Yep, you read the headline correctly. How to get FREE IVF. Well, how I got IVF for free. It’s true! I never in a million years would think that we would be able to do IVF because of the costs. Let alone get free IVF. I talked about it for a second on my Instagram, but I decided to write an entire blog post about it.
Finding Our Fertility Clinic
When I first started posting about our infertility struggles on Instagram, we were seeing a fertility doctor relatively close to our home. It was roughly a 40 minute drive to their offices. This was the same clinic we had done our IUI with. We wanted to pull the trigger for IVF but things unfortunately fell through and we were struggling with the financial aspect of IVF.
I started searching up and down for IVF assistance, IVF grants, IVF Loans, etc. I applied to just about everything that’s available to no avail. Handfuls of grant companies denied us, loans weren’t approved, and we were losing hope. The average cost of IVF is $12,000 and that is not including the medication that would be required for IVF.
I started posting more on Instagram about our story and connecting with other women in the TTC community. I noticed a particular fertility clinic was repeatedly engaging with my posts. Curiosity finally got to me and I clicked on their profile to see that they were a local fertility clinic that was following me! I decided to DM them to ask about more info on how much their IVF procedure is. Their website described a new IVF method called “effortless IVF” which intrigued me… I ended up calling their offices to make an appointment.
To my surprise, their automated message had mentioned something about “clinical trials” and to ask more information. I ended up getting in touch with their head research nurse to ask more about their trials. After a relatively short talk, we made an appointment to meet with the doctor which was scheduled for a couple of weeks later.
Our new doctor was incredibly nice and warm. He sat us down to actually speak with us about our story and seemed genuinely interested in our case.
He then informed us of a new trial they were enrolling in for a new follicle stimulating drug.
IVF Clinical Trial
The study (or trial) consisted of subjects/patients taking a new follicle stimulating drug (instead of drugs like Menopur) to produce follicles and mature eggs. When you undergo IVF, it entails weeks of injections to grow as many follicles for the egg retrieval procedure.
This drug, as I was told, was tested and used all over Europe with success. The best part of the study was that it was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company. The risk was: 9 out of 10 women would receive the drug and 1 woman will receive a placebo. They described it as a “double blind” case study, so no one will know for sure who gets the placebo or not (not even the doctors). Regardless, we accepted the risks and enrolled immediately.
My Experience in the IVF Clinical Trial
My experience with the trial was… very short and in the dark. I wasn’t allowed to see the ultrasound monitor during appointments so I had no idea how many follicles I had. I had to document my symptoms in a journal and turn it in every visit.
By the time trigger shot was administered, I was only stimulating for 9 days. I have an entire video on my egg retrieval experience.
I’m still waiting to hear about what the next move is for our trial journey. Things are different when you’re in a IVF trial vs. self-pay IVF. There are a lot more rules to follow and you’re at the mercy of the trial.
In the end, it wasn’t effective for us. We got a total of 2 eggs and, in the end, only had 1 embryo frozen. I took the time to grieve. Essentially, our IVF failed. We were initially scheduled for a fresh embryo transfer but that was ultimately cancelled because the embryo growth wasn’t to the stage they wanted it on day 5.
Would I do the trial again? Absolutely. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we’re still technically part of. Where we go from here, I’m unsure. We still have an embryo in the bank (graded a 4AC), but there is also talks of a new IVF cycle happening. I will definitely be updating my Instagram when I learn more info.
How to Get IVF Free
I always recommend googling around and finding clinical trials in your area as well as asking your local clinics! There are also plenty of organizations who do annual grant contests to help with couples with fertility treatments.
Few of the organizations I know of are:
- Cade Foundation
- Gift of Parenthood
- ACG Foundation