Describe your experience with Global Fertility and Genetics.
Strengths: The facility itself is beautiful--new, clean, and comfortable. The nurses are incredibly nice and accommodating. I trust Dr. Kuokkanen's expertise and thoroughness. I have her complete attention when we meet, and have been able to reach her on the phone several times to ask questions about treatment.
Weaknesses: I feel like I have to be my own advocate perhaps more than I was expecting. They don't do appointment reminders or confirmations, so I have to keep track myself. Communication is inconsistent, so I often need to follow-up several times before I can reach the nursing department.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
This practice recently opened, and most aspects appear to be thoughtfully considered. In particular, the bright, welcoming waiting areas with comfortable furniture and friendly staff instantly made me feel at ease. From my previous provider I had grown accustomed to being ignored or receiving vague responses to questions via a confusing patient portal. So I was shocked that Juany, the nursing director at Global Fertility, was routinely available by phone after normal business hours to patiently explain aspects of my treatment to me, or plan out my following visit. She has been a calming presence throughout our experience.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
As mentioned, Juany is extremely kind, patient, and thorough. It seems like the doctor relies on her to run the ship, including being a touchpoint for patients about medication, signing legal paperwork, walking patients through treatment plans, and scheduling visits. She is lovely to talk to and I get the sense that she cares deeply about helping patients.
Communication has been a bit inconsistent though, and I have learned days after emailing the general nursing email address that no one received my questions. This has been a consistent part of my experience. Everyone is amazing in person, but as soon as I leave I'm not sure if I'll be able to connect with nursing or the doctor within the next few days.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost appointments
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
How was your experience with Satu Kuokkanen?
Overall I have had a positive experience with Dr. Kuokkanen. As a newbie in this area, it was important to me to find a doctor who made me feel confident. I wanted someone to painstakingly explain everything in terms I could understand, and help me get to the bottom of my fertility issues. When I first began treatment with her we had a very thorough consultation, during which she outlined a series of diagnostic procedures and tests in layman’s terms. She me feel cared for and that I was in good hands. After that consultation communication has been a little spotty. She seems to rely heavily on nursing to communicate most aspects of treatment, which I hear is common at other practices. That said, I have been able to reach her by phone to discuss my treatment plan after leaving messages with nurses.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Satu Kuokkanen?
You have to be proactive about managing your appointments here. The clinic staff seem a bit stressed and don’t call with appointment reminders. Sometimes they are not great about returning phone calls or emails.
Describe the protocols Satu Kuokkanen used in your cycles and their degree of success.
After we determined that I have one blocked tube using HSG and a follow-up MRI, I opted to try IUI with Clomid. The doctor suggested this approach given my age (34) and norma ovarian reserve, though she did warn that success rates with IUI were low. I tried one round that was unsuccessful, and felt discouraged. I had previously had 3 rounds of monitored Clomid cycles with my previous doctor without success. Dr. Kuokkanen suggested that the blocked tube could potentially limit IUI success if follicles developed on the blocked side, and suggested that we might consider IVF as a next step. We are going to try our first cycle in a few months.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Satu Kuokkanen.
$600 for IUI (medication and procedure)
$13,000 for IVF with fresh transfer (single embryo) plus $5,500 for medication