Posted by: DD | January 19, 2007

Drug Habits

I have gone back and forth in my head whether I should write this post. In part, it’s about the “stims”, which is Infertile Blogese for the injectable gonadatropins that are most commonly used to stimulate ovarian function.

Our first ever appointment with my RE, we were told that we were beyond clomid and that we would start with Follistim. We learned quickly that the significant part of the expense for an IUI cycle was pharmaceutical. With our first IUI, I spent $400 on all the injectables combined, which would include the Follistim and hCG (for the trigger). The second IUI, because of the increase in dosage, it was over $600.

When we told that we should move to IVF, the expensive drugs on top of the actual surgical procedure made the whole idea more daunting so our RE recommended generic Repronex, which we could purchase overseas at a fraction of the domestic cost. We spent just over $1,000 on all the injectables. For you that are fiscally-minded, the difference was noticeable: in the IUIs, stims were 29% of the overall cost; in IVF, stims were 12%.

For any of us, cost is the dirty underbelly of ART. Even if you have insurance, which we don’t, you still have to keep the pocketbook balanced.

Several weeks ago, I sent out an SOS (did you know that SOS also can mean Stuck on Stupid?)for stims. I was humbled by the response and found myself what originally appeared to be knee deep in drugs. Enough for the next 8 years!

Or so I thought.

375IU per day is a lot of Follistim, Gonal F, and Repronex. I was so grateful that we would have the chance to try for a few more cycles without having to worry so much about submitting and refilling pharmacy orders along with the months of credit card payments. I won’t mention who sent them, but they know who they are and they will always have a very special place in my heart for showing a total stranger such generosity.

Last night, I did another inventory and realized that if this cycle fails, we will have just enough for one more. One. More.

I also now realize that One More will then mean No More. The timing fits as it would fall right before I turn 40. I don’t want to let those people – who gifted me enough drugs to get through these past couple of cycles – down, but it seems to be in the cards that once the drugs are done, I should be, too.

In the event that this cycle or the next does not pan out, I refuse to believe this is how “it was meant to be”. It means that this is how I will allow it to be. If we each had unlimited resources, whether its time, money, sanity, etc., we would all reach our goals. But most of us just don’t have that.

My hopes and dreams will always exceed what I eventually allow myself to hope and dream for. That’s the way it should be or else we would all just lay in our beds and wait for the world to revolve no more. I still have these chances. I know what I will have in the end if they do not come to fruition. Eventually, I know I will accept it.



  1. When I was researching IVF I was astounded by the cost of the accompanying drugs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the thought that “if only I had….then I could have……” which usually means tens of thousands of extra dollars and another child.

  2. It is terrible the costs of these procedures and drugs. I am so sorry.

    Acceptance is the hardest.

  3. I had a very hard time turning 40 – and you’re even heaping another layer on that with yours. Take care of yourself. I hope it works this time. You deserve it.

  4. I think you can make a plan that suits you now, and let go of it later if it no longer fits you. You are very gracious about your gift, I’m sure the donors know how much you appreciate it.

  5. I, too, have been blessed by the generosity of others in donating leftover meds for our cycle. It has taken a lot of the pressure off (financially) that if this cycle doesn’t work, we could still afford another. Not to mention the good karma I feel it brings!

    It is tough to draw lines in the sand – but remember that they can always be erased and re-drawn if circumstances require…

    That being said, it SUCKS that this all costs so much out of pocket. It’s just not right.

  6. This rings so true for me. Drug money is the big reason I’ve had to wait longer, and it drives me crazy. Here in Ontario, we cover IVF for women with blocked tubes, but not for anyone with MF, and we don’t cover the drugs.
    Yet, we cover the treatment costs for lifestyle induced diseases all the time. effin’ ticks me off. I’m trying hard not to be bitter about it. *Sigh*

  7. I could rant on about the unfairness of this aspect. As if IF is not unfair enough, the insurance types won’t even acknowledge it as important enough to cover. Being indirectly self emplyed (family business) and therefore having to pay out of pocket for aforementioned shitty insurance just adds to the insult!

    If I do get pg, you can have my stockpile! But don’t hold your breath, my track record sucks in the positive beta department. But, you never know . . .

  8. “If we each had unlimited resources, whether its time, money, sanity, etc., we would all reach our goals. But most of us just don’t have that.”

    Could it also be, though, that the state of our resources is also what it’s meant to be?
    My heart goes out to you and I want this baby for you. It’s why I keep rooting for you and reading your words.
    As someone who is having to swallow something that I would change if God just gave me one impossible option to do so, I know beyond a doubt that all of the circumstances that lead to the final outcome are as they are supposed to be.
    Sometimes it really is out of our control, DD.
    I wish you peace and your dreams come true.

  9. I feel like karma’s got to be on your side, with that outpouring of meds from your friends. It must be hard to feel like you’re staring down the barrel, hopefully this cycle will do the trick and you can pass on the rest of the meds and the good karma to someone else.

  10. This is so unfair. I am incredibly, colossally lucky that B’s insurance covers drugs 100%. Anything I can get through a military pharmacy (which has a surprisingly broad inventory) is free. It humbles me to know that I have advantages that most people do not… and it both saddens and sickens me to know that so many people have to decide if they can afford to continue their treatment, when, all other things considered, they would continue. I hate that insurance companies treat IF like treatment is optional. I hate that the necessary meds are so expensive. I just don’t know if there’s anything I can do about it.

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