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#1 2mommys

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 12:14 PM

For those of you looking for cost information at First Steps, I recently was told the following for IUI. Not sure about IVF.

They perform 2 inseminations at $700.
The clinic charges a $500 Program/Admin fee to every client.
There is a mandatory counseling fee of $150 for clients using donors.

Having said that, First Steps was our first choice however, we have decided to go with a much cheaper clinic.
#1 DIUI August 24th, 2011 BFP
Beta #1 88 September 5th, 2011
Beta #2 309 September 7th, 2011
Beta #3 1450 September 10th, 2011
U/S September 28th, 2011
Progesterone twice daily

#2 EllieB

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 06:02 PM

I'm at first steps and neither my dh and I remember paying a counseling fee, just the admin fee.

#3 2mommys

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:20 PM

I'm at first steps and neither my dh and I remember paying a counseling fee, just the admin fee.


If you're using a donor they told us that there is a mandatory counseling session which costs $150
#1 DIUI August 24th, 2011 BFP
Beta #1 88 September 5th, 2011
Beta #2 309 September 7th, 2011
Beta #3 1450 September 10th, 2011
U/S September 28th, 2011
Progesterone twice daily

#4 EllieB

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 09:56 PM

We didn't use a donor. Wierd, why would couples using a donor need counseling? I don't get it. Any idea the rationale?

#5 Jazz

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:44 AM

what is their donor egg program....do they work with an agency or have in=house program or patients have to find their own donors???

#6 mort54

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

I was a former patient of First Steps and find their prices to be over inflatted when compared to other clinics. They seem to be more about show then substance, failing to provide personal and individualized care for a private clinic.

I wish there was legislation in place regulating the amounts these clinics can charge for their service. FET at First Steps is $3000 and at my new clinic it is $1500 how can there be such a big discrepancy???

Me 33 - Unicornuate Uterus, one natural pregancy miscarriage at 11 weeks D&C Sept 2010, havn't been able to get pregnant on my own since
DH: 37 no issues

TTC since March 2011
 
First Steps Fertility Clinic
IVF #1 with ICSI - May 2012
May 9: Gonal F 300 and repronex 75 daily- 16 eggs retrieved, 10 fertlized
May 23: 1 arrested, remaining 8 are 3-4 cells, 1 is 5+ cells and all 9 are grade 1-2
May 26: ET one AA embryo transferred, 7 frozen- BFN sad.png
FET #1- July 27, 2012 two embryos transferred-BFN sad.png

Switched to Markham Fertility Clinic- Unicornuate Uterus
Aug 21: Consult with Dr. Virro
Nov 8: AEB Testing recommends IVIG, Metaformin, Synthroid, elevated NK (immune issues)
IUI#1: Dec 2012: Intralipids- BFN sad.png
FET #2-Feb 24, 2013: IVIG adminsitered two days before transfer

March 8, 2013: Surprise BFP as negative home tests, Beta strong 530 smile.png
April 1, 2013: Viability ultrasound, heartbeat detected, 175
April 30: 3 month ultrsound EDO Nov 20, 165, cerclage scheduled
Oct 3, 2013: My little bunny arrives 5 pounds 3 ounces came early at 34 weeks


Oct 2014: Trying for #2 (failed FET #1)

Dec 2014: FET #2, IVIG, immune drugs

Dec 12, 2014: positive Beta 641, 2051 (Dec 15)

January 8, 2015: Viability Ultrasound hb 171
m2yRm4.png


#7 Xalo3

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:52 PM

I also find it interesting how some clinics have you do 2 mandatory inseminations per cycle therefore making it extremely expensive as you need 2 vials of sperm for each IUI. I had 2 IUI's done in Markham, only one insemination each time with positive results. (I do realize that in some situations they do end up doing 2 inseminations per cycle because of numbers however I know that at MFC they try to do everything they can to only have to do one insemination.

I also do not understand why clinics are so different however I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten in with the doctor I have.

#8 Christin*

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:42 AM

I echo the unfounded 'high' prices that "First Steps" gets away with charging. I was quoted $18,000 for an ivf procedure with ICSI, and am grateful that it was cancelled! I have a new doctor now in Markham and the prices at his clinic are half that of First Steps. What is even more embarassing for First Steps (at least it should be embarassing) is that the MFC doctor is 'hands down' much, much, better at his job. The lab is on site, (and top notch) not downtown somewhere! Anyways I could go on, but I will leave it at that.
Me: 41
DH: 44
TTC 4 years
No identified issues (except age)
2 Medicated IUIs in 2010 - BFN
1 Natural IUI in 2011 - BFN
IVF #1 May 2011 (cancelled and converted to IUI)
Beta June 8, 2011 - BFN
Waiting to get into MFC with Dr. Virro
Started seeing Naturopath September 2011
Taking loads of supplements
Appointment scheduled with Dr. Virro (February 28, 2012)
Started Acupuncture February 2012
IVF # 2 started with Dr. V March 15, 2012
Cycle cancelled due to to low response
IVF#3 started May 21, 2012
ER - 1 egg retrieved
ET - 3dt ( 1 egg transferred: grade 2, 6 cell with early compaction)
Beta June 18 - BFP!! :)
Due Date: February 24, 2013! Can't wait!

#9 lali111

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:10 AM

Thanks ladies for sharing your feedback on the costs at First Steps! I am a patient there but I will do IVF in Panama because IVF at First Steps is too expensive for me. Also, I find that my doctor is never there so sometimes I get anxious because I don't know what treatment I should do. She delegates everything to the nurses.

#10 gandere1

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

I am a current patient at First Steps. My second IVF was cancelled due to low response. Their prices seem very high to me.
I don't know who your doctor is lali, but my doctor is never there. She texts information to the nurse and then it is relayed to me. Not very professional or personal.
Also I am put on the spot to make decisions that I am not really informed about. They wanted to convert my last IVF into an IUI, although my follicles weren't responding properly to meds. We decided to try on our own.
I am thinking of leaving First Steps after one last IVF (since I already paid for this last IVF cycle). To add insult to injury, they are charging me 1500 dollars because my cycle was cancelled!

Me - 45 DH - 45


#11 lali111

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:52 AM

I am sorry that your cycle was cancelled. It's so frustrating to deal with all the emotional roller coaster and on top of that have to pay a cancellation fee!! My doctor is Dr. D. She teaches at university and that's why she is never there. I also felt the same about being put on the spot to take decisions. They do not explain all my options and what would be the best choice for me. I did a lot of medicated cycles and then 3 IUIs and I never responded well to any combination of meds that she gave me. At first I was Clomid resistant, which is not the dr's fault, but then she made me try 8 different combination of meds. I am 32 so I still have a good ovarian reserve and I should ovulate and produce more than one mature follicle for IUIs. Anyway, I am glad to see that I am not alone to be frustrated.

#12 Christin*

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:41 AM

Hi cindere41,

Don't think about leaving! Just do it! Trust me on this one. I was in your situation last year,and made the decision to leave after the treatment that I received from them. I feel for you because you are putting your trust in doctors and staff to fulfill your dream of having a child of your own. You and DH are paying a lot of money for these treatments, plus it is an incredibly stressful and emotional experience, and you want to feel like you are in good hands!

Is there any way to not go forward with the IVF that you pre-paid and in turn get the money back, or would they charge a cancellation fee again (cancellation fee = ridiculous!!). When they charged us for cancelling our IVF cycle, my DH nearly had a meltdown in the reception area (he has a business head and nobody could provide him with a logical explanation for the fee).

Regardless of whether you can get out of your IVF procedure or not, put in a referral to Markham Fertility Clinic and Dr. Virro ASAP. He is a fabulous Doctor, his clinic does everything in-house incl. lab work, and his staff are incredibly compassionate and professional.

I really hope that you can get out of having to do another ivf with First Steps, at least enquire about getting out of the pre-payment. Oh and btw, Markham does not charge anything for cancelled cycles. Plus their rates are much, much lower, my ivf was half the price charged at First Steps.

Good Luck, you've got options! Please keep me posted :)
Me: 41
DH: 44
TTC 4 years
No identified issues (except age)
2 Medicated IUIs in 2010 - BFN
1 Natural IUI in 2011 - BFN
IVF #1 May 2011 (cancelled and converted to IUI)
Beta June 8, 2011 - BFN
Waiting to get into MFC with Dr. Virro
Started seeing Naturopath September 2011
Taking loads of supplements
Appointment scheduled with Dr. Virro (February 28, 2012)
Started Acupuncture February 2012
IVF # 2 started with Dr. V March 15, 2012
Cycle cancelled due to to low response
IVF#3 started May 21, 2012
ER - 1 egg retrieved
ET - 3dt ( 1 egg transferred: grade 2, 6 cell with early compaction)
Beta June 18 - BFP!! :)
Due Date: February 24, 2013! Can't wait!

#13 mort54

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:07 PM

To add more fuel to the fire the AMH Test at First Steps cost $150 and I found out Gamma-Dyna charges $55 and my insurance would have covered it if I had gotten it there as it isnt a private clinic.

yikes

Me 33 - Unicornuate Uterus, one natural pregancy miscarriage at 11 weeks D&C Sept 2010, havn't been able to get pregnant on my own since
DH: 37 no issues

TTC since March 2011
 
First Steps Fertility Clinic
IVF #1 with ICSI - May 2012
May 9: Gonal F 300 and repronex 75 daily- 16 eggs retrieved, 10 fertlized
May 23: 1 arrested, remaining 8 are 3-4 cells, 1 is 5+ cells and all 9 are grade 1-2
May 26: ET one AA embryo transferred, 7 frozen- BFN sad.png
FET #1- July 27, 2012 two embryos transferred-BFN sad.png

Switched to Markham Fertility Clinic- Unicornuate Uterus
Aug 21: Consult with Dr. Virro
Nov 8: AEB Testing recommends IVIG, Metaformin, Synthroid, elevated NK (immune issues)
IUI#1: Dec 2012: Intralipids- BFN sad.png
FET #2-Feb 24, 2013: IVIG adminsitered two days before transfer

March 8, 2013: Surprise BFP as negative home tests, Beta strong 530 smile.png
April 1, 2013: Viability ultrasound, heartbeat detected, 175
April 30: 3 month ultrsound EDO Nov 20, 165, cerclage scheduled
Oct 3, 2013: My little bunny arrives 5 pounds 3 ounces came early at 34 weeks


Oct 2014: Trying for #2 (failed FET #1)

Dec 2014: FET #2, IVIG, immune drugs

Dec 12, 2014: positive Beta 641, 2051 (Dec 15)

January 8, 2015: Viability Ultrasound hb 171
m2yRm4.png


#14 lali111

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:09 PM

You really got me thinking. I've been going to First Steps since March and it was my first clinic. When I joined this forum, I was surprised to see that very few people were blogging about First Steps. Now I realize that it's probably because they have less patients than in other clinics. It's probably for all the reasons that you all mentionned.

Anyway, as I posted a few days ago, I will probably not go back to do treatments at First Steps. I am planning to do IVF abroad in 2013.

#15 gandere1

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

Me too Lali 111. I wondered why there wasn't a lot of feedback or comments about First Steps.
I am putting in a referral to Hannam.
I do have one last consult appointment with my doctor at First Steps though to see if she would change anything to my next IVF protocol since my last one was cancelled.

Me - 45 DH - 45


#16 lmtb

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:20 PM

This is the first time I've ever joined a site in order to post a reply, in fact this is my first reponse ever. I feel compelled to share my story with First Steps. I was new to fertility and was recommended to First Steps by my obgyn (who is so fantastic and I trust him completely). To make this short and sweet - these guys are First Steps are borderline crooks. They really only care about taking money from you and charge you an inflated price every single time. If you need medication they will not let you purchase it anywhere else and make it seem like you HAVE to buy from them. The nurses there are just horrible - I didn't care that they weren't overly friendly at the time (some were downright snappy), but after I switched clinics I realize now that they are terrible. The doctor I saw was sweet, but I saw her maybe once or twice and she really didn't have a good handle (or maybe didn't really care) about my infertility issues (I guess I seemed pretty standard to her...endometriosis). I ended up doing one failed IUI and after paying $2000 for the entire procedures (that includes all of their costs and meds) I had a real sour taste in my mouth. I didn't go back.

A year passed and I decided to go to another clinic and I chose Astra due to a friends recommendation (although there are a lot of good clinics out there). I have to say from just the way the clinic is organized and how NICE the nurses are and so organized - It was such a breath of fresh air. Dr. Michaels is wonderful. He had suggested that due to my history of infertility and additional issues that there was more at play than just endo. He scheduled a small exploratory surgery and discovered that both of my tubes are blocked as well as a misshaped uterus (which he fixed). He explained that due to my blockages I would not be able to get pregnant naturally and that IVF was my best bet (and that I qualified for OHIP funding). I feel like I've wasted so much time, effort and money with First Steps.

Please save yourself a lot of angst and just try a clinic that's NOT First Steps.



#17 Positivity23

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 07:30 PM

Sorry to hear about your experience at First Steps.  Who was your doctor there?


Me: 32, DH: 34

 

 


#18 KathleenD

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 02:33 PM

I am currently with First Steps and not overly impressed.  I of course am in too deep at this point to get out.  I wish I had been stronger and smarted when I started, I might have switched clinics and saved myself a lot of money.  Knowing what I know now I will be sure to be smarter in future when it comes to my health and private clinics.  I have an FET to do and after that I will not be going back to First Steps.


Me:  33   DH:  43   --> TTC since June 2011
 

Referred to Fertility Clinic June 2012 

April 2013 - IUI#1 - BFN

May 2013 - IUI#2 - BFN

April 2014 IVF #1 (the only one we will be doing)

April 10th - 3AA follie frozen

Beta#1 - 18 - a little bit pregnant

Beta#2 - Official BFN

July 2014 FET

July 18 - Transfer day

July 30 - Beta #1 363 / Beta#2 760 / Beta #3 3822 / Beta#4 8250

Aug 13 - 1st ultrasound - Heartbeat 117

Aug 25 - 2nd ultrasound - Heartbeat 167

Sept 3 - OB appt.

Sept 9 - 3rd ultrasound


#19 Positivity23

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 07:06 PM

Hi Kathleen, sorry to hear about your experience.  I had a second opinion from First Steps but decided not to pursue things with them.  Do you mind sharing what happened??


Me: 32, DH: 34

 

 


#20 lali111

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:52 AM

Very disappointed with First Steps! Before I started my IVF cycle, I asked one of the nurse to check with Dr D if she would be the one doing my ER. The nurse confirmed to me that it was all good and Dr D would be there. Then I asked a 2nd time after a couple of days of stim and they confirmed once again... Today, one day before my ER, I receive a phone call and the same nurse tells me that Dr D will not be there for my ER but it will be the younger Dr G. I completely lost it on the phone. I cannot believe that I paid 17M and asked 3 times and they lied to me and cannot accomodate my request. I refuse to do it with Dr G! I am beyond pissed. On top of that they do not refund you if you cancel the cycle and my ovaries are the size of a grapefruit so it would not be a good idea to cancel and lose all the medications and stim. I hate when people do not handle customer service the right way!!! They should have told me upfront.

#21 gandere1

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:09 PM

I hope it worked out for you lali111.


Me - 45 DH - 45


#22 lali111

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:17 PM

Gandere1 -thanks! It turned out fine. I was really upset and sad (maybe the hormones made it worse) and my doctor agreed to do my retrieval and transfer. :))

I now have a beautiful 5-day blastocyte inside of me.
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