Category: Patient Experience

Family Building for LGBTQIA+

June marks the beginning of Pride Month, commemorating the Stonewall Riots and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. June 1 also is #LGBTQFamiliesDay, created for individuals, families, and allies to celebrate and support LGBTQIA+ families. Family comes in many forms and everyone’s path to their family is unique to their journey. No matter what your journey is, anyone who struggles to build a family should have the opportunity including the LGTBQIA+ community. According to Resolve, between 2 million and 3.7 million children under the age of 18 have a LGTBQIA+ parent.

For most LGTBQIA+ single people and couples, the journey to building your dream family can have a different path than what may be considered “traditional”. At Vios, we are far from “traditional” ourselves and are an ally for the LGTBQIA+ community, here to help those wishing to become parents.

Recently, in the state of Illinois a bill was passed changing the definition of infertility providing insurance coverage to the LGBTQIA+ community. HB3709 amends the IL Insurance Code to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility shall be provided without discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, Sex, or sexual orientation. It removes provisions stating that “infertility” means the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse or the inability to sustain a successful pregnancy. You can read more about this bill here.

There are three necessary components to make a baby: eggs, sperm, and a uterus. Thanks to improved medicine and technology, as well as generosity from third-party donors, same sex couples and single individuals have more options than ever to build the family of their dreams. From sperm donation and IUI, InVoCell for reciprocal IVF, egg donation, and gestational carrier Vios Fertility Institute can help bring the pieces together for all our patients. LGBTQ+ individuals and couples do not necessarily have a diagnosis of infertility so pregnancy rates per cycle are generally high in these cases.

If you need help financing your treatments learn more about our financing partners here!

ASPIRE Study: COVID19 and Pregnancy

Vios Fertility Institute is proud to partner with the University of California-San Francisco to make patients aware of the ASPIRE study regarding COVID19 and pregnancy. ASPIRE stands for Assessing Safety of Pregnancy In the Coronavirus Pandemic.

ASPIRE study on COVID19 and pregnancy

ASPIRE is a nationwide prospective cohort study of pregnant women and their offspring during the COVID-19 pandemic. All Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) member clinics have been invited to share this study information with their pregnant patients, directing patients to register to participate at this website.

From ASPIRE, “The goal of this study is to help understand the spread of COVID-19 infection among pregnant women and how infection might affect the health and wellbeing of pregnant mothers and their babies, particularly when the infection occurs in early pregnancy or without any symptoms. The goal is for this knowledge to inform and empower pregnant women and their healthcare providers to provide the best possible care for their pregnancies and future babies. Also, women and couples planning pregnancies will gain important information to help make decisions for their families.”

ASPIRE is focused on the first trimester, a critical and vulnerable period when all of a baby’s organ systems form and the placenta – the crucial connection between mom and baby – develops.

Currently, there are no data about the effects of COVID19 infections in the first trimester. The ASPIRE study will provide critical information to:

(1) Guide the care of pregnant women
(2) Protect the safety of their babies and families
(3) Help those considering pregnancy in the future understand what it means to be pregnant in this new era

Becoming pregnant at any time is a personal choice and with the added uncertainty of a global pandemic, we realize this decision did not come lightly. We celebrate your pregnancy!

We’re also careful to counsel our patients at every step of their care journey about COVID19 and pregnancy considerations and safety guidelines so that you can feel informed and an active and empowered partner in your care.

Who can join the ASPIRE Study?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and is between 4 – 10 weeks pregnant. Eligible participants will be compensated financially.

  1. You’ll be asked to:
    1. Submit frequent, quick (<1 minute each) symptom tracking reports using your mobile phone and/or computer.
  2. 2. Collect finger-stick blood samples from home at several points throughout your pregnancy. (A helpful how to video is here.)
  3. 3. Give permission to review medical records related to your pregnancy, delivery and baby’s development.
  4. 4. Complete questionnaires online about your health during your pregnancy and after delivery of your baby.

How to get started:

Visit https://aspire.ucsf.edu/ to learn more and register on their website here.

Do you have additional questions about COVID-19 and fertility treatment at Vios? Click here for our latest update.

Words of Hope When You’re Struggling With Infertility


At Vios Fertility Institute, we know struggling to build your family is tough. While we do everything we can to lessen the stress of fertility treatment for our patients, we know that the stress of uncertainty and lack of control often creeps in.

One of our favorite holiday traditions is our Tree of Hope. In each clinic waiting room during the holidays we put up a tree and offer paper “ornaments” to write words of encouragement and support for all to see. Our staff, our partners, our patients – anyone who would like to add to the tree is invited to and we hope that all who need a little “lift” can find it in at least one of the notes.

There’s no reason the encouragement should be contained to the holidays, though! So we’re sharing in this post for all to see anytime they need that little “lift”.

 

  • Always have your faith be bigger than your fear.
  • Celebrate the small victories.
  • You are stronger than you think!
  • Stay positive.
  • You are not alone.
  • You are capable. You are strong. You are resilient.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.
  • There is always light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Good things are coming.
  • Don’t give up on something you cannot go a day without thinking about.
  • There’s a future you who’s glad you never gave up.

What would you add to this list? Share in the comments below.

IVF Cost: Preparing for In Vitro Fertilization

ivf costWondering or worried about IVF cost? If you and your partner are struggling to conceive, the last thing you need to worry about is money. In vitro fertilization (IVF) can be expensive, and therefore, it might not seem like it’s an option for everyone.

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates or at one of our other locations, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to start a family. We understand how daunting IVF cost is and how difficult it can be to understand insurance coverage options. It is our goal to help you navigate the process and find the best financial solution for you.

Our financial and insurance counselors will walk through you the various programs and options that may be available to you, so you can worry less about IVF cost and focus on your future family.

Affordable Care Programs We Offer

At Vios Fertility Institute, we provide a variety of care programs to lower IVF cost and make fertility testing, treatment cycles, and family planning options more affordable.

The Vios Pulse Fertility Wellness Check-Up

As women become older, the quality and quantity of their eggs decrease. If they are not attempting pregnancy, it can be challenging for women to learn about fertility-related issues until it is too late.

The Vios Pulse is baseline fertility testing that provides couples, women, and men with insight into their fertility potential and alerts you to potential issues that could arise in the future.

How It Works

On day 2-5 of their menstrual cycle, women will undergo an AFC ultrasound, which indicates how many resting follicles are present during their cycle. Typically, every follicle contains an egg. The SIS ultrasound is performed on days 6-11 of the menstrual cycle.

Men will undergo a semen analysis to understand the health of their sperm. The semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health: the count, the motility (movement), and the morphology (shape). It can be performed at any time or saved for future use.

The physician will review the results and provide recommendations for future family planning. If they find abnormal results, you can schedule a consultation to discuss options for maximizing or preserving fertility through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The Vios Promise Program

Traditionally, patients are required to pay for every individual treatment cycle, regardless of whether they become pregnant. If the IVF cycles are unsuccessful, they may not have the resources to pursue other paths to parenthood.

The Vios Promise Program is based on our confidence in our pregnancy success rates, which allow us to offer a program where we share the financial risk with patients. We provide a full refund of the Vios Promise fee if there is no live birth.

For a set fee, patients can receive up to 6 IVF cycles using a fresh donor egg and the unlimited use of extra (cryopreserved) embryos to achieve a live birth. The program fee covers:

  • Cryopreservation
  • Egg donor from our agencies
  • Egg donor medications
  • Egg retrieval
  • Embryo transfers

To qualify for the program, patients must complete a full medical prescreening and be appropriate candidates for assisted reproductive technology (ART). The Vios Promise is the perfect option for couples who do not have insurance coverage.

Other Financial Options We Offer at Vios Hoffman Estates

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates or at our other locations, we understand that IVF cost is one of the top concerns for our patients. We recognize the importance of insurance coverage and financial options when it comes to your treatment.

During your initial consultation, our physicians will discuss treatment plan options and success rates based on your medical history and level of health. The consultation also allows you to learn about the financing options and programs that may be available to you.

Insurance Coordinator

Before your initial appointment, our insurance coordinator will verify your fertility coverage so we will be able to discuss specific diagnostic and treatment options that would or would not be covered by your insurance.

Financial Counselor

After the consultation with your doctor, our financial counselor will be available to answer questions regarding your specific treatment plan, the process for sending insurance claims, and payment plans for self-pay patients.

Billing Specialist

If you have insurance coverage, our billing specialist will work with the insurance company to ensure claims are processed and paid in a timely manner.

Patient Account Specialist

Whether you have questions about specific bills or insurance coverage, you can speak with one of our patient account specialists.

Customized Loan Programs

To provide you with the most comprehensive fertility financing options available, we have partnerships with leading financial specialists focusing on fertility. To learn more about our customized loan programs, visit our Financing Options page.

Fertility Grants

If you cannot afford treatment through insurance or financing, you should consider fertility treatment grants. To learn more about organizations that offer treatment grants, visit our Fertility Grants page.

Vios in Hoffman Estates is Here to Support You Every Step of the Way

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates or at one of our other locations, we believe it is our responsibility to provide you with clarity so you can make educated decisions about what path is best for you.

While we have other locations in Northern Illinois, Vios Hoffman Estates is most convenient to Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Northbrook, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and Mount Prospect.

Our team of financial and insurance advisors will walk you through the process and help you find ways to lower IVF cost and achieve your dreams of parenthood. To set your mind at ease, we have compiled a list of financial questions we receive frequently.

To learn more about treatment plans and financial options, schedule your initial consultation today.

Acupuncture & Fertility – 5 Things You Should Know

As Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialists, we often see patients who are looking for alternative ways to increase their chance of pregnancy. Acupuncture has been shown in some studies to increase chance of pregnancy during fertility treatment. Struggling to conceive and going through fertility treatments can be stressful, and acupuncture can help to reduce some of that stress. Here are 5 things you should know about acupuncture.

Courtesy of Lisa Mussak at Orchid Chinese Medicine in Milwaukee…

    1. Who acupuncturists work with – Acupuncture can be helpful to support both female and male fertility by increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, balancing hormones, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep and stress. Patients with unexplained infertility, high stress, or those seeking to improve their outcomes with ART (such as IVF) can also benefit from adding acupuncture to their care plan.

(more…)

Questions to Ask Your Insurance Company

What your insurance company covers for your fertility testing and treatments will depend on your plan. The below questions are a good starting point when you begin to do your research on your fertility coverage. As apart of our new patient process, our insurance coordinator will verify your fertility coverage so we will be able to discuss specific diagnostic and treatment options knowing what would or would not be covered under your insurance.

(more…)