Recently we have had patients contact us and ask if we are offering an “All in One Treatment Package” or “All Inclusive IVF Cycle plus FETs”. It is important for potential patients to really understand what this means. An all in one treatment package usually means offering several treatments for one all-inclusive price, for example, 1 IVF cycle and 4 Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) Cycles for a set fee.
Whilst it may seem great, like everything, it needs to be researched, with questions asked and then looked at with caution.
To work out if this is a suitable option for you, our recommendations are that you ask the following questions before committing to anything:
- Is it a low stimulation/dose clinic offering the package?
If the answer is yes, this should raise an alarm bell. Often low stimulation/dose clinics are deliberately reducing the medication doses so you only have a few follicles develop. This is because they only offer the option of being awake for your egg collection. Low dose/stimulation clinic protocols are generally aiming to NOT to get a significant number of eggs. If this is the case it may mean that you do not end up with enough embryos from an IVF cycle to allow you to have a fresh transfer plus four embryos suitable for freezing and subsequent transfer.
Typically, one-third of eggs that fertilise normally actually grow to day five or six. These are suitable for transfer or freezing. For example, if only eight eggs are collected, it would be expected that on average, six of these would fertilise. This leaves only two to develop to day five and be suitable for transfer or freezing.
- If they are a low stimulation/dose clinic you need to ask what proportion of cycles end up with embryos suitable for freezing and on average how many are frozen.
It’s not uncommon when 8-15 eggs are collected in an IVF cycle to have a fresh embryo transfer. You would then have up to two blastocysts (day 5/6 embryos) frozen. It, therefore, stands to reason that fewer eggs collected may mean none to one embryo left suitable for freezing.
- Does the clinic freeze embryos on day 2-3 or day 5-6?
If the answer is day 5-6, great. If the answer is day 2-3, then this is not so good, for the following reason. Almost all eggs that fertilise will reach day 2-3 in development. However, there usually is a drop off in numbers after day 3 with an average of one third of eggs that fertilise growing successfully to day 5 which then become suitable for freezing.
- If I fall pregnant before I use any or all the FET cycles is there a refund?
- What happens if I have paid the full fee and I have no eggs collected at the procedure or my eggs don’t fertilise – is there a refund?
Our suggestion to everyone embarking upon fertility treatments is to ASK QUESTIONS.
Fertility Solutions may in the future offer patients all in one treatment packages but, if we do, it will be well researched, based on best practice principles, with the patient and their finances being our priority.