Help from those who have trodden this rocky road before me

Weeble
Weeble

January 24th, 2014, 4:16 am #1

Several years ago I did the IVF route and found great support on the TTC over 40 site. Some of you may remember my name from there.

I have had 3 unsuccessful IVFs and one blighted ovum before I ran out of funds. Despite my unexpected unemployment, my DH and I decided to go forward with assisted reproduction as we married late in life but still wanted children together. Ironically, my husband called me at the airport when I was returning home after being accepted to the infertility program out of state to say that he had just been fired. Major suck and very unexpected. He has since gotten another position but one with a huge commute so his daily burnout and cranky factor is quite high. I feel guilty all the time that we have to live on one salary -- depending on a job he loathes. Although I have been looking intensely for any job and have taken many internships and volunteered to gain experience and contacts, I have not been able to get more than seasonal employment. I stressed all the time that my age is precluding me from both gainful employment and other family building options.

For the last few years, I have tried to come to grips with not having kids. It is not working. I am not coping well. My friends are kind but not supportive as they all had children in their 20's and early 30's. They are approaching the next stage of motherhood. I don't feel too old to be a mother. I just feel sad and more desperate as the time passes. I do not just want to have a child. I want to be pregnant -- feel the swell of my belly under my hand. My siblings all have large families.

I would like to consider DE as my next option but don't know if it is completely out of my grasp. DH has mentioned adoption but he has no concept of the cost and the red tape -- plus his parents are extremely and vocally critical of adoption. Can you you help me by answering the following questions.

1. Has anyone on this board used DE to get pregnant over 50?

2. Are there clinics that specialize in DE for clients over 50?

3. Any idea how much this DE would cost. I have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care insurance.

4. Can you point me in the right direction with advice?

5. Are there other sites that would be more appropriate.

Many thanks for any assistance or advice you can give me. The people on these sites are a great sense of comfort and strength for me.
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Joined: December 5th, 2013, 11:48 pm

January 24th, 2014, 5:37 am #2

Hi Weeble! I like your name.

I haven't done any IVF yet. I'm 40, diminished ovarian reserve, TTC 5 years, never ever been pregnant, DH sperm normal, and in the past two months have decided to try for my own pregnancy after trying to adopt for over two years.

Unfortunately I don't know the answer to most of your questions! I think there might be a separate board on this site specifically for women over 50, so you might look around a bit.

Also, www.pved.org, parents via egg donation, seems to have a huge following so you might try posting there too.

From what I've seen so far, the cost of donor egg IVF seems to fall somewhere between $30-40,000, if you include donor fee, meds for you and donor, travel, pre-treatment screening, etc. I think ladies here might have found clinics with costs closer to $25,000. Those costs are for fresh donor eggs, though.

There is a relatively new option of frozen donor eggs that seems to have pretty good success rates, but it is not available at many clinics yet. Examples of clinics doing this are Pacific Northwest Fertility in Seattle, Reproductive Biology Associates in Georgia, and I think there is a woman on PVED doing this through a clinic in Massachusetts. The cost of a frozen donor egg cycle seems to be about $18 - 20,000 including meds, pre-screening, etc.

I am now seriously considering going with a donor embryo, even though my DH has normal sperm. As my DH and I already tried to adopt, we are okay with not having genetic connection to our child. With donor embryos, you would receive an embryo donated to a clinic or program by a woman or a couple who made embryos for their IVF, then didn't use all of them (because they completed their family, or moved on) but didn't want to dispose of them. This approach is the least expensive because there is no procedure to make an embryo out of the donor egg and partner or donor sperm. The cost seems to range from $4000 to $8000.

DH and I just don't feel that we can borrow $40K to try to make a baby, even with greater than 80% success rates. If there were a 100% success rate, no possibility of m/c, etc., then we would happily go into debt, but that is not the reality. We do not live in a state mandating insurance coverage for IVF, so we're 100% pay out of pocket. Maybe I've been reading too many blogs and message boards, but people do have multiple failures even with donor eggs, and I'm feeling really aware of that now. DH and I want to try the least expensive approach first and then if we have no luck, regroup and reconsider. If you work with a clinic that does a lot of frozen embryo transfers and has good success rates with those, then your chances of pregnancy with donor embryo should be about %60.

Here is a link about donor embryos:http://www.californiaconceptions.com/

You can read a lot about donor embryos on PVED, too.

What else... it seems like lots of women have had good luck with going to Europe for DE IVF, where the cost seems to be about half or less than half the cost of DE IVF in the US. There seems to be a clinic in Czechoslovakia that people like.

I hope I haven't been a debbie downer here! From what I've read, lots of women are having actual take-home babies with DE IVF. It happens a lot! And the number of women going with donor embryos is growing, too. Good for you for reaching out. You can do this!

Yes (I was going by KMM here but now I'm using Yes, and that's the name I put on PVED)
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DeeinNYC
DeeinNYC

January 24th, 2014, 5:47 am #3

Several years ago I did the IVF route and found great support on the TTC over 40 site. Some of you may remember my name from there.

I have had 3 unsuccessful IVFs and one blighted ovum before I ran out of funds. Despite my unexpected unemployment, my DH and I decided to go forward with assisted reproduction as we married late in life but still wanted children together. Ironically, my husband called me at the airport when I was returning home after being accepted to the infertility program out of state to say that he had just been fired. Major suck and very unexpected. He has since gotten another position but one with a huge commute so his daily burnout and cranky factor is quite high. I feel guilty all the time that we have to live on one salary -- depending on a job he loathes. Although I have been looking intensely for any job and have taken many internships and volunteered to gain experience and contacts, I have not been able to get more than seasonal employment. I stressed all the time that my age is precluding me from both gainful employment and other family building options.

For the last few years, I have tried to come to grips with not having kids. It is not working. I am not coping well. My friends are kind but not supportive as they all had children in their 20's and early 30's. They are approaching the next stage of motherhood. I don't feel too old to be a mother. I just feel sad and more desperate as the time passes. I do not just want to have a child. I want to be pregnant -- feel the swell of my belly under my hand. My siblings all have large families.

I would like to consider DE as my next option but don't know if it is completely out of my grasp. DH has mentioned adoption but he has no concept of the cost and the red tape -- plus his parents are extremely and vocally critical of adoption. Can you you help me by answering the following questions.

1. Has anyone on this board used DE to get pregnant over 50?

2. Are there clinics that specialize in DE for clients over 50?

3. Any idea how much this DE would cost. I have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care insurance.

4. Can you point me in the right direction with advice?

5. Are there other sites that would be more appropriate.

Many thanks for any assistance or advice you can give me. The people on these sites are a great sense of comfort and strength for me.
You might want to check out the over 50 Parenting/Pregnancy board here for ideas. I think they have had threads on where to go if you are over 50. The link is at the top of this page. Most clinics will not do DE's if you are over 50. The clinics that will that come to mind are Cooper in New Jersey and CNY in New York (stats not the best but they are very affordable.) I think a few out of the country do too. There are likely more so hopefully others will chime in.
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Joined: November 28th, 2012, 12:12 am

January 24th, 2014, 2:00 pm #4

Several years ago I did the IVF route and found great support on the TTC over 40 site. Some of you may remember my name from there.

I have had 3 unsuccessful IVFs and one blighted ovum before I ran out of funds. Despite my unexpected unemployment, my DH and I decided to go forward with assisted reproduction as we married late in life but still wanted children together. Ironically, my husband called me at the airport when I was returning home after being accepted to the infertility program out of state to say that he had just been fired. Major suck and very unexpected. He has since gotten another position but one with a huge commute so his daily burnout and cranky factor is quite high. I feel guilty all the time that we have to live on one salary -- depending on a job he loathes. Although I have been looking intensely for any job and have taken many internships and volunteered to gain experience and contacts, I have not been able to get more than seasonal employment. I stressed all the time that my age is precluding me from both gainful employment and other family building options.

For the last few years, I have tried to come to grips with not having kids. It is not working. I am not coping well. My friends are kind but not supportive as they all had children in their 20's and early 30's. They are approaching the next stage of motherhood. I don't feel too old to be a mother. I just feel sad and more desperate as the time passes. I do not just want to have a child. I want to be pregnant -- feel the swell of my belly under my hand. My siblings all have large families.

I would like to consider DE as my next option but don't know if it is completely out of my grasp. DH has mentioned adoption but he has no concept of the cost and the red tape -- plus his parents are extremely and vocally critical of adoption. Can you you help me by answering the following questions.

1. Has anyone on this board used DE to get pregnant over 50?

2. Are there clinics that specialize in DE for clients over 50?

3. Any idea how much this DE would cost. I have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care insurance.

4. Can you point me in the right direction with advice?

5. Are there other sites that would be more appropriate.

Many thanks for any assistance or advice you can give me. The people on these sites are a great sense of comfort and strength for me.
I'm so sorry you've struggled for so long. It's heartbreaking to invest so much time, emotion, and money into this journey with no baby to bring home. Virtual hugs for you.

I have Harvard Pilgrim and hate to tell you that you'll really have to battle to get any IF coverage out of them if you're over 44. My clinic advised me to get on the scene when I turned 40 b/c time passes quickly, your 44 before you know it and they very rarely see treatment approved for patients over 44. If you become pregnant you'd be fully covered for your pregnancy related medical treatment.

Get HPHC to email their infertility services and criteria document. It will likely be a long call since they'll have to kick you over to a specialty services group. It's a really joy (rolling my eyes). If you don't have time for that I've pasted the coverage details for patients over 44 below.

"Female members age 44 requesting to use their own eggs are generally not eligible for coverage of infertility treatment and/or related services. Infertility treatment and related services will not be authorized for female members age 44 or older unless there is clear evidence of a greater than a 5% chance of a birth outcome using ones own eggs. While the individual's medical history will be considered in making coverage decisions, the age of the female member is the most important clinical factor affecting the chances of a live birth when a woman's own eggs are used." Source: HPHC Medical Review Criteria Infertility Services 2012

Are you in MA? I know that Cardone sees patients for DE who are up to 55. His office is in Stoneham.They have recently merged with Boston IVF so I'm not sure if there will be any policy changes. Boston IVF does a monthly donor egg seminar that may be worth attending.
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Mrs. McIrish
Mrs. McIrish

January 24th, 2014, 2:47 pm #5

I also have Harvard. The criteria document I have specifically says "no donor eggs will not be authorized for women 44 and above as they are experiencing an age-related decline in fertility that is normal and expected and not consistent with disease process". Even if you aren't in MA, I think you will find the same problem elsewhere and will need to pay OOP but your meds and b/w might be picked up. I paid for my current program bc I used up my lifetime allotment but my meds, u/s and b/w has still been covered thankfully.

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Deee
Deee

January 24th, 2014, 3:00 pm #6

Several years ago I did the IVF route and found great support on the TTC over 40 site. Some of you may remember my name from there.

I have had 3 unsuccessful IVFs and one blighted ovum before I ran out of funds. Despite my unexpected unemployment, my DH and I decided to go forward with assisted reproduction as we married late in life but still wanted children together. Ironically, my husband called me at the airport when I was returning home after being accepted to the infertility program out of state to say that he had just been fired. Major suck and very unexpected. He has since gotten another position but one with a huge commute so his daily burnout and cranky factor is quite high. I feel guilty all the time that we have to live on one salary -- depending on a job he loathes. Although I have been looking intensely for any job and have taken many internships and volunteered to gain experience and contacts, I have not been able to get more than seasonal employment. I stressed all the time that my age is precluding me from both gainful employment and other family building options.

For the last few years, I have tried to come to grips with not having kids. It is not working. I am not coping well. My friends are kind but not supportive as they all had children in their 20's and early 30's. They are approaching the next stage of motherhood. I don't feel too old to be a mother. I just feel sad and more desperate as the time passes. I do not just want to have a child. I want to be pregnant -- feel the swell of my belly under my hand. My siblings all have large families.

I would like to consider DE as my next option but don't know if it is completely out of my grasp. DH has mentioned adoption but he has no concept of the cost and the red tape -- plus his parents are extremely and vocally critical of adoption. Can you you help me by answering the following questions.

1. Has anyone on this board used DE to get pregnant over 50?

2. Are there clinics that specialize in DE for clients over 50?

3. Any idea how much this DE would cost. I have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care insurance.

4. Can you point me in the right direction with advice?

5. Are there other sites that would be more appropriate.

Many thanks for any assistance or advice you can give me. The people on these sites are a great sense of comfort and strength for me.
I am 47 and pursuing DE IVF. I know that many European clinics treat women up to age 52 and some up to age 55. However, the Czech clinic I went to recently only treats women up to right before their 50th birthday. I think its Czech law. Different countries have different rules, and some European countries don't even allow DE IVF. Others are more liberal about it. Also, I think I noted some California clinics treat women over 50. I have not done extensive research on it, but I will need to at some point. Its been three years, and I have still not succeeded with DE IVF. The reasons why are not really clear, although I've had lots of testing done.
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

January 24th, 2014, 4:08 pm #7

Several years ago I did the IVF route and found great support on the TTC over 40 site. Some of you may remember my name from there.

I have had 3 unsuccessful IVFs and one blighted ovum before I ran out of funds. Despite my unexpected unemployment, my DH and I decided to go forward with assisted reproduction as we married late in life but still wanted children together. Ironically, my husband called me at the airport when I was returning home after being accepted to the infertility program out of state to say that he had just been fired. Major suck and very unexpected. He has since gotten another position but one with a huge commute so his daily burnout and cranky factor is quite high. I feel guilty all the time that we have to live on one salary -- depending on a job he loathes. Although I have been looking intensely for any job and have taken many internships and volunteered to gain experience and contacts, I have not been able to get more than seasonal employment. I stressed all the time that my age is precluding me from both gainful employment and other family building options.

For the last few years, I have tried to come to grips with not having kids. It is not working. I am not coping well. My friends are kind but not supportive as they all had children in their 20's and early 30's. They are approaching the next stage of motherhood. I don't feel too old to be a mother. I just feel sad and more desperate as the time passes. I do not just want to have a child. I want to be pregnant -- feel the swell of my belly under my hand. My siblings all have large families.

I would like to consider DE as my next option but don't know if it is completely out of my grasp. DH has mentioned adoption but he has no concept of the cost and the red tape -- plus his parents are extremely and vocally critical of adoption. Can you you help me by answering the following questions.

1. Has anyone on this board used DE to get pregnant over 50?

2. Are there clinics that specialize in DE for clients over 50?

3. Any idea how much this DE would cost. I have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care insurance.

4. Can you point me in the right direction with advice?

5. Are there other sites that would be more appropriate.

Many thanks for any assistance or advice you can give me. The people on these sites are a great sense of comfort and strength for me.
There are a number of women here who got pregnant with DE over 50. Check the Over 50 forum, too. I'll answer the questions as best I know the answers:

1. I wasn't over 50, but close to it. I cycled in the Czech Republic, and as a pp notes, they have enacted a statutory age limit of 49 and 364 days for fertility treatment. I lost access to the frozen embryos I have there as a result as no grandfathering provision was made and the government makes shipping embryos out of the country bureaucratically difficult.

2. I don't know whether any actually specialize in over 50. GIVF, CNY, and Cooper are clinics I know that treat over 50. GIVF cuts off at 55.

3. Depending on how you do it, DE costs can vary dramatically. Except for those costs that a clinic can code as general gyno (which my clinic did a good bit), you can expect to pay out-of-pocket for everything. You could go to Ukraine and probably have a fresh cycle for, hmmmm, haven't check lately, but I'd ball park it about $12K with travel. If you are open to doing double-donor, California Conceptions has a double-donor freeze-all split cycle program with guarantee (if you qualify) for about $12K, too. They treat to 54, I think.

4. Honestly, if you are open to double donor, and in a financially strapped situation, you want to consider that since using an older partner's sperm is another factor that may delay success, I would look into the California Conceptions program first [ETA: I just saw a pp's note on California Conceptions. Their program is not donor embryo in the traditional and more accepted sense. It is, as I said, a double donor split freeze-all cycle program], then Cooper, I think. Cooper has frozen embryos, too, which are a more affordable option. Are you open to international travel? I would definitely look at Intersono in Ukraine.

GIVF has opened up some more affordable programs, but their age cutoff for their frozen egg program (Fairfax Egg Bank) used to be 47, I think. That kind of scorched my biscuits, because I suspect their only reason was to boost their frozen egg stats. When I just went looking for their frozen egg cutoff age, though, I didn't find it; did it change? I would avoid CNY as their stats are not good and some women here have had lackluster experiences with them recently.

5. More appropriate sites? Naw, you're in the right place, except you'll probably get more targeted information on the Over 50 forum. I don't know how receptive other DE sites like PVED are to over-50 cyclers. They may be fine, but I have no personal experience. For international cycling, you may want to check out fertilityfriends.co.uk.

Good luck!

Maggie (in VA)
Last edited by maggie1961 on January 24th, 2014, 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: March 25th, 2008, 8:46 pm

January 24th, 2014, 5:42 pm #8

Several years ago I did the IVF route and found great support on the TTC over 40 site. Some of you may remember my name from there.

I have had 3 unsuccessful IVFs and one blighted ovum before I ran out of funds. Despite my unexpected unemployment, my DH and I decided to go forward with assisted reproduction as we married late in life but still wanted children together. Ironically, my husband called me at the airport when I was returning home after being accepted to the infertility program out of state to say that he had just been fired. Major suck and very unexpected. He has since gotten another position but one with a huge commute so his daily burnout and cranky factor is quite high. I feel guilty all the time that we have to live on one salary -- depending on a job he loathes. Although I have been looking intensely for any job and have taken many internships and volunteered to gain experience and contacts, I have not been able to get more than seasonal employment. I stressed all the time that my age is precluding me from both gainful employment and other family building options.

For the last few years, I have tried to come to grips with not having kids. It is not working. I am not coping well. My friends are kind but not supportive as they all had children in their 20's and early 30's. They are approaching the next stage of motherhood. I don't feel too old to be a mother. I just feel sad and more desperate as the time passes. I do not just want to have a child. I want to be pregnant -- feel the swell of my belly under my hand. My siblings all have large families.

I would like to consider DE as my next option but don't know if it is completely out of my grasp. DH has mentioned adoption but he has no concept of the cost and the red tape -- plus his parents are extremely and vocally critical of adoption. Can you you help me by answering the following questions.

1. Has anyone on this board used DE to get pregnant over 50?

2. Are there clinics that specialize in DE for clients over 50?

3. Any idea how much this DE would cost. I have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care insurance.

4. Can you point me in the right direction with advice?

5. Are there other sites that would be more appropriate.

Many thanks for any assistance or advice you can give me. The people on these sites are a great sense of comfort and strength for me.
There are many clinics that offer donor embryo without actually advertising it as an option. I'd try looking at SART for clinics that claim to offer it near you and make some phone calls. You may even be so fortunate as to not be put on a waiting list. I had my children via embryo donation and feel so blessed that this was an option for me.
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

January 24th, 2014, 6:08 pm #9

I am 47 and pursuing DE IVF. I know that many European clinics treat women up to age 52 and some up to age 55. However, the Czech clinic I went to recently only treats women up to right before their 50th birthday. I think its Czech law. Different countries have different rules, and some European countries don't even allow DE IVF. Others are more liberal about it. Also, I think I noted some California clinics treat women over 50. I have not done extensive research on it, but I will need to at some point. Its been three years, and I have still not succeeded with DE IVF. The reasons why are not really clear, although I've had lots of testing done.
Of course, we discussed the Czech Republic. Neighboring Slovakia cuts off at age 46. I've been told Spanish clinics cut off at 50. I think Greece, Cyprus, and former Soviet republics treat to older ages. Compensated DE is illegal throughout much of the EU. Take care, Maggie (in VA)
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Dee
Dee

January 24th, 2014, 6:45 pm #10

There are many clinics that offer donor embryo without actually advertising it as an option. I'd try looking at SART for clinics that claim to offer it near you and make some phone calls. You may even be so fortunate as to not be put on a waiting list. I had my children via embryo donation and feel so blessed that this was an option for me.
Here is a link to the donor embryo forum if interested.


http://www.network54.com/Forum/572336/
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