I have a question that may be a moot point as I'm sure that it differs from clinic to clinic/doctor to doctor and also differs because I'm in Canada.
If the cost for IVF is say.... $5500 not including meds (luckily I have 80% coverage on meds), if the cycle fails due to something like lack of response, do I still pay $5500? Up here in Ontario where I am all the blood work and ultrasound is covered by our provincial plan, so everything up to the ER would be covered. So I figure if I didn't respond to meds, no ER, therefore no cost except meds? I presume if we did the ER though, but say no eggs grew, would the cost be discounted somewhat due to no blasts being put back in?
We just bought a house in a different city and will likely have to change doctors as the old one will be an hour out of my way. There are two clinics in our new city - this is the one that seems to have the better reviews: http://www.astrafertility.com/. However, I've been doing more and more reading and everyone is saying that the clinic we are at now is the best in Ontario and I should stick with them. That means a heck of a lot of driving each cycle we do! The costs for IVF at each of the clinics is basically the same, just under $6000 not including meds, ICSI or I think a $400 lab fee. Freezing is extra for after (if we had leftover embies).
I just want to be armed with as much info as I can get before we get to see the new doctor or before I go back to my current RE. If anyone suggests IVF may be our best option now, it's going to be a year of saving for us to do it and I want to plan way ahead for it! (being that we just bought a house - money will be tight for a while) I have a large complex cyst on my left ovary but I only have a good tube on the left side. During my lap last year my RE said the cyst was too complex to remove without damaging the ovary and since it was on my good side she left it. We've had three IUIs now and four rounds of meds (two clomid, two puregon) and I didn't respond well on my left side any of the times. However, I've had two chemicals as a result of the IUIs and it may be that the eggs coming out of the left side just aren't good quality. I'm also in a lot of pain due to the cycst now (which is 5cmX4cm) and I may just want to get rid of it for good!
I just have a feeling that IVF is in our cards so...may as well as a few questions now!
With my first cycle the ET was canceled d/t embryos arresting and I'm thinking we did get a refund/credit on our next cycle. As far as which clinic to go to I'd go with the one you feel is right. If the one that is further away has better success rates then I'd probably go there even though it's a ways away. With my first two cycles I drove 2 hrs one way every other day. With my last cycle I drove 3 1/2 hrs one way every other day while being monitored. I felt the 7 hrs in a car each day was worth it even if it was for a 10 min appt since that clinic had good success rates. Unfortunatley, we weren't successful there but I wouldn't go back and change a thing about going there.
We only incurred costs through ER and a couple of lab days because my embryos never made it past 3-4 cells. The actual price we paid for the cycles was lower than we were originally quoted for that reason. We made up for a lot of that with meds though. As far as clinics, if you are happy with the one you currently use I would stick with them. We drive an hour and 45 min. to get to our RE. The other option would be the one that's 3.5 hours away. I live close to Meg. :)
I would contact the office and see if they can run through pricing for you and ask them about refunds for different scenarios. That way, you'll definitely know ahead of time and can plan.
As far as which clinic.....sounds like you've done a little research....so go with what feels right. I had a different RE before, who did my surgery, but when I wanted to start with fertility, I decided to go with one closer to home/work. They had really good reviews, and success rates when I looked them up and it was far more convenient. I had been to the previous office lots of times dealing with the surgery and my 2 early m/c, and while I really liked the doctor and felt he was competent, the office and support staff were unfriendly and difficult to communicate with. I am actually much happier where I am now.
I am fortunate, though, in that I live in a major metropolitan area and there are tons of RE's to choose from.
If the clinics are comparable, you also might want to consider how the distance will affect your stress level during a monitored cycle. A longer distance would result in more missed work time, etc. Just something else to think about.
Keep us posted on how your plans are going!
I'm in Ontario, and when we did our ivf cycle, our RE (who is awesome and not out to rob you blind), suggested to us that if there we didn't get enough follicles we would switch to IUI ($500 vs $5500). So I believe that you should be able to cancel anytime prior to egg retrieval and it shouldn't cost you anything.
The first RE I went to was part of a bigger clinic that wanted the money up front (they also told me after 2 m/c's after IUI cycles that our only choice was ivf with donor eggs,thankfully we went for a second opinion and found our beloved RE where we ended up getting pregnant twice naturally while being monitored by him (and they monitored me through the first 10 weeks even though we got pregnant on our own) If you are close to Toronto I will gladly pass on his info!
I think the cancellation and refund policies really depend on the clinic you go to, so I agree with the pp who said to contact the clinic and run through the costs of the various scenarios. In Alberta, we aren't covered for IVF treatment (altho my extended medical does cover the meds, thank goodness!), and there are various fees (such as registration fee) which are not refundable once you pay. Then depending on the stage, they only charge costs based on what work was done (plus overhead blah blah) to date. Good luck!