Causes & Treatment

Managing IVF costs, when treatment isn’t working – Rosie’s story

Eloise Edington  |   11 Nov 2022


We’re all about positivity at The Ribbon Box. Holding on to hope has been a big part of the journey to parenthood, for more than one team member.

But for each of us, layering hope with realism is also key. We want straight answers, not waffle. And we want reassurance, but only if it’s grounded in something concrete. 

There are no guarantees in any TTC journey. And heartbreakingly, not all of us have welcomed our longed-for baby. It’s vital that we make space for every side of the story, and what comes after.

And, with the average IVF cost (UK) hitting at £5,000 minimum, how we can bubble-wrap our finances – whether or not we decide to keep trying. 

The IVF Refund Programme – reassurance in testing times

For many, there’s comfort in knowing that if your treatment doesn’t work, you’ll get the money back which could open up other options for you.

So what does happen when someone receives the refund? What do they go on to do next, with that money? For Access Fertility patient Rosie Comb, the funds paid out meant she could continue her IVF journey – a journey she’s still on now.

We’re honoured to share Rosie’s story today, helping us explain how an IVF refund programme might work for anyone in our TTC community, if you’re looking for some reassurance, and control over the cost of treatment.

Over to Rosie, and the amazing team at Access Fertility

Where are you now on your fertility journey, Rosie?

We’ve just had our fifth cycle, which sadly didn’t work. I really want to share my story, because so much of what we read – and of course, social media – suggests you’ll be successful on your first try. It’s really important that people understand that might not be the case. It might be, but not for everyone.

Our infertility is classed as ‘unexplained’. In every IVF round we’ve had, I’ve produced lots of eggs, and usually between six and nine have fertilised. Each time, we’ve implanted two AAAB-graded embryos, but sadly it hasn’t led to the baby we’d love to have.

ivf-refund-program-rosie

We’ve thrown almost everything we can at this journey – from endo-scratch to embryo glue. We haven’t gone down the pre-genetic testing route, however. 

With a frozen embryo and another round to go, we’re not giving up just yet. But we’re realistic about our chances, and I like to be prepared.

That sounds incredibly challenging – has anything helped you cope?

Right from the start, it’s been more challenging than I could have imagined, both emotionally and physically. Having IVF treatment can be very restrictive – from holidays to work, it’s very difficult to plan your diary from month to month. There’s a huge amount of admin to do – I don’t think people realise that. 

I was very strict about doing everything by the book, and got really stressed in the process. I’m a lot more relaxed about it all, as time’s gone by, which has helped. But everyone’s on a journey, and it’s no small undertaking.

Getting your hopes up is natural, and when you get a negative result, it’s heartbreaking. The whole experience can make you feel incredibly lonely. I felt a bit ashamed, in a way, that I needed IVF. I didn’t want to talk about it. But once you start opening up, you hear so many other people’s stories. And that helps. 

Finances and costs are a crucial part of the journey. For us, Access Fertility’s IVF Refund Programme has helped enormously, providing reassurance in a world where any certainty seems hard to come by. 

And, our refund has allowed us to continue our treatment, now on the Multi-Cycle Programme.

How did you find out about Access Fertility?

Our clinic put us in touch. 

At the time, we had a lot of information to take in – all of it quite overwhelming. We didn’t realise Access Fertility was a separate provider, and that we needed to register to get started. It seemed like such a good idea, and we knew straight away that we wanted to do the IVF Refund Programme. 

Right before we started treatment, our clinic asked how we’d like to pay and we realised we hadn’t registered directly with Access Fertility. Fortunately, after a panicked call with their wonderful team, they rushed our application through, and everything was sorted just in time.

ivf-refund-program-cost

Why did you choose the IVF Refund Programme?

I should say, I’m an accountant. So the numbers are my thing. When we looked through the options, the IVF Refund Programme looked right for us.

The IVF Multi-Cycle Programme and the IVF Refund Programme (we went for the 50% refund option) were going to cost roughly the same. 

Critically though, if our treatment didn’t work out, we’d get the refund back, which would give us other options. I’m quite practical, and if I thought it didn’t work, the refund could give us some support with costs, or the freedom to try again.

In the end, that’s exactly what happened. We did three fresh rounds of IVF plus one frozen embryo transfer, but none of it worked. This was devastating – I won’t sugar-coat it. But with the refund, we had the option to pay for future rounds.

Would you recommend Access Fertility?

I would – IVF is a difficult, expensive process, so take the support when it’s available. The Access Fertility Multi-Cycle Programme (which we’re using now) is also a huge help. There’s no refund, but you still save money, and having the unlimited frozen embryo transfers is a real bonus. It’s empowered us to keep trying

What would you say to someone about to start IVF?

  • Find ‘your people’ and talk to those who’ve been through it
  • Don’t fixate on the IVF. It’s easier said than done, I know. But I’ve gone from it being all-consuming, to not freaking out as much
  • The medications are tough – don’t underestimate the impact they’ll have, while you’re going through it. Involve your partner, because it affects you both – you both want this
  • Remember, your life will still be going on around IVF. I like a nice glass of wine, and found it hard to come up with an excuse for being sober at events. Have your responses ready in advance – whether you’re keeping things private or being super-open! 

Find out more about the IVF Refund Programme, with Access Fertility’s amazing team. Learn more, and book a free consultation, to get the ball rolling. 

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