Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Cost of IVF Medication in France

Got a report for the cost of my IVF medication that I was taking in June and it's actually not bad. For the whole lot, it cost 1,655 Euros. In the US and Canada, people have paid around 8,000 Dollars for their IVF meds. My goodness, what a difference! BTW, I'm extremely lucky as IVF is covered by the French government, so my bank account is not broke, just my ovaries. I'm not sure how much it cost for the IVF cycle (consultations, retrieval,etc.) as I did not receive this detail.

I must say, the cost of healthcare in France is reasonable. I'm unable to explain the complete healthcare structure, but here are some general facts:
-France has a mixture of public and private hospitals. Public hospitals are covered by the government and private hospitals are partially covered by the government, private insurance and yourself.
-To see a family doctor, it is 100% covered by the government and they pay the doctor 23 Euros for each consultation. Very reasonably priced in my opinion. Heck, the veterinarian costs more when I take my cat in.
-For a specialist, like a gynecologist, it is around 50 Euros for each consultation, which is partially covered by the government, partially covered by private insurance and I pay a bit towards this cost (around 20 Euros). If I see a specialist in a public hospital, it's totally covered by the government.
-For private healthcare insurance, I pay 60 Euros a month, which doesn't cover everything, but is very decent coverage.

When I was hospitalized in a private hospital for Endometriosis last year, the cost of the operation + 6 days in the hospital, was partially covered by the government and private insurance. From my own pocket, I paid around 500 Euros and that's including a TV and a private telephone line in my room.

For the most part the system works in France. Waiting time for tests and treatment is not very long. I got an MRI scan, colonoscopy, and blood tests, all done within a month of my diagnosis. The only complaint I have with my IVF process is that it is very impersonal and I feel like a number, but if they can get the job done, then I will be one happy camper.

I've got my next IVF appointment with the doctor on the 8th of September. Very eager to start treatment and hopefully this second round will be kind to us.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Is the Fertility God Playing with Me?

It's Day 38 and I still don't have my period, so I have been pondering over these 3 possibilities:

1. My body has been through a lot and it's taking its good old time. Prior to my operation last year, I had my period every 28 days, I was regular as regular could get, but post op and after lots of hormone treatment, it would be every 30-31 days. For the record, the longest has been 35 days and I have never missed a period in my menstrual life (except for the 6 month hormone treatment).

2. At 36 years old, am I starting menopause? I have heard of women who start menopause early in life and I remember a long time ago, my mom said that someone in the family started menopause at 38. This thought really freaks me out, so I hope this possibility is a definite negative.

3. Could I possibly be pregnant? How could this be, I've been trying for almost 4 years! Is the Fertility God finally smiling on me?

When I mentioned this to my husband he encouraged me to buy a home pregnancy test. For the record, I have never bought a home preggers test, because it only brings up too much hope and most likely to be followed by disappointment. But this is Day 38 and I don't feel any period symptoms. Is my body playing scattergories and it's very confused or is it playing bingo and it achieved the winning combination so that I can jump up and yell BINGO!

Well, I caved in and bought the test this afternoon. After dinner, I was looking at it quite intensely, not sure if I should take it or not. I read the notice carefully, so that I wouldn't make any mistakes and it said that it can take up to 3 minutes for the results.
-1 line on the C means I'm not pregnant
-1 line on the T + 1 line on the C means I'm pregnant.
Well, I went for it and 10 seconds didn't even pass and there was a very thick visible line on the C. Man, I felt like this test just slapped me in the face. How rude, it could have at least waited 1 or 2 minutes before giving me the bad news. I did wait for the full 3 minutes to see if I would get that second line, but it never came. I'm not too down about it, as I knew that this possibility was very unlikely. One thing is for sure, this is the first and last time that I buy a home pregnancy test. So much drama for nothing.

By the way, when I bought the home pregnancy test, I also bought a lottery ticket. Let's hope my lottery ticket brings me more luck.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Very Fertile Family Tree

My grandmothers on my father and mother's side were extremely fertile. My grandmother on my father's side had 6 children (5 boys and 1 girl) and my grandmother on my mother's side also had 6 children(4 girls and 2 boys).
Between 2 women they had 12 kids and that's pretty impressive! Well, it's impressive to me, because I'm trying to have just 1 and to have 6 just seems so incredible. Another impressive fact is that my grandmother had my mother when she was 43 years old. Back then, a woman giving birth at 43 was relatively rare, plus they had to deal with poverty, war, etc. Certainly not an easy time, but making babies seemed to be quite easy. My parent's generation also had a bunch of kids, expanding the family tree. From my generation, those who are married, all have kids, except for me. I've got a big family of uncles, aunts, cousins, a brother and even a grandmother who is over 90 years old and although we all live quite far from one another, they are very much in my thoughts and heart. Reflecting on all of this, I realized that I've got a very fertile family tree and I hope that I can expand my little branch one day.

At the end of the month, I'll be turning 37. Usually I love birthdays, but this year I've got some mixed feelings about it. 37 is not old by any means, but I've read so many articles about the significant decline in getting pregnant after 35. I'm over 35 plus I have endometriosis, so where does that leave me? One thing is for sure, I will not get pregnant at 36, so is 37 my lucky number? Will I beat the odds? I really don't know, but I'll keep trying, I'll keep hoping and I am happy to be a part of the family tree as a wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin and aunt. Wow, I've got a lot of titles on my family tree, but I just want one more to make it complete.