period had already started, so there goes another moon cycle of time. So the next period wasn't due until the beginning of September. As everyone who has gone through IVF or IUI knows, you call or email in to the fertility clinic with your Day 1 - day 1 is the first day of full flow of your period, not spotting, but enough that you would need to wear a tampon (or menstrual cup in my case). This changed our plans a bit. We had sort of discussed, what is waiting another month to get going with IVF, in the grand scheme of things. Well, for us, that is saving $13k - which is a substantial chunk of our savings. So, coming October now, we will email in our day 1. If everything aligns, this would be Oct 1st, but chances are that it won't happen until the 3rd week of October.
Waiting is exhausting in and of itself. While we have decided that since TTC naturally actually messes with my natural cycle - making it even harder to track, and with every late period I get hopeful, then disappointed, we plan to put a hold on TTC naturally so that I can manage my cycle better leading up to IVF. But, it has been over a year since we started to try, and six months since I found out that I have diminished ovarian reserve (low AMH).
For those of you who don't know, we are currently in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ontario is one of the only provinces where the provincial government provides for their residents the ability to fund a cycle of IVF. Take a look at the information below.
So, for every woman living in the province of Ontario, holding an OHIP card, you get one IVF cycle covered if you are under 43 years of age. What the OHIP covers is the cost of the egg retrieval, the laboratory fees of fertilization, whether it is through ICSI or more natural fertilization of putting the egg and sperm together in a petri dish, they will cover the blood work and ultrasounds for monitoring prior to the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer, whether fresh or frozen. They do not cover the medications for stimulation, if you decide you want to have genetic testing of the embryos (PGT-A), if you wish to have fancier laboratory equipment like embryoscope or spindle view of the oocytes prior to ICSI, and if you are using a donor or third party for your IVF. So overall, for our OHIP funded cycle, we will be looking at $7-8k versus $20k. There have been these extra costs that pop up here and there. Like the karyotyping, sperm banking prior to IVF, getting blood work or DNA fragmentation testing, and I am sure there will be others. But what we keep telling ourselves is that it will be worth it if we get to build our family... that this is just coming out of any inheritance our children may get.
I am a very patient person, but this TTC journey has been the greatest test of my patience! Good luck to all of you out there who are also on this journey with me.
IVF = in vitro fertilization
OHIP = Ontario Health Insurance Plan
ICSI = intracytoplasmic sperm injection
IUI = intrauterine insemination
TTC = trying to conceive
PGT-A = preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy
AMH = anti-Mullerian hormone