donor egg ivf · financial · ivf · lawyer fees · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

I knew this was coming…

So even though we won’t have egg retrieval until July, I want to go ahead and get everything needed for legals complete so we don’t have to think about it. So I contacted the lawyer, explained that we had found another donor, and asked that we go ahead and start the process. So once she got the go ahead from the clinic, she sent over our retainer letter which we have to sign… along with $500 to pay the new donor’s lawyer.


When I read that, I just started crying. I knew it was a possibility, but when I asked Jenna all of those questions, it sounded as though there was hope that we wouldn’t be out any money. I just forwarded it to Ryan and said “I want to fight this.” The problem is, we don’t know who to talk to about it. This is a fee that doesn’t go to my lawyer, or SDFC, but to a completely different person with whom I don’t have any contact. I decided I was going to email Jenna about it and see if there is ANYTHING she can do – maybe she can talk to the donor’s lawyer and explain our situation? But Jenna is out of the office until the end of this week. I just didn’t even reply to Alison (the paralegal). I couldn’t. I’m just so tired of this mess.

But then she emailed us on Friday to make sure we had gotten her email. I replied to her and said “I’m sorry for my late response. We’ve been trying to figure out what to do because we weren’t expecting to pay another $500 for the donor’s attorney – especially since the  last time we paid that $500 our original donor backed out on us. I’ll get back to you shortly.” It’s a little snooty. I feel kinda bad about it…kinda.

In the big picture, $500 isn’t all that much. But it’s just so frustrating that we completely lost $500 – I mean we paid that other lawyer to do a terrible job last time. It probably took 30 minutes of her time to have a phone conversation and not convince these people that they’re freaking out over nothing. So I’m going to complain about that. If nothing else, SDFC should cover the cost for us. Am I being ridiculous?

Today we have a phone call with an embryologist at SDFC. We just have some questions about PGS testing. We’re wondering if it’s really worth the $4,000, especially since we now have to pay $4,000 extra for our new donor. We originally signed up to do it for “family balancing” – basically we want a boy this time. But we are realizing that $4,000 is a steep price for that kind of thing. So we basically want to find out if we don’t do it now, and end up with another girl, could we do it later with our frozen embryos for a third pregnancy? I just felt a little sick to my stomach when I typed those words. Ya’ll I’ll be 36 in September – a THIRD pregnancy?! And I have had so many people tell me – “Another girl would not be the end of the world,” “Girls are great – boys are gross,” “But Anadine would love a sister.” Yes, I understand all of this. But when you can’t get pregnant easily, when you are 35 trying to have your second child, and when you have been through everything in the world to have a baby and you are simply trying to find any positive in the situation (and, yes, maybe gender selection could be that positive) then you have to consider it. I know the other side, too… Maybe we’re playing God too much. If we could get pregnant easily, the idea of having another girl would not hinder us from trying again. These are the debates we have back and forth all the time. I’m leaning more towards not having the testing done, but I’m also the frugal one.

I mean, y’all, we are crunching numbers right now. We found out we owe over $2,000 in taxes this year. Now we have this giant loan, added costs, and have to find the cash to get out to San Diego when it’s time. I wish I could just win the lottery. Or get a huge raise. Or get invited to ELLEN! HA! I mean, where’s Oprah when you need her?!


IVF with donor eggs · sdfc

An Update of Sorts

I wanted to stop in here and give a brief update of what’s been happening, although not much has been happening. I did receive an email from Jenna (I do love her, she’s quick to respond and always helpful). Here are the answers to my questions: 

Question 1. If we wanted more information on someone – like more pictures – is that information we could get from you? There’s one donor that we are interested in, but her pictures all look like they were taken on the same day, and it’s difficult to know what she really looks like.

Her reply: YES, I’m happy to help. Actually, our program manager will be the one to solicit pictures & any additional questions you may have. Please reach out to Sam directly at ————-.

So I emailed Sam and she replied that she contacted the donor about getting more pictures and would let me know when she got a reply. This was on Friday, and we still haven’t heard from that donor. More on that later…

Question 2: If we choose a donor who does not want future contact, but we have paid all of these legal fees for an open arrangement, is that money lost? Or are the legal fees the same regardless of the type of contract being issued? 

Her reply: There is no additional cost for an anonymous agreement. If you select an anonymous egg donor, I recommend reaching out to Michelle regarding whether she is willing to waive her fee. I’ll contact her office also.

I don’t like this answer. I doubt there are additional fees for an anonymous agreement. In fact, I bet it’s cheaper. So technically, we would be losing money for choosing an anonymous donor because we’ve already paid to have an open donor. I guess it doesn’t really matter at this point. We’re probably talking a couple hundred dollars. 
Question 3: Or if we do choose a donor and do an open arrangement contract, do we have to pay another $500 for her debriefing with her lawyer? I know our retainer letter with our lawyer said that they would issue up to one more contract at no extra cost, but it hit me that we may have just paid $500 for our ex-donor to tell her lawyer that she doesn’t want to donate anymore. 

Her reply: Sounds as though they would work with another donor without additional charges.

It sounds like this is going to be a question for the lawyer, but hopefully they’ll work with me. 
Question 4: Are the costs of using a proven donor the same as using a new donor in regards to getting her testing completed? Obviously the compensation is different, but again, did we lose money on paying for our last donor to get her testing, counseling, etc. done? 

Here reply: Yes, there are no fees to screen a new donor.

Okay…good to know!

Okay so other than all of that, we’ve just been looking at donors. We’ve been arguing a bit. There is one girl that Ryan really likes, and I just don’t. She’s the girl previously mentioned that we’re trying to get more pictures of. She actually seems great in a lot of ways, but she just doesn’t seem right. For one, she doesn’t look like me much at all. She’s pretty chubby and has super curly hair. She seems smart, funny (in fact, she’s a comedian), and is willing to have future contact, but there’s just something that doesn’t seem right. And then the fact that she hasn’t replied back to Sam’s email about more pictures—well that’s a deal breaker for me. I need someone who’s going to be reliable. Sorry, I’ve just been burned and I’m not taking any chances. But we have some others that we like. In fact, we found a couple more last night that we both like a lot. Both of them are proven donors though, so they are going to cost more money in compensation. One of them is $1,000 more and the other is $4,000 more. Obviously we can’t afford another $4,000, but the thing is she’s only completed one cycle, which hasn’t even resulted in a positive pregnancy test (the intended parents did a freeze all for a future FET), and she still bumped her compensation up to $9,000 instead of the usual $6,000. I just emailed Jenna to ask what is up with that and I’m hoping someone will tell me that was a mistake, or maybe they can convince the donor to drop her compensation or something…I really like this one a lot, but not for $9,000. 

So, we’ll see. I’m ready to make a decision and move forward. Ryan is starting to drag his feet a little, which is making me sad. Please keep thinking and praying for us. This is such a tough journey for a marriage. He is a saint for sticking with me through all of this. 
cycle delays · ivf · IVF with donor eggs · legals · sdfc

Another Glitch

I will never feel guilty about sending an email or calling to check on the status of things again. I heard back from the lawyer (or the paralegal) regarding my email to them checking to see if they had heard anything from the donor’s lawyer. She said that they were planning on having the consultation with the donor on Thursday. Luckily, she saw on my chart that our legals had to be complete by Friday to get the cycle going when we needed, so she did ask the other lawyer if they could move up the consultation to today. I have no idea if that will or can happen, but I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that transfer just probably isn’t going to happen in April. Too many things have to fall into line for it to work out, and I just have my doubts.

It’s not the end of the world, but I am still so disappointed. It’s possible that I can just take some time off of work just after my Easter break, or maybe take a long weekend in early May. But most likely we’ll just go with our original plan and go at the end of May when school is out. I know that will be the less stressful option, and it’s just a matter of patience to get me there. I do have some other disappointments associated with waiting that late though. For example, if it’s successful, the new baby’s birthday would be in the same month as Anadine’s birthday. Again, not the end of the world I know. Also it would mean not being through my first trimester in time for The Neshoba County Fair. If you are my friend, you know what a big deal this is for me. If you don’t know me, or the Fair, I’ll just explain it as this week long party in our family’s cabin. It is my absolute favorite place, and it’s a time when I get to see a lot of extended family. I was 9 weeks into my pregnancy with Anadine when I went to that fair, and I was miserable. Not just with the morning sickness, and not just the fact that I couldn’t formally announce that we were pregnant (although people pretty much figured it out because I wasn’t drinking and was going to bed at 9:00 every night) but because with any sort of IVF, you’re still on all of these medications throughout the first trimester. I was taking progesterone suppositories (which also meant wearing a pad), and wearing estrogen patches. The fair happens the last week of July in Mississippi heat. You spend most of your time outside – and y’all it was just plain uncomfortable. I would much rather be bigger, but in my 2nd trimester by fair time. Yes, it would still mean not drinking and probably going to bed early, but I just think I would be so much better off. Again, none of this is the end of the world – it just adds to my disappointment that we probably aren’t going to do this earlier.

I’m not counting myself out just yet, but I am getting myself prepared. I’m just so ready, but I know it will happen eventually and in the best time for us.

I just got an email (after I emailed them- I told you I wasn’t going to be shy anymore) from the paralegal that said the donor has moved her consultation to this afternoon! So now we pray she doesn’t have a problem with the legals, so we can sign and be done with this part of it. And then we pray REALLY HARD that my period shows up. I am luckily showing lots of PMS signs, so maybe—just maybe—this may work out after all. Trying to not get my hopes up—yeah right!

birth control · FET · ivf · IVF with donor eggs · sdfc

You really have to be your own advocate

I continue to find that I have to keep up with my own sh** when dealing with SDFC. I really don’t know how anyone goes through their first cycle of anything and gets it right the first time when using them. I am constantly emailing my nurse to ask if I need to be doing anything and her response is kind of like “well, yeah actually you are.” I get that they have a million patients and can’t keep up with everyone’s story, but when dealing with someone like me, who is emailing every other day to give updates, ask questions, etc., you would think they would be able to keep up better.

So here’s the newest story.

I was in the shower this morning thinking about how I really hope we hear back from the lawyer soon so we can officially get the calendar, and then I started thinking about the potential calendar that nurse Hilary sent me and how it said “March 20, take last birth control” and I thought “hmm, I wonder when I’m supposed to START taking birth control? I mean, usually you have to start at a certain point in your cycle, and if I need to be be on it for a certain number of days, I probably should have started it with my last cycle.” And then I thought, surely they are staying on top of that. Surely they would have told me to start BC if I was in fact supposed to start it.

But then I kept thinking about it. I went back and read through all my emails to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I found the first email that Nurse Hilary sent me with the checklist of things to do. I saw where it talked about how I need to take BC for my sonohysterogram, but then could stop taking it until I started my FET cycle. So I thought – okay I didn’t miss anything.  Everything is probably okay. But then, I figured I should go ahead and email Hilary and see what’s up…just in case. Just to clear my head about it. And y’all – I felt so guilty about it. I thought “I am probably driving her crazy with all my emails. She is probably sitting there thinking that I don’t think she knows how to do her job!”

Low and behold her response was “yes, you need to start it day 2 of your cycle and you have to be on it for 10 days before starting medications.” Well, I’ll be damned — the potential calendar says I start medications on March 20. Which means I need to be on BCP by March 10 — THIS FRIDAY! Which means I need to start my period by Wednesday–THIS WEDNESDAY! It is possible that my period will come by Wednesday. That will be my Cycle Day 20 and my cycles have been known to be that short. I’m also not counting on that happening, because you just never know. So now I’m pissed. Now this could potentially mean a May transfer after all…or having transfer day a few days later than I wanted in April, which will mean me missing work because it won’t be over my school break any more. All of this could have been solved when I emailed her weeks ago letting her know that I wanted an earlier transfer date. Then she should have told me I needed to start BCP at my next cycle to be sure I was on them long enough before I would start medication.

So now I pray that my period starts in the next two days. What a freakin’ weird thing to pray for, but so be it. And I will never feel weird or guilty about bugging my nurse. Apparently it has to be done to make sure things are moving along.

PS. I also emailed the lawyer to check on things there. For all I know, they’ve gotten the paperwork from my donor’s lawyer and it’s just sitting on someone’s desk with no sense of urgency.

egg donor · ivf · IVF with donor eggs · legal contract · sdfc

Moving Along

We received our contract last week, and spoke with the lawyer yesterday. The contract is pretty basic and covers everything we needed/wanted it to. Basically any future relationship we have with our donor is up to us. The contract gives us the ability to contact her, meet her, continue contact with her, etc. but it also protects us from her ability to have any sort of parental rights to a future child or embryo made with her eggs. One thing I thought was interesting is our first meeting (if we choose to meet) has to be arranged through SDFC. So after egg retrieval, I can’t simply request to be her friend on Facebook and continue from there. SDFC has to do the arranging, and the lawyer even mentioned that they may want an official meeting with a psychologist to discuss everything. I actually kind of like that idea. To be honest, I haven’t completely decided if I want to meet her or not. I may just want to keep it a strictly emailing/Christmas carding kind of relationship. I just don’t know.

But anyway, now the contract goes to her for her to review with her lawyer. Once that’s done, assuming nobody has any problems with anything, we can sign off on it and get the green light to move forward with the cycle. The lawyer said that she expects that to happen by next week.

I’m freaking out that our donor is going to back out when she reads the contract. Or maybe something else will happen and she backs out. I’m trying to trust her. It’s hard to put trust in someone you’ve never met before though. I guess that’s what faith is all about. I’m just praying that she finds peace in her decision to donate her eggs. Because if she backs out, we’re back at square one. Please, angel donor, don’t back out on us!

ivf · IVF calendar · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

It’s the waiting that can drive you crazy

Warning: Crazy, Type A lady (me) shows herself in this post. You’ve been warned…

So I think I just come to this blog when I feel like I don’t have any control over what’s happening. Typing about not having control helps me feel in control – maybe?

We have checked everything off our list of to-dos. We have paid the clinic our $36,000, we’ve paid the lawyer the $1,700, we’ve gotten our blood work completed along with all the other tests needed. Everything is checked off our list, and has been that way since Tuesday. So now we’re just waiting to get the calendar…and the waiting is killing me! I’m actually a bit frustrated because I have even emailed my nurse to check in and tell her how anxious I am to get the calendar, and I haven’t heard back from her. Granted, I emailed her yesterday around 3:00 our time (that’s 1:00 in San Diego), so she hasn’t had a full 24 hours yet to reply, but she has had 24 hours since she should have gotten word that we are all set to go.

That wouldn’t be so frustrating, but I also emailed the financial lady on Tuesday to make sure we are indeed at a $0 balance. I haven’t heard back from her either. And she has definitely had a full 24 hours to respond. What’s going on over there in San Diego?!

I’m going to give them to the end of the day, and if I don’t hear anything from anybody by then, I’m going to call. I mean, even if they respond back to let me know they’re checking on it, right? Even if they are emailing me to tell me to get a grip and it takes a while – just give me a response! Maybe it’s because I’ve been spoiled. CCRM was always excellent at getting back to me within hours of an email. And if I’m honest, Nurse Hilary is usually just as good…but that’s also why I’m freaking out a little bit. Communication, people!!

I have to keep telling myself that we have plenty of time, and all will work out when it’s supposed to, but I just want a plan. I want to know when things are going to start happening. When do I have to start shots? When will Ryan go out to SD for egg retrieval? Will it work out for me (and maybe Anadine) to go with him? When will transfer be? I need to plan! 

I just received an email from Nurse Hilary (they must read my blog! ha!) that gave me a tentative schedule. She said we have to wait until the legal contract is completed to know for certain. See, I was under the impression that we just had to have the retainer and fees in for them to work up a calendar, and then the contract just had to be complete before egg retrieval. Ugh – it’s probably my lack of understanding, but still! She said assuming legal can get their stuff together by March 12, we can do an April 14 transfer. I would start my estrace on March 24 (birth control would be before that and would stop on 3/20). I would have ultrasounds on 3/24, 3/31 and 4/7 which would be perfect because those first two would be during my spring break and I wouldn’t have to take off work to drive to Jackson for them. It probably also means egg retrieval would be around 3/31, which is great (I think) because we will be in New Orleans two days before that and Ryan could fly out from New Orleans (way cheaper flights). Of course that’s the part that’s always iffy because egg retrieval is determined so much by how our donor is responding to the medications. Ryan would be pretty mad if he had to miss the concert we’re going to see. I don’t know – this is all still up in the air until we get the legal stuff done. I’ve emailed the legal girl to see how quickly they can get things completed. So now…more waiting. At least I have some sort of idea of what could happen. We may very well be looking at a May transfer – not the worst thing in the world – it would just mean more — WAITING!

ivf · IVF with donor eggs · San Diego Fertility · sdfc · sonohysterogram

Sonohysterogram scheduled – check!

My cycle started today. It’s so funny that those 4 words used to send me into tears and now they mean – yay, we get to move forward with something! So it meant that today I could call and schedule my sonohysterogram with my dear old friend, Dr. Isaacs in Jackson.

I’ll be going next Thursday. This is the one part of the whole pre-cycle process that I’m most worried about. Mainly because it’s checking my uterus, and my uterus is the one and only thing that has anything to do with me in this cycle. It’s essentially the only thing I am in charge of – not that I can actually control what’s going on in my uterus, but it just feels like the pressure is on! This is the test I have to pass. Plus I’m a little worried because the last time I had this done is when they found the polyp. And they also said that the blood flow wasn’t great. So, yeah, I’m nervous. I’ve quit caffeine, and I’m doing a cleanse this weekend to hopefully rid myself of any toxins in my body. I doubt this will make any difference other than making me feel like I’m doing something. As I’ve said before, it’s the waiting that’s so hard in this whole thing. It just makes me feel helpless. So maybe doing something (whether or not it actually helps) will make me feel like I’m helping along the process in some way.

In other news, my blood work has come back and has been faxed over to San Diego. I assume they’ll tell me if there’s something wrong with it. I’ve emailed Nurse Hilary to tell her to expect the results, so hopefully she’ll respond soon.

So that’s it for now! It’s been 2 weeks since our donor had her tests done. So I’m waiting patiently for those results. Waiting…waiting…waiting…

choosing a donor · consultations · donor egg · finances · ivf · sdfc

AND…We’re Back!

Hello all! I know, I know… it’s been way too long since I last posted anything on here, but honestly there just hasn’t been anything to post. I actually spent several months not really thinking about it much, and had a few moments of “well, life is pretty good. Are we sure we want to have another baby?”

And then, like a ton of bricks, the baby fever hit — big time! I don’t know if it was the fact that one of my best friends is pregnant, and watching her glow with her big (but not really big at all) belly just got me sentimental and wanting to be there, too. Or maybe it was that my coworker just had her baby and I got to cuddle with that tiny little girl and smell her sweet smells. Who knows?! But now I am just so desperate to be pregnant again, and to buy the sweet clothes, and change the diapers, and feedings – I am longing for it…yes, even the stuff that takes over your life, and your house, and your sanity! I want the chaos, and that was the part that was scaring me and holding me back from pushing it too much. Crazy how things change!

So, I contacted San Diego again and told them we were ready. We do not have the funds together, but I’ve decided we just won’t. We will have to take out loans, but we can probably save up about half of what we need by the time we have to give them money. But I am getting older, as is Anadine, and I’m just ready. If we wait until the money is completely there, we will never be able to do it.

So last week, we had a financial consultation to find out what our options are as far as financing. The lady we spoke with was very nice and informative. She assured me that SDFC will not nickel and dime us- I guess time will tell. (CCRM was real good about having hidden costs). So we discussed a few options, and depending on which donor we choose, we will figure out which route we will take. There’s one option that pays for one egg retrieval and then as many transfers as it takes to get pregnant from that batch of embryos. I think that option costs around $24,000, not including donor compensation and medications for the donor. Another option is a money back guarantee option: if a pregnancy isn’t established after 3 transfers, you get your money back. That option costs somewhere around $31,000, not including donor compensation and meds. If the donor we choose is a proven donor (meaning she’s done this before and had success), we probably could do option 1. If we choose a new donor, we might want to choose option 2, because you just never know. Either way, it ends up probably being about the same cost because a proven donor is going to cost close to $10,000 in compensation, whereas a new donor will cost $5,000 (makes you want to get in the egg donation business, doesn’t it?) Anyway, it’s a lot of numbers, a lot of money, and it kinda makes my head hurt. Basically the information we really needed is that the money is due at the start of the cycle – all of the money upfront – there is no financing plan. However, there are loan companies that work directly with SDFC. I knew that before, but needed the refresher. So now we look into that and see what we can get approved for, look at interest rates, etc.

Yesterday, we had a phone consult with our Doctor – Dr. Kettel. We are officially established patients at SDFC! The phone call went about as expected – no new information really, but it basically got us established. Ryan and I started looking at the donor database last night and picked out a few favorites. The next step is to get in contact with the donor coordinator (who we talked to last spring) and get matched with a donor. We’ll give her our favorites and she will help us make a decision that works for us.

Once that is done, we will start scheduling things. Right now our plan is to do a freeze all of the embryos and then do a transfer sometime in early June, when I am out of school. Although it would be nice to schedule it during my spring break, just to get things going a little sooner. Doing a freeze all would mean I don’t have to worry about syncing my cycle with the donor’s. It also means we can do PGS testing on the embryos, which increases the chance of success by being able to choose an embryo that has all of the right chromosomes. And yes, it also gives us an idea of which gender we are transferring in. 

Anyway, stay tuned. I’m hopeful that this blog is going to be getting more interesting in the coming months. Now, off to find a donor!

CCRM · donor egg ivf · donor eggs · estrace · infertility · ivf · ivf grants · ivf loan · lupron · progesterone · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

SDFC Phone Consult

We had our phone consult with the donor coordinator (Jenna) at San Diego Fertility Center yesterday afternoon. She was incredibly informative, was ready to answer all of our questions, and really put our minds at ease. I don’t have a single doubt that if we chose to go to SDFC, we would be in the best of hands for completing a donor egg cycle.

She walked through the process with us, detailing each step of a donor egg cycle. We would have to do a trial run cycle, in which I would start estrace (estrogen) when my period began to increase the lining of my uterus. I would have to have 3 total ultrasounds (one baseline and then 2 more at one week apart) to check to make sure my lining was increasing. Throughout that cycle I would increase the estrace gradually to see how my uterus responds. Then I would take progesterone to make my period start, start birth control pills to link up my cycle with my donor’s cycle, then begin to process again to build up my lining to prepare for transfer. Estrace and Progesterone: my two least favorite of the drugs! And then when I actually do the cycle, they will add in lupron (the shot that burns as I remember it!) Ah well, the things we do!

I asked if they had a bank of frozen eggs available. She said that they didn’t really do a lot of donor egg cycles with frozen eggs because the technology hasn’t developed enough to successfully freeze single cells. She said that they are constantly trying to develop new ways to make it more successful, but their thoughts are that using frozen eggs at this juncture does not have enough success for them to promote it. I found this information very helpful since that was one of the things I liked about the Chicago clinic ($15,000 cycle for a frozen donor egg cycle). I remember Dr. Surrey at CCRM saying something similar, so it’s easy to trust her: they have found great success with freezing and thawing embryos, but eggs just don’t have enough cells to keep them viable.

Ryan asked her to explain what should make their clinic stand out above the rest. He explained that we were doing a little bit of shopping around, and while we love their customer service (so to speak) San Diego is certainly not our cheapest option in regards to treatment or travel expenses. She said that they are really the pioneers in donor egg IVF. She said that CCRM is known for their successes in IVF and embryo testing: they have an impeccable lab and are on the front end of developments in IVF treatments and protocols (exactly!). Basically what she said, although not in these exact words, is that SDFC is for donor egg IVF what CCRM is for regular IVF. Their founder started donor egg IVF something like 24 years ago, and the first ever donor egg baby is not 32 years old (I don’t know if those are the exact numbers, but you get the gist). Basically, they’ve been at it for a lot longer than most clinics.

So, right now, they are top on my list and I think Ryan agrees. He was very pleased with the consult yesterday. We both know it will probably be a while though because we have to figure out the money issue. SDFC does have an agency that they partner with a lot who does infertility loans. Jenna is supposed to send me some information on that. I’m also looking into grants some more because now I know that they will accept money from third party lenders (CCRM wouldn’t so I didn’t want to go through the grant process if they wouldn’t accept the money – a lot of grants want to pay directly to the clinic).

I also have to get this polyp removed before we can do anything else. I have an appointment with my new OBGYN on March 22, and we’ll hopefully be able to schedule the removal for soon after. It looks like this is going to be a pretty long process. I would be thrilled if I could get pregnant this summer, but it’s looking more and more like it will be closer to a year from now.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Advanced Fertility · Chicago · donor egg · donor egg costs · donor egg ivf · fresh donor egg · frozen donor eggs · infertility · ivf · ivf costs · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

Comparing Clinics

So I have been spending the last several days searching and comparing fertility clinics across the US. My head is swimming with information. I have gone on the SART website and checked the stats on any fertility clinic in any place that either a. has family in that city or b. would be a cool place to visit. I have looked into the top 5 clinics on the list of “best fertility clinics for donor eggs.” I have little notes all over the place for each clinic where I have jotted down prices, donor information, etc. It’s been crazy!

San Diego- I have continued to be in contact with the nice lady at SDFC. She has been incredibly helpful. We have a phone consult with her on Monday afternoon to discuss more specifics. The problem with SDFC is its location. Out of all of our options, it would be the most difficult for us to get to. It would probably be an expensive place to stay as well. What I do like about them is their large donor database, and obviously the friendly coordinator who has been so accomodating.

Chicago – Looking at the SART website, Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago’s numbers really look good. In 2015, they did 45 donor egg transfers with a 91% success rate. 45 isn’t a big number of transfers (compared to San Diego’s 88), but 91% success rate is hard to look past. The other pluses for this clinic is that it would be fairly easy to get to from here, and we have family in Chicago which means a free place to stay. The other thing about this clinic is they have a fairly large frozen donor egg bank. This would mean a much lower cost (I think the cost quoted on their website is $15,900) and a lot less planning (I wouldn’t have to sync up my cycle with a donor). I’ll probably post about frozen vs. fresh donor eggs at a later time – I really have to look more into this. I hadn’t even thought about it before I saw it on their website. The annoying thing about this clinic is the nurse I have been in contact with hasn’t been the most approachable person. Granted, I have only talked to her through email, but she hasn’t been very forthcoming with answers to my questions. I have just emailed back a questionnaire she wanted me to fill out, so we’ll see if we can get a consult scheduled with them soon.

New Jersey- They are the second on the list of “best fertility clinics for donor eggs” and their stats look good. I have called them and gotten some pricing. Their prices for their cycles are about the same as SDFC. Who wants to go to New Jersey anyway? I’m going to keep them in the back of my mind, but I just don’t really see that being worth it.

Dallas- I have emailed and called them. Still no response. I’m a little annoyed by that. Looking closer at their stats, they have an 88% success rate for fresh donor eggs, but only did 40 transfers in that year. I still think those are good statistics, and it sure would be convenient. I just want them to call me back already. The real deciding factor there would be the cost and amount of donors in their database.

So that’s what I have for now. I’ve looked at several other clinics, but these are the top 4 at the moment. It makes me sad to be officially saying goodbye to CCRM, but 7 donors in the database at $40,000 just isn’t going to cut it. We have a follow up phone consult with Dr. Surrey next Thursday. I’m debating whether or not to cancel it. It seems silly to pay another $100 to tell him we aren’t going to be seeing him again. Although I still have some questions for him regarding my Doppler test on my uterus. We also haven’t gotten the whole report on the semen analysis yet. I guess I should decide pretty soon what to do about that!