Fertility Preservation

I was looking through old posts and noticed that some people said their docs didn't tell them about fertility preservation (at least not in 2011). As someone who just did it, I wanted to let everyone know about some resources.

Fertile Hope: You can apply for financial aid through this group that is part of Livestrong. For me, I think it covered about 1/3 of the fees ($2000-2300). I'm still waiting for my final bill.

Verna's Purse: My eggs are stored at ReproTech, which has a few sites in the US. I couldn't store them locally because I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using Alloderm, which is donor tissue. Therefore, I couldn't prove that I was free of all of the diseases, a requirement for storage here. This turned out to be great because it would have cost $300/year for storage locally. Reprotech usually costs $250/year, but it is $75 for cancer patients through the Verna's Purse fund. My doctor's office didn't even know about the Verna's Purse thing until they were talking to Reprotech about my donor tissue problem.

Pharmacies: I shopped around for the best prices (again--no help from insurance--but the doctor's office knew where to go for what drug), but I think it was Walgreens that sent me some of the hormone injections for free. Most of it wasn't that expensive; I think I spent a couple hundred bucks.

Insurance: My insurance didn't cover fertility treatments, but it did end up covering the blood work and ultrasounds that are part of the process, which was great because that was about $2000.

Hormone issues: They put me on letrazole during the fertility process because I was ER/PR+. The hormones you need to mess with to do this are not those. I am switching to tamoxifen now that I am done.

SHOP AROUND. I was told at my surgeon's office in NYC (where I went to be near my family for recovery) that it would probably cost 14k in that area, 7k after Fertile Hope, with 700-800/year storage. I did it where I live in western PA and it was 6300, probably around 2000 after FH and all of the other discounts, with 75/year storage. It takes a few weeks and lots of trips to the lab for ultrasounds and blood work, but if you have multiple potential locations in your area or the ability to stay in a cheaper area with family to do it, it's definitely worth it!

Freezing eggs (not embryos) was recently upgraded to no longer be considered experimental, although you can also do embryos if you already have a partner--more clinics are familiar with that procedure. They split up your eggs among multiple containers into pairs or so in order to reduce the chances of anything happening to them and also give you the opportunity of having multiple children at different times.

There were days when all I wanted to do was eat candy and throw some of my coworkers out the window because I felt like I had insane emotional PMS, but it's worth it for the peace of mind.

Hopefully this helps!

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