Anaemia of the Exchequer

We’ve been considering this whole IVF thing.

The clinic charges £2500, inclusive of scans, sedation & freezing, exclusive of drugs.

The HFEA charge £105 for… existing. And, yes, probably some other useful regulatory stuff that I can’t be faffed to think about just at present.

Fair enough, I thought.

And then, this evening, I looked up how much the drugs are. Dear, sweet, grinning protestant God.

Treatment scheduling: Contraceptive pill. Pennies! And GP-prescribed in any case. No worries there.

Stims: A 75ui vial of Menopur is nearly £20 a pop, and I will require at least 2 a day. I eventually upped to 3 on both IVF cycles, and stimmed for… 13 days? Longer? I can’t remember, but I know they had to keep sending me back to the pharmacy with prescriptions for MOARDRUGSLOTSMOARDRUGS. And, I threw vials and vials of Menopur away a couple of years ago when it date-expired. Why the buggery hell did I not offer it to someone else?

Disabling Pituitary: I require 0.25mg of Cetrolrelix a day, from the 5th day of stimulation until trigger day. £30 a shot. Yowsa. (Conventional downregulation, as far as I can make out, 

is £30 per cycle.)

hCG: Pregnyl is £4.00, and I reckon I can afford that, no bother, although the memory of the dose I kept in the fridge until it, like the menopur, drifted past its expiry, is irksome.

Luteal Phase Support: Cyclogest 400mg x 2/day. 84p per individual lard torpedo. £1.68p/day is a mere spit in the tarn, but I shall nevertheless be rootling through the cupboards to find the box I know still exists somewhere. It had better be in bloody date, because if I have hoarded it all this time for nothing, then I shall be cross.


Pill: neglible.

Stims: let us be hopeful and say 40 vials will suffice: £756

Cetrotide: for, say, 10 days, as running out would be unfortunate: £300

hCG: £4.50

Cyclogest: £11.76/week for… what… 12 weeks? If successful? 2 weeks if not? £23.52 or £141.12

756+300+4.50+23.52=£1084. Plus the aforementioned £2605 = £3689. Call it £3,700 with postage.

And then, of course, there is the heparin (and the aspirin, natch), but the NHS will thankfully pick up the tab for that if necessary, given that I would be requiring its assistance in keeping a whole other person alive at that point.

If I require any other drugs that I have failed to account for, please hint at it very gently indeed, because I am reeling in horror, and asking myself just how scared I am of that uterus.

£3,700 worth of scared?

That’s an awful fat lot of scared.

30 Responses

  1. Do I detect a sneaky “Freedom & Necessity” reference in there?

    I admire your maths skills, and defer to more expert commenters on the rest…

    • You DO! I THOUGHT you might spot it!
      My dear, read the Lymond chronicles, do! He is the character that Emma Bull rather sneakily turned dark-haired and re-wrote as James Cobham. Sex was better in F&N, but Dunnett’s writing is far, far more sublime.

      • It is such a good chunky expostulation.

        Thank you, duly added to my Amazon wishlist! I can always imagine the sex;)

        • I have NO IDEA why, but I have, for a number of years now, turned into an Irish Catholic when I feel the urge to curse flamboyantly. Not in dropping-lead-weight-on-foot circs, but more at the point when exasperation cannot be longer contained. I am, it has to be said, RIDICULOUSLY osmotic with accents, and will start to mimic a USA/Australian accent within hours of being exposed to it. But still, I am several generations removed from my (Church of Ireland!) Irish roots, so quite WHY I should often feel the urge to drag Mary, Mother of God into my personal preferred profanities, I am thoroughly puzzled about.

          So, I was quite delighted to find that J. Cobham did also!

          • ha! I’m a lapsed Catholic myself, but there is nothing quite like a good “sweet suffering JESUS” of an afternoon.

          • or the classic “I’m so hungry I’d eat the hind leg of the lamb of God”, but we keep that for special occasions.

      • To clarify: Only sneaky in the sense that I wish I’d done it first.

  2. Still sounds relatively cheap, compared to US prices…Our cycle would have cost ~$12,000 if I hadn’t had insurance and prescription coverage (That’s what? around 6000 pounds?), which most people do not. I guess you just have to calculate the cost of fear somehow…

  3. But the fact that you have worked it all out without rejecting it already says a lot. No advice from me but I’m still thinking positive thoughts about the dull and boring 40 week pregnancy followed by the uneventful delivery of a beautiful sibling for Harry.

  4. That is indeed quite a price tag. Would you feel comfortable trying the Harry-stretched ute plus blood thinners plus extra pregnancy monitoring? Seems to be that may be the way to go, rather than paying for the IVF only to have go and stretch out the OTHER uterus.

    Side note: I can’t believe that nothing about this conversation strikes me as the least bit odd. It’s been an interesting few years.

  5. mhm, Menopur from 2009 would probably not be a good idea…? (But I keep putting off to actually bin it, so hard to let go)

  6. Thats sound not too bad value compared to London prices. It annoys me that clinics pass on the HFEA charge in that way. They know full well why they are regulated so should really bear it up front. Having had to look at HFEA stats recently you can see where some of the money goes as these are way more useful than they were 10 years ago.

    I got my GP to NHS fund 2 rounds of drugs for two private cycles. She was super sympathetic though and those were financially more clement days. Worth asking I’d have thought.

  7. That’s a sum, isn’t it? Quite A Sum.
    I too, would be having the Willies. Bloody money, why can’t you barter a few good cows for it, instead?

    (I must get my mitts on this F&N of which you speak. Your enthusiasm is infectious, and, it has sex in it.)

  8. Indeed, large sum.

    I think the £105 is for checking that clinics don’t mix up peoples’ gametes and embryos with other peoples’ gametes and embryos.

  9. Although the HFEA are on the “See ya’, QUANGO!” list, so perhaps you can, um, “forget” to pay that until the list is actually acted on?

    And they don’t check on mixing things up. They are administrative and provide procedures, guidelines and advice. Or at least that’s what it said on the tin. It sounds about right.

    I think it’s also worth taking into consideration how:

    1) Your body responds to IVF (I can’t recall, I thought Not Well?)

    2) How much IUI costs

    3) The mental cost of knowing it’s going into the right damn uterus during IVF

    4) You’re 35, yes? Investigated donating/doing shared cycle? Still allowed if 35 and under. And not ginger.

    5) I smell a car boot sale to help raise funds.

  10. Cripes.

    Well if I have anything left after my cycle (assuming you haven’t started yours) I obviously can’t give it to you because I assume that is illegal. But maybe if I slipped and it fell in an envelope, that just happened to have your address on it ….


  11. On the one hand, I get that medical resources are finite and that, as a. pointed out, it could be worse. But it still kills me that, even in NHS-land, you have to be making financial calculations of this magnitude. Especially with your priors in the form of Harry’s challenging pregnancy.

    I have no idea what I would do, in your shoes. But … when I read your previous post about the protocol Dr. Consultant had suddenly recommended–it looked, well, not perfect, but it addressed just about every one of your prior agonizing concerns. And, while I agree with your therapist that demonizing uterus 1 while giving uterus 2 a halo is perhaps unfair–at the same time, the past experience with uterus 1 that you totted up is fact. You do have fact-based reasons to be concerned about uterus 1. Of course, as you’re discussing here, it gets hairier, so to speak, when we think about relative risk, and the dollar sums attached… Gosh I wish this were a little simpler for you.

  12. Holy hell, that’s… that’s MONEY. *whimper*

    What to do. What to do. Oh, God. I am holding your hand.

    (And each single visit just to TALK to The Professor for five minutes and admire just how like Celia Imrie she is looking this week, £180. Going private = moths in the wallet. *Feels sudden returning flush of Socialism and INCREASE NHS Funding, Dammit! coming on).

  13. i have some unexpired puregon if you can persuade your docs it’s just as good. I’ve been trying to give it away for ages, with no takers, so don’t feel bad about your menopur, no guarantee anyone would take it.

  14. I had my cycle on Harley st. I decided I would just hand over credit card and not look. Still to this day have no idea how much it cost …. But it’s scary. Scary scary

    Worth it tho have everything crossed for you x

  15. “Terrific race, the Romans”.

    I so love how your sense of humour is intact, but aaargh, re the frustration and fear too.

  16. Wow! That’s serious money, no wonder you’re panic stricken. I’m hyperventilating on your behalf.

  17. I know it helps naught but it’s not much different here except that our public system does help eighty year old men have erections for free.

    Policy makers are all old men.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: