The medicines for IVF are many and expensive. However, there are assistance programs to help you get some of them. One of the better known programs is called Compassionate Care. It offers 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent discounts on Gonal-F and Cetrotide, which are two of the IVF medications most clinics prescribe. The amount of discount you get is based on your income. As a freelancer with an income that fluctuated a lot, and a husband who was retired, I was pretty sure I could qualify for the 100 percent discount and get those medicines for free.

If I could get them for free, that would be wonderful, as it would knock about $2,000 off of the total price of all of the medications. I called the program and they directed me to their application forms online. I printed them out, filled them out, and faxed them in as quickly as possible. I'm still waiting to hear back on if I qualify and for how much of a discount, since I only just faxed in the forms. I believe it will be either 75 percent or 100 percent on the discount, though.

Some of the other medications have discount cards available where you can get $100 off of a dose or a 10 to 15 percent discount on the overall amount of medication you get, so I'm currently going through those programs and getting the cards I'll need on the remaining meds. There are also message boards out there where people are selling their leftover IVF medicines cheaply, and I'm looking into some of those, too. Anything I can do to make this cheaper will be good.

My friend who is currently pregnant with IVF twins said she and her husband spent about $3,600 on medicines. I don't think they used any discount programs. If I'm successful in getting all of the discounts I can at the maximum amounts, I may be able to get them all for around $2,000. If my mother and I split the cost, that's only $1,000 for me, which is within reach. So, I can now offer this advice to women undergoing IVF - always plan for medication expenses. They are not included in the cost of the actual IVF procedure. Budget for them early on to make the experience easier on you as much as possible.