Zero to Freeze and What Constitutes a Cycle?

I wasn’t even bothered by the phone call I received today.  We had 5 low quality embryos that the lab was going to culture on day 3.  Of course they would not make it to Day 5 if they were looking so poor on day 3.  But then I took that thought a step further, which is if our current cycle fails, we will need to do another fresh cycle.  Does this mean my body needs to take some time off first?  Or can we go straight into another cycle?  And an even bigger question…what constitutes a “cycle”?  And is the definition of “cycle” different for insurance purposes vs. statistics for IVF working?  So here are my questions to wise-women I know in blogland…

1) My insurance has approved “3 cycles” of IVF.  Does this mean 3 fresh cycles?…meaning I’m on stimulation meds and both retrieval and transfer procedures occur.  Or does a cycle mean anytime an embryo is transferred into my uterus?  I’ve had 1 Fresh IVF cycle and 1 FET (a blast that came from this fresh cycle) and now I am on my 2nd Fresh IVF cycle…so is this my 2nd cycle (counts fresh cycles only) or is this my 3rd cycle (3 separate transfer procedures)?  If this is my 3rd cycle…where do we go from here if it fails?  Is it common to resubmit to the insurance company to see if they will cover more cycles?  Is it common that they will actual cover more cycles than originally approved?  What guides this decision?

2) I have the same questions about what constitutes a cycle.  But now I’m wondering about statistics.  I’ve read that if IVF is going to be a successful intervention, it is most likely to happen within 3 cycles.  Is a “cycle” defined differently here than it is for insurance companies?  If this is our 3rd cycle…what does that mean for us?  Is this the end of the IVF road for us?  The nurse at the transfer procedure told us that based on my responses to both fresh cycles they would be changing my protocol next time…but will there be a next time?  If medically they suggest we go through with another fresh cycle (would be our 3rd fresh cycle) will we be on our own in paying for it?

I started writing this post with a simple question…so I thought.  The more I wrote, the more questions seemed to come up.  There is so much that I don’t know.  I think I will give the insurance coordinator a call tomorrow to get those questions answered.  And then I will call the nurses to ask about our statistical chances of IVF working if we were to go through with another cycle.  I feel knowing the answers to these questions will help me if we do get bad news again.  If this cycle fails it will be heart-wrenching…but if I know it’s not the end of the line for us, both financially and medically it will take a bit of the edge off.  I also want to ask the nurses about what happens if we get a positive.  Will the want me to come in for another blood test…when will that occur?  At least there will be a plan in place no matter what news we get.  I am literally willing it to be positive!  I don’t know if I could take another failed cycle (whatever a cycle may be).

And a side note….I have been AWFUL to B lately.  I am incredibly irritable and he is taking the brunt of it.  Literally everything he does bothers me and I just snap.  I have constant cramping from the progesterone and my boobs are incredibly sore!  I’ve been going to sleep between 8:30 and 9pm every night and am just exhausted.  Last night, we went out to dinner with friends and I had to take a 2 hour nap before we went out just so I could stay out until 10pm.  I’m pathetic :(

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5 thoughts on “Zero to Freeze and What Constitutes a Cycle?

  1. I used to have similar coverage of 3 IVF cycles. When I called for clarification, they told me a cycle was only complete if embryos were transferred. And any frozen from that cycle would be covered but would not count against a “cycle.” I hope this is the case for you….

    Hoping you don’t have to worry about it because this cycle worked :) Thinking of you!

  2. On my insurance, we get 4 ivf cycles. FETs are different and don’t count against the total amount of IVF cycles we are eligible for. Likewise, if embryos were retrieved, but none made it to transfer, that would not count against a cycle either.

    But like the previous poster said, I hope none of this matters because this is your cycle!

  3. I was told with my insurance that the three cycles we were approved for at first were fresh. My RE’s office told me they’d have to reapply separately for frozen cycle coverage. Hopefully it’s the same situation for you! Not sure what kind of IF coverage you have but it is possible that they will reapprove a few more cycles even if this was your third. Fingers are crossed though that all that won’t be necessary!

  4. Hi there, you have kindly commented on my blog before, and as I am going private I wanted to let you know in case you wanted to join my reader list.
    If you would do email me at
    em(dot)hart(at)rocketmail(dot)com
    and leave me your email address.

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