Describe your experience with Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester).
I've described a lot of strengths in talking about the staff. I appreciate that even if I see a different PA, nurse, or physician I feel like they are all working well as a team. The office feels like it works like clockwork. My appointments all begin on time or only a few minutes after the stated appointment time - crucial when you are trying to fit a lot of appointments in and explain them to a boss who you don't want to discuss your attempts to conceive with until you are successful. I was a little caught off guard when a nurse contacted me to let me know that because I was using donor sperm I would need to talk to a counselor. It was the only thing I wasn't very happy with about the office. It made me feel somewhat singled out because I'm trying to conceive in a less traditional fashion. I knew I would do whatever I needed to though, so I went to the appointment. The counselor was very nice and acknowledged, without prompting, that the appt might seem a little unfair to me. We talked about it a bit and I felt better. I also appreciated that some patients might not have thought through everything as obsessively as me (!) and really need an appt to help them make some plans. I was feeling good about my plans as we walked through my decisions and talked about future plans. All in all, I was fine with the appt, but wished I had a bit more heads up about it.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
When I met with Dr. Vitek she had a great, warm bedside manner. She listened to me when I explained my case - that I wanted to be a single mother by choice - and had a plan ready that we could use to move forward. She had clearly already done her research on my referral and even had a report from my appt with a high risk OB that detailed treatment suggestions while trying to conceive and if I did get pregnant, which she shared with me. I wanted a more aggressive plan than my OB had given me (not the high-risk one, the regular one) and she was on board with sensible solutions.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
I have really liked all the staff at the office. Initially I was a little put off my one of the nurses who does both the intake (blood pressure, weight, etc.) and draws blood for each appointment. She seemed so business-like that it bordered on being cold. However, after a few appointments, I found that she was a little more relaxed and she even joked around a bit. I think she's just so busy that sometimes that side of her personality doesn't shine through. Debra Werzinger is the PA who I saw the most, especially for the ultrasound monitoring and she is terrific. Very warm and carefully explained everything I wanted to know and even things I didn't ask about. Her positivity is infectious - though she does present a realistic picture of what is going on (she's not trying to overstate things that are going well). My IUIs were done by a nurse and a physician (on the weekend, a physician does them) and they were both very knowledgable, relaxed, and took me through the process by explaining everything that was happening.
How was your experience with Wendy Vitek?
I honestly didn't find any weaknesses, but I also only met with her once. Though she did reassure me during that appointment that even if I didn't see her during visits, she was behind the scenes managing my care and making decisions. And so far that has been true. NPs that I have seen and asked questions of have relayed information from her regularly. I certainly feel comfortable that if I wanted to meet with her again, she would be fine with that. In fact, if I'm not pregnant after my current cycle, we will meet again and decide on next steps.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Wendy Vitek?
Make Dr. Vitek aware of your concerns or apprehensions about the process. If you need any accommodations made, let her know. In my experience, all of my concerns were addressed and if I needed assistance with anything, it was provided. She was happy to answer questions, even when I felt like they might be silly. She was more than willing to be very detailed in her answers, which I really appreciated.
Describe the protocols Wendy Vitek used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I had bloodwork and an HSG done in the cycle right before my appointment with Dr. Vitek. Based on that information, which included a very low AMH and a higher than normal FSH, and my stated desire to use some kind of fertility drugs to help the process, she suggested using Gonal F with follicle monitoring via ultrasound. Then, when the ultrasound showed one or more good follicles were nearly developed, I triggered ovulation with Ovidrel. She discussed all the possible side effects, including the possibility of multiples. After the IUI was performed, I used Crinone progesterone gel to assist with the possible pregnancy. Though I didn't get pregnant that time, I felt great about the process and had three follicles develop. I'm in the midst of the second round doing the same protocol - I just did the second medicated IUI today. Since it will be my 4th IUI overall, we will meet and reevaluate to see if we are doing the best protocol for me if I do not get pregnant.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Wendy Vitek.
My insurance covers IUIs and any associated procedures like ultrasound and medications, like the Gonal F and Ovidrel. Consequently, I was only required to pay my specialist copay ($25) for appointments and $175 copay for all of the medications. Since I was using donor sperm, I also paid about $850/IUI as that is NOT covered. That cost was not paid to Dr. Vitek's office as I used an outside donor sperm bank.