Describe your experience with Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine & Fertility.
Overall, MCRM is a marketing machine that is attempting to grow their clinic and attract new patients. They do offer relatively low prices and are interested in using newer technologies to improve success. I do think they believe they are doing good for people, however, it is hard to understand how any clinic can excuse charging such high prices to cash pay patients while giving huge discounts to insuranced patients (through their agreements with the insurance companies) but this is an industry-wide issue not specific to MCRM. Dr. Ahlering is knowledgable and wants a good outcome for his patients. Even so, they are actively building on to their facility with new construction, etc. The discounts are OK - but very limited. I would personally like to see a needs based discount for couples with low income to allow those of us with a subsistence income to have the chance to have a baby too.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
We had specifically requested a later retrieval because my husband has had a demonstrably lower count/quality in the mornings. We had also discussed a Sunday retrieval with Dr. Aubuchon (we saw her for our pre-retrieval appointment instead of Dr. Ahlering because he was busy). After this appointment we were scheduled for the very first 7 am appointment on Saturday. When we called in to ask why and how to get this changed, we were basically told that they could not and would not change it - like it or lump it! - and that they had 70 other patients and were too busy to accommodate our needs... even if we had spent $10000+ in patients to MCRM specifically for the treatment.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
When we called to reschedule our retrieval time, Rachel was very rude - I have not spoken to her directly since as I began communicating with a different coordinator after that exchange. Overall, she did a good job before that and the decision to just squeeze us in was not hers. So, although we had a very heated exchange, overall she did an acceptable job.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
- Scheduled the wrong procedure
How was your experience with Peter Ahlering?
Dr. Ahlering was very friendly and seemed genuinely concerned about us. However, he underplayed the risks of being unsuccessful, even going so far as to say that with our numbers we were looking at at least one and maybe two live births. Needless to say, when I ended up with dramatically fewer eggs (10 not 20), embryos (2) and no live births, I was very disappointed/heartbroken and angry at myself for spending our life savings on something we were lead to believe was a pretty sure thing.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Peter Ahlering?
Take his enthusiasm for your chances of success with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, he is selling a very expensive service.
Describe the protocols Peter Ahlering used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I purchased the IVF Gold package. Dr. Ahlering likes to say that his protocols are individualized but they really aren't. My nurse mentioned that it was the "___" protocol - essentially one of a dozen options and one commonly used for people with PCOS. When my results were OK, but not stellar, during monitoring visits, Dr. Ahlering did very little to increase my dosages or change the path we were on which ultimately led to failure.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Peter Ahlering.
$10,000 for the Gold package with discounts
$3500 for medication
$2200 for PGS testing (we ultimately decided not to do this when we only had 2 embryos, we had been told we were likely to have 8+ when we started the process)