My husband Jeff and I first started trying for children in 2012, a little over two years after we got married. After six months of trying unsuccessfully, my OB-GYN recommended that we consult with a reproductive embryologist, as I was 38 years old. At the time we were fortunate to have insurance that would cover four rounds of IVF treatment after an initial IUI cycle.
Our IUI cycle
After completing the necessary testing, we started with one round of IUI, which was unsuccessful. We then proceeded to do two rounds of IVF when I was almost 40. Each time the quality and number of eggs diminished. After the second attempt, the doctor recommend that we consider egg donation, but neither one of us was ready for that step. We decided to try one more time with a different clinic. This last round was once again unsuccessful. We both felt defeated and unsure how to proceed. A month later a spontaneous pregnancy occurred. Sadly, when it was time for the first ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. We were both devastated and needed a break.
In the meantime, I needed to address a lingering issue. I have Crohn’s disease and when I was pregnant my constipation was dangerous. Luckily, I found an amazing surgeon who helped remedy my discomfort with a minor surgical procedure.
By the time my issue was resolved our insurance ran out and we were faced with the financial hurdle that so many couples face. How would we pay for continued fertility treatments?
Our decision to use donor eggs
Last spring, we began exploring the egg donor route. We visited two different fertility clinics in New Jersey. Each offered donor egg packages and routes for finding and using an egg donor, but each was very cost prohibitive. In the meantime, Jeff pushed forward making countless phone calls to egg banks, and fertility agencies that worked with potential egg donors in an effort to gain information upon which we could better make our decision. In the end, we were looking at a cost of anywhere of $20,000 to $45,000 for IVF with donor eggs. It was really expensive. We both felt defeated, but were not ready to give up.
In an effort to find more financially feasible options for IVF with donor eggs, I ran a search on the Internet for more affordable egg donor programs. I was immediately flooded with message boards and information about fertility options overseas. I was able to locate numerous fertility centres in Europe at a much more reasonable cost than here in the United States with prices ranging from $6,000 to $12,000.
Treatment at the Czech clinic
Ultimately, after months of Skype, e-mail and Face Time conversations we picked an IVF clinic in the Czech Republic, SANUS Hradec Kralove, and travelled to Hradec Kralove in the middle of December. Unfortunately, this attempt was unsuccessful, but we do not regret trying the treatment in this Czech IVF clinic. SANUS Hradec Kralove and the clinic’s staff were amazing. Our package included 7 nights at a local hotel, transportation back and forth from the airport and rides from the hotel to the clinic. In addition, Dr. Silhan was always accessible and available to answer our questions.
The best part of our journey is that we did not go into debt to pay for the egg donor procedure, as the total cost including medication was around $5,500. No couple should stress to pay for fertility treatments when there are amazing fertility clinics around the globe. I want to encourage other couples to explore their options for fertility treatments around the world. Couples should not feel limited by geography or have to mortgage their life and future to conceive a child. Read our story here or follow us on Facebook .