We attended the IVF orientation session at our clinic last Tuesday.
Just in case.
There were maybe 10-12 couples there (including a sister who was there doing donor egg). I was surprised at first, but then I realized that they probably schedule the sessions so far apart deliberately to get a larger crowd. It could get REALLY awkward with a much smaller group. The crowd was basically a bunch of couples just like us, give or take a couple of years either direction. Most of them looked a lot more stressed than I felt. The presenter was my own RE, who I had not realized just happens to be the director of IVF services for our clinic.
We toured the facility - and frankly didn't see anything we haven't already seen with our IUIs, but it was clearly new to many of the other couples. I guess some people do go straight to IVF without the extensive IUI tour we endured.
Judging from the questions that came out during the Q&A portion, a lot of the presentation was new info for some of those folks. Not surprisingly, my exposure to this community has given me an excellent window into what IVF is really all about. Prof did pick up some new knowledge, and then there was the financial portion of the talk.
Our clinic has their own IVF Refund Program. Pay for two IVF cycles up front (at $7,500 each - not including meds and a few other ancillary fees) get up to three fresh and three frozen cycles. If no take-home baby, get a 75% refund or 85% credit toward a donor egg cycle. Seems awfully tempting, but we don't even know how we'll scrape together the cash for one cycle up front, much less two.
*UPDATED: Sorry if that last bit was a little confusing! Didn't occur to me that my readers outside the US might not be familiar with the shared risk pricing scheme. Basically, the patient agrees to pay for two full cycles in advance and the RE agrees to provide UP TO 3 fresh/3 frozen cycles for that payment. The only way the patient gets money back is if they don't take home a baby after all cycles are complete. The patient is basically betting on the prospect of needing at least two cycles, and the RE is betting on the prospect of only needing one. To my way of thinking, this gives the RE an incentive to get the job done. The factor that makes this such a good deal in my eyes is that the pricing structure at my RE is so much less than the national average, that two cycles cost about the same as one at many other clinics.