Describe your experience with Indiana University IVF Program.
Most of the staff seems to speak in very clinical terms. Doing your due diligence in terms of knowledge would benefit you. Keeping your own notes would be useful as well. They are transitioning into an online form of communication which seems to work a little more efficiently than trying to call. There is a voicemail system set up, but it just made me feel that it was a little one-sided. All I could do was talk to a machine and wait. Everyone is very knowledgeable and will thoroughly answer any question you have though without "beating around the bush" for sure.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Dr. Shepard was very personable and called me with updates personally. I do feel that she cares about the outcome, but she does speak in very clinical terms, which at times I appreciated more than others. Due to the fact that I have done my own studying I was able to keep up with her in conversations. Towards the end, right before my transfer, I wasn't given very much hope. I am still awaiting the outcome, but wish I could be feeling a little more optimistic. I don't know whether or not its a good or bad thing that she has prepared me for a negative outcome.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Dr. Shepard's office went through a quick turnover of a couple of nurses during the time that I was being treated so it was a little bit of a hodge podge which is why Dr. Shepard ended up being the one I communicated with the most.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Provided conflicting information
How was your experience with Marguerite Shepard?
I enjoyed my conversations with Dr. Shepard and felt she was very experienced and knowledgeable. Getting an undesirable outcome from the fertilization period of the 17 eggs that were retrieved, she started discussing "plan b protocols" even before the transfer of the one viable egg. This left me feeling a little hopeless about my current transfer, but I'm sure she doesn't want to give me false hope either. Her comments were that I wouldn't need down reg medications if we did another cycle or that my reserve could be low. I'm wondering why these weren't things that were already checked during my current cycle. I wonder if I was given the right medications or what could have caused a low development of all of my eggs. I do like Dr. Shepard, but wonder if I should get a second opinion before starting a second cycle.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Marguerite Shepard?
Do your homework. She does tend to talk quickly and very clinically. If you are not educated already, it may be hard to keep up. She is very thorough though.
Describe the protocols Marguerite Shepard used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Once we established through an HSG that I had tubal blockage, she though she might be able to clear them with a laparoscopic surgery. I went that route first in July of 2015 and it was unsuccessful. She said the blockage was more severe than the HSG portrayed. I saved for IVF and she started me on birth control pills and Lupron injections. I also took Menopur injections to stimulate my follicles. She stopped the Lupron early and also decreased my Menopur because my hormone levels were getting too high. She retrieved 17 eggs. At the end of the week of fertilization there was only 1 viable egg for transfer that was still a slow developer. It had reached Morula stage by day 5. We were hoping for a blastocyst stage. She said that I may not have needed the Lupron to suppress my system. She mentioned that the results could also have been due to a low reserve, but that was tested the year before and was said my level was fine. I am still waiting for the results, but without much optimism. I was not expecting to have to go through the whole retrieval process again, especially if it was just a matter of the medications I was given suppressing my eggs too much to be able to develop.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Marguerite Shepard.
The medications cost about $3200. The monitoring costs were between $1500-2000 billed to my insurance. There was a $3400 lab fee plus $974 fee for retrieval and $370 transfer fee to the facility it was done. Dr. Shepard's fee is $730 for her part of the procedure. Since my husband doesn't carry insurance (he is self-employed) and is not on my insurance it cost several hundred dollars more for him to get his STD screening and sperm analysis.