Post # 1
My husband and I have our first appointment at a fertility clinic in a few weeks. Not sure what to expect…
Went to an obgyn appointment and apparently we both have some issues. Husband – low sperm count with poor motility. Myself – I have longer than average time between periods. They will look into if/when I ovulate.
Does anyone have experience they can share with fertility clinics? Thank you
Post # 2
future_mrs_m: The day of my first consultation appointment was the day I finally felt “normal” and “calm” after a year plus of trying. They may run some more blood tests depending on what you’ve had done already and they will probably want to take a peak at your insides on an ultrasound.
My clinic gave me hope and helped to me to feel like I was “doing something”. Currently 8w4d with my lil IVFers.
Good luck to you and I hope your journey with the clinic is short and rewarding!!! I would definitely suggest checking out the 1+ thread on WB. I didn’t post but I read along and those ladies have so much knowledge and experience!
Post # 3
Your first appointment is a gathering information appointment. You will both give you medical history and if you have any records from your gyn, bring those. But the RE’s office will most likely want to run their own tests anyway. After talking about your history, the RE will talk to you what has to happen for babies to be made. Then he will schedule you for tests:
Darling Husband will do sperm anaylsis
You will have CD3 blood draw and ultrasound, and an HSG and SHG. The HSG and SHG are scheduled between the 5th and 12th cycle day if I recall and can’t be done on the same time.
After all the tests results come back you will meet with the RE for a followup to go over all the test results and discuss a plan of action.
Post # 4
***Don’t let them do ANY TESTS!!!! without finding out costs/what insurance covers/what the tests are SPECIFICALLY FOR*******
I’ve been dealing with PCOS and TTC for the past year and we started working with my regular GYN just doing progesterone/clomid medication. After 4 cycles of it not working and getting really frustrated, I wanted to take it to a RE to find out the next steps. So I set up a simple CONSULTATION!!! Just to find out more information and what our next steps would be if we decided to push foward with infertility treatment and possible costs of this journey. The appointment itself was very overwhelming because of the amount of sheer information the Doctor was throwing on us. I had so many packets/booklets of articles thrown in my lap that he wanted me to read, he gave me his own book that he wrote on infertility. It was just very overwhelming. So then after being extremely overwhelmed and feeling really flustered, they took Darling Husband and me, sat us in a chair and drew blood. I wasn’t thinking to ask more questions since the Doctor gave us a checklist and on the checklist was just routine blood work. After that he took me back for a sonogram to check my ovaries. The nurse said someone will be in contact with you in about a month for results, I thought that was kinda strange but again, i was naiive at the start of this all and didn’t question anything. Then we sat down with the “financial advisor” to go over the monetary aspect of this whole thing and she was no help what so ever. She basically was just reading us directly from our insurance coverage paper, which can be simply printed out online. Every question we asked she didn’t have an answer for. We left with even more questions than we started with. About a week goes by and we get an email from a genetic testing center saying your consultation is scheduled for X day (this is the phone call the nurse was talking about) and it will go over the results of possible diseases/abnormalities that could be passed on to our future baby based on our results. I thought it was pretty cool and that was that. A month goes by and we get the phone call, all is good, nothing wrong with us to potentially pass onto a baby (which I pretty much figured because my family and his family have no history with any genetic diseases). Then a few more weeks go by and we get slammed with a 600 dollar bill from the genetic testing. I freak out, especially because I had just become unemployed, and start calling everyone I can. I call the financial advisor, she is of no help and directs me to their billing lab. I talk to them and they are of no help because it’s a second party that did these results. So finally I get to the second party and they are of no help, basically saying I can apply for financial aid or do payment plans. We were denied financial aid and we ended up paying the bill because I didn’t know where else to turn for help. Then we start getting Explanation of Benefit forms (EOBs) from our insurance company for $8,424 from this consultation appointment that we had with this RE! I start freaking out again and start calling the doctors office to find out wtf is going on. The nurse I spoke with asks me “did you get genetic testing done?” I said yes and she said “oh well thats it then.” and I was like WHAT??? We PAID that already!! and she was so confused and didn’t know what to say and fowarded me to the useless Financial advisor who again didn’t help me. After all that stress Darling Husband said to not worry about it until we get an actual bill. So put it on the back burner and a few months later we receive another bill for 600 dollars from the doctors office clinical lab for “lab tests”. At this point I’m ready to explode! So I call up the lab and no one answers so I leave a message. Then I call my insurance company to find out why I’m receiving these bills when this doctors office is supposed to be covered under my insurance. We finally get to the bottom of everything: It turns out that genetic testing for fertility isn’t covered by my plan. Which was never expressed to me during that entire consultation. Because of this now I’m dealing with appeals and trying to get this $1,200K bill removed considering they didn’t inform us they were doing genetic testing or anything as far as genetic testing not being covered and had I known it wasn’t I would have said NO THANK YOU!!!
It’s been a complete and utter nightmare and has made this journey that much HARDER.
So to end this long story— Ask questions, even if you have to ask them a million times because you don’t understand or theyre not giving you a clear cut answer. And don’t be afraid to walk away, say no to any testing you aren’t 100% sure about. I wish I had someone to tell me that because during that consultation I just felt like “the doctor knows best, I can trust them to help me” and all I’ve gotten out of it was feeling like a major cash cow.
Post # 5
KatEmmaMarie: That sounds like a nightmare……wow. Will you be using that clinic for fertility treatments or looking elsewhere?
Post # 6
future_mrs_m: Our first visit was just a consultation. We met the doctor we’d be working with, and he gave us an idea of what type of plan we’d follow depending on test results. He talked about what kind of tests he’d like us to do before starting treatment and went over our medical histories with us. Then, we met with a nurse, who helped us start to schedule tests that could be done at their facility and answer any questions we had.
About two days after our consultation, a financial/insurance specialist called me to go over our insurance coverage (they did the work of reaching out to our insurance company and checking into our plan) and explain what was covered and what wasn’t. This was really helpful; hopefully, your clinic will have this resource – they’ve been great about answering insurance/finance questions along the way, as well.
We’ve been lucky to have a great RE and nurse who walk us through every step. My best advice is that if you don’t feel comfortable or entirely prepared after your consultation, find a different center or doctor. Infertility is difficult enough as it is.
Post # 7
KatEmmaMarie: I’m so sorry this happened! It shouldn’t be that way – we did the genetic testing, too, but it was done by a company that will only allow patients to pay $99/person out of pocket, even if insurance won’t pick up the costs.
Post # 8
solnishko1186: I don’t know at this moment. After all of that started happening, Darling Husband and I decided to take a step back from all the doctors and medications because it was really upsetting. We had been also seeing an acupuncturist who recommended stopping all medication and trying to regulate my PCOS/cycle through natural means. He said to give him 3 months and he will have me regulated. Well, it was getting close to the 3 months and getting VERY expensive (in the 3 months we spent well over 1500K) when I decided to go see an endocrinologist who put me on metformin. I decided to stop the acupuncture because I still wasn’t seeing any results and it was causing me more stress than anything. When I stopped the acupuncture I’d been taking the metformin for about 2 weeks and got my period! Since I hadn’t had my period since the last withdrawal bleed from the clomid back in july I decided to take advantage and get the HSG done at that RE that screwed us over with the genetic testing. Doing that made me feel really frustrated, I just don’t want to ever deal with them again. The problem however is that there are no other RE’s in our network. Plus I finally just found a new job and don’t have the availability to travel far, so this RE that screwed us over is like 10 minutes from where I work. So it REALLY sucks knowing they are our ONLY option if we were to go foward with treatments. After my HSG the doctor said everything looked good and I can schedule an appointment for medication+ IUI, but I don’t even want to leap frog to that step! I’m only 25 and I’m still dealing with the denial stage and wanting to hope that I can get pregnant on our own. Darling Husband says to wait a few cycles and see what comes of it.
I’m still in the middle of this first cycle since getting my period at the end of October. It’s definitely driving my crazy, this not knowing whats going on. I have no way of knowing if I’ve already ovulated, or if I’m going to ovulate at all. I tried temping but my temps were all crazy. I’ve been doing OPKs since CD 14 but haven’t had any definitive positive and I’m on CD 23 now. Darling Husband and I have been BDing EOD and it’s becoming really exhausting but I’m too paranoid to stop until I get some kind of definitive answer!
Post # 9
KatEmmaMarie: Not to thread jack, but that totally happened to me too at my first appt. It’s definitely our responsibility to know what our plan covers, but on day 1 you are just going with whatever the doctor tells you….kinda hard to think “wait, is that part of my insurance plan!?”. My (former) RE’s nurse was horrible, and extremely useless even though if she had properly submitted the genetic testing under infertility I would have been covered. I ended up just paying the damn bill but at least was able to negotiate with the lab and get $500 off of a $1500 bill. :/ I hope you can get yours removed!
Post # 10
whitums: I completed agree too, that we should be responsible for knowing what our plans cover–within reason. Something like genetic testing that is such a non-routine type of lab test should have been brought to my attention by the doctors office; they didn’t even make it known to me that they were doing it! All that was said to me was “you’ll have a consulation in a month” I have a lot of family members that work in the health care industry, specifically the billing departments of doctors offices and everyone I’ve spoken to for advice on how to proceed with this situation has been outraged that this happened and have said that the doctors office should have been well aware that this test wouldn’t be covered by insurance.
The thing that’s bothering me the most though is why I’m being billed for it twice. The first bill we received was back in august from a genetic testing center, a third party. I paid that because I felt like I had no other options, no one else to seek out to for help. Then last month in october we receive ANOTHER bill, this time from the RE’s own clinical lab for the same test! But when I ask why we are being billed I get people being nasty to me on the phone and saying it needs to be taken up with someone higher up and they will “be in touch in 24-48 hours”. Which, It’s been almost a month and I’ve still not heard from them. I decided to just put the appeal in with the insurance company and see what happens with that before fighting with people more.
It’s amazing how, for lack of a better term– stupid people can be when you’re trying to get answers. I’ve been directed to so many different people throughout this whole process and no one can give me answers. It’s like, this is your job?? Why doesn’t anyone have answers!?
Which is why I stress again to the OP– Take your medical care into your own hands!!! Do not just sit back and blindly nod along because you’re confused, overwhelmed, think the doctors know best/everything….for no reason should you not be aware of what tests you’re having done, WHY they are being done, is what’s being done paid for and so on and so forth.
the TTC journey mixed in with infertility is stressful, depressing at times and can be so financially crippling all by itself….we don’t need to add in the frustration of fighting with insurance companies/doctors offices on top of it.
Post # 11
LadyBear: You’re 100% right, it shouldn’t be this way! I guess this company is similiar as yours in that they reduced the bill down to 300/person (totaling 600) from 1500/person because insurance didn’t pick it up. Though 600 is still a lot of money (and now we are being billed twice so it’s going up to 1200K)! Plus the fact that I was unemployed at the time and we were/are still getting slammed with other bills (as life will happen), our dog was/is still very sick and we’ve been dealing with vet bills out of our eye balls (his medication alone is 1200K not to mention all the procedures we’ve had done). It’s just mind boggling how these things happen. How insurance companies pick and choose what they will and will not cover. It just amazes me.
Post # 12
future_mrs_m: I just had my first RE consult last week and it was great – I feel so much better now with a plan in place. I went armed with all of my temp charts and a timeline describing each cycle I’ve had since beginning to TTC (cycle length, whether or not I used OPKs, temped, etc). I can share my template with you if you want 🙂 We talked through everything, and then the RE described next steps in terms of testing, and what the results of each test would or would not tell us. The first step was day 3 testing (which I already had so we skipped). The RE did an ultrasound to count follicles, and then scheduled me for an HSG (which I had yesterday) and a SA for Darling Husband. From what I understand, the day 3 testing, ultrasound, HSG and SA are “level 1” diagnostic tests. I will know a lot more about potential fertility problems and treatments after we have results from them all.
I have a super type-A personality, so having a basic understanding of what to expect going forward was so so so valuable to me. There’s nothing worse to me than not knowing what’s going on 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 13
future_mrs_m: I guess it depends on where you live. I saw a thread you started about Canadian Brides, so I’m going to assume you live in Canada. Fellow Canadian bee here who is also going through fertility treatment for PCOS.
All of your consultations are covered under OHIP (in Ontario) or your province’s equivalent. There are a few tests you have to pay for out of pocket – sperm test is one that comes to mind. BUT my insurance at work coveres it. So you should check into your insurance before and bring what is/isn’t covered to your appointment. The routine blood work/ultrasounds are all covered.
Your first meeting at the clinic you will be introduced to your primary care team. You’ll go over all of your history for both you and your husband, and will talk about why you are there. They might give you a tour of the clinic as well. They will talk about what they can do to help and set realistic expectations for you. They might take some blood or schedule you for an ultrasound. That all depends on where you are in your cycle. They will want to do a sonogram as well to look at your tubes and uterus to see if there are any blockages/abnormalities. But they will schedule that with you later – again dependant on where you are in your cycle.
They will probably want to do one cycle of cycle monitoring. They will require you to come in on day 3, of your cycle for an ultrasound and blood work. Then they will want you to come in on day 14 for ultrasound and blood work. IF they see a follicle, they will want you to come in every day to monitor that follicle up until you ovulate. They they will tell you to get busy!
If you’re like me and you don’t ovulate, then they will make a plan for medication and do it all again next month until you have a successful pregnancy.
Personally I like to be an active participant in my health care so I ask a lot of questions and they always have an answer for me. They show me my charts and so I’m able to understand more of what they are saying when they get my results back. It’s a learning experience to figure out what a good number is or not. My advice – don’t be hard on yourself and treat this like a learning opportunity. The more you relax and trust in your health care team, the better off you will be.
Post # 14
future_mrs_m: I plan on calling to make an appointment soon so this is a great thread for me too. I will be going alone since Darling Husband isnt ready to get tested yet but I feel better knowing at least I am getting checked out.
Post # 15
independencewave: I am likely going to a fertility specialist sometime soon so I would love your template. I, too, plan to go well armed.