Fertility clinic offers money-back guarantee

February 3, 2012 5:25:05 AM PST
A certain fertility treatment is growing in popularity.

It's offered at centers in the area, but many families are traveling to a center two-and-a-half hours away for the procedure.

It all comes down to guarantee.

Many couples may try different fertility treatments time and time again. They say it can get frustrating and expensive, as you can imagine.

But many couples in our area are finding a way to start a family, without blowing all their money.

"I saw him from a distance and I was immediately drawn," said Rachel Brown.

Rachel Brown met the love of her life Michael when she was 38. They married when she was 40 and decided they wanted a family. That's how Gabriel came to be, but it wasn't easy.

"I knew there was a high likelihood that we would need technology if I was going to get pregnant," said Rachel.

And they did need help. They couldn't use Rachel's eggs. Due to her age, there weren't enough, and through testing they found out she was a carrier for a Jewish genetic disorder, which plagued Michael for most of his life.

So while they could use his sperm, they would need an egg donor who did not also carry the gene.

The process is called egg donor in-vitro fertilization.

They started with a local fertility center, but it didn't work.

"We spent all this money, and I didn't get pregnant," said Rachel. "I had a miscarriage."

That led them to Shady Grove Fertility in Rockville, Maryland.

Dr. Eric Levens explains what makes them different is a 100-percent money-back guarantee.

Other centers offer guarantees but for a limited number of tries, and most don't include refunds for medical tests and labs required for the recipient and donor.

"To know you are not out of that money for treatment is a very reassuring thing for patients," said Dr. Eric Levens.

"That was essential," said Michael Ross. "If that had not been part of the program, we would not have joined."

Dr. Levens says due their volume they're able to offer this option.

In 2009, Shady Grove preformed 750 egg donor treatment cycles. The national average for a fertility center that same year was 26.

Their success rate now is 63%, which is similar to other fertility centers nationwide.

Dr. Levens also says Shady Grove offers another option many centers don't; couples can share an egg donor, which makes the price more affordable. And they have more donors, giving women more choice.

"It can be anywhere from 60 to 100," Dr. Levens says.

Rachel and Michael wanted a donor who resembled her, with dark hair and eyes. They easily found her in the database, which comes with childhood pictures of the donor, medical information and a personal essay from the donor.

After one try, it worked. Rachel was pregnant.

"I was sick most of the time, but I loved it," said Rachel.

And now, their life is all about Gabriel.

"He is really cute," said Rachel. "He cries all the time. He eats all the time."

It is still expensive, about $29,000, but if a couple were to share an egg donor and choose the money-back guarantee, it costs about the same as it would at another center with one donor and no guarantee.

If doesn't work, they will still have the option of adoption which can also be expensive.

Click here to see Shady Grove Financial Options Chart


Shady Grove Fertility Center: www.ShadyGroveFertility.com

Parents Via Egg Donation Organization: www.pved.org

Society For Assisted Reproductive Technology: www.sart.org