Infertile patients cannot afford to wait for treatment while their eggs get older.
Dr. Sherman Silber, Infertility Center of St. Louis, is offering free video consultations for patients who need to plan now for their treatment while stay-at-home orders are in place. He is talking to and evaluating patients in their home via to comply with social distancing measures.
Dr. Silber is discovering that patients actually prefer this method of telemedicine consultation over the conventional office visit. Patients have conveyed that “it is so much more convenient and less stressful” to have a free telemedicine personal consultation than to take a day off from work to travel to the doctor’s office and sit with other nervous patients in the waiting room.
The COVID-19 pandemic is thus changing much of the way we will do things in the future, and for the better. "Our patients are surprisingly much happier with this approach. Of course, at some point we need to perform hands on treatment. But with this new manner of seeing patients, we can come to the right diagnosis and treatment plan for most patients more efficiently, quickly, and painlessly, with no loss of personal one-on-one communication.” This is a very welcome new era of telemedicine that has been forced on us by the current difficult times.
For more detailed information on cost, please go to the mini-IVF section
IVF Cost Overview
This video covers the primary points regarding the cost of IVF.
We want every patient to be able to have successful IVF regardless of their financial status. Therefore we have developed technology that reduces patient cost while increasing success, and virtually eliminating complications. Friendly financing is available.
Sinceinfertility treatment is expensive, we try to soften its impact by achieving the highest possible pregnancy rates, and thus reduce the number of treatment attempts and the overall expense. We also make sure not to charge extra for unnecessary testing or ineffective preliminary treatment approaches, a common practice unfortunately in many infertility clinics. We only recommend what we feel is necessary to help you achieve a pregnancy as soon as possible. Furthermore, we have no hidden extra charges added on which in most clinics result result in much higher costs. Our fees are “global” and there is no added itemization of extra surprise costs.
For example, there is no additional charge for office visits, semen analysis, sperm freezing, embryo freezing, assisted hatching, blastocyst culture, orICSI, which we always do in every case to give you the greatest chance for pregnancy. Also, we will not order an expensive list of remunerative tests or procedures that just delay the most cost-effective treatment.
Couples often ask if there is a discount for subsequent cycles if they don’t get pregnant with the first cycle. Usually yes. With our remarkablevitrification technique forembryo freezing, the pregnancy rate for subsequent frozen embryo transfers is just as high or higher as for fresh IVF, but the cost is about one third less than the cost of a regular IVF cycle. So by getting high pregnancy rates with the fresh IVF cycle, and pregnancy rates, just as high with the less expensive subsequent frozen embryo cycles, your overall cost is dramatically lowered. Our “mini-IVF” protocol can reduce your cost very dramatically.
Often, insurance pays for drugs even when it does not pay for IVF itself. The medications for IVF can be very expensive, and so we refer you only to the best discount pharmacies. Also, if you qualify for our “mini-ivf” protocol, your drug cost will be as much as $6,000 less than conventional IVF.
Mini-IVF Offered as a Low-Cost Solution
Better results are the ultimate method for cost savings, but also our charges remain reasonable because we don’t try to burden you with unnecessary and costly testing or low-yield procedures prior to your IVF.
Mini-IVF is tricky to perform well and many centers are not up to it. Mini-IVF is easier for the patient but more difficult for the doctor. There is no margin for error. There are several reasons for the success we have with these much lower costmini-IVF techniques. The success of this approach depends not only on a novel endocrine stimulation protocol, but also upon a flawless method of embryo freezing such as our vitrification system, and the highest level laboratory air purification system, in order to give the eggs, especially from older women the best possible environment in which to develop. Furthermore, the endocrinology of mini-IVF is very innovative and requires close attention to each individual patient to avoid premature ovulation.
Is Mini-IVF Always Used?
At first, until several years ago, the answer was “no.” It is most useful for older women, women with low ovarian reserve, and women who want the least hormonal disruption of their lives. But now we know that in addition to being safer and less expensive, it also gives the best results. Now, after 16 years of studying our own mini-IVF results, we recommend it for all patients. Most women prefer mini-IVF because of the lower cost and the lack of any risk of hyperstimulating syndrome. It may be trickier for the IVF clinic but much simpler for the patient, with better results.
For most patients, insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatment. However if your insurance does cover some of the cost, then we will make it easy for you to deal with.
The Cost of Frozen Embryos & Eggs
You are likely to have extra frozen embryos. Frozen embryo transfers have the same high success as fresh but at about one-third of the cost of a fresh IVF cycle. Furthermore, if “mini-IVF” is appropriate for you, that’s much less expensive than standard IVF.
Extra embryos are always frozen and saved for a later, much less expensive future pregnancy. Our very special Japanese freezing technique essentially assures no damage to viable embryos. Therefore, the success rate for frozen embryo transfers in our program is just as high or even higher, as for “fresh” IVF.
IVF vs IUI
IUI is a pointless low-yield procedure for most patients with long-standing infertility. It is much cheaper, but the pregnancy rate is one-tenth that achieved withIVF. Many patients waste a lot of money on many IUI cycles before they finally realize they need IVF. But worse than the wasted money is the wasted time as the wife gets older.
There Are No Extra Charges For ICSI, Egg Freezing, Embryo Freezing, Assisted Hatching Or Any Other Ancillary Procedures.
We do ICSI for all cycles to assure fertilization. We invented ICSI and we do no damage by doing ICSI for all our IVF cycles. We have just one, reasonable, global fee. There is no extra charge for ICSI, for assisted hatching, for embryo freezing, for egg freezing, for sperm freezing, or any aspect of your IVF cycle that many programs use to increase your cost. Even in the absence of any sperm at all in the ejaculate, we can often find enough sperm in the testis for ICSI. We do not tack on hidden or unexpected “add-ons” like sperm DNA fragmentation or unnecessary surgery or testing that clinics often “sneak in” to increase revenue.