Describe your experience with The Fertility Center of Michigan.
The clinics strengths are multiple locations. A weakness is that sometimes I feel like I can get lost in all the hussle and bustle. I have had residents training on me instead of a doctor (always with my permission), and sometimes I feel like a direction gets passed and the follow through may have been missed. I hate having to explain what the doctor told me to the nurse or the billing department.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
The Kalamazoo office is small and personal. They write your name on the screen when you have ultrasounds. You see the same nurse each time (pending emergency exceptions). The GR office enters you as a number, and you see new nurses and each time (not entirely bad, but just the way it was).
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Before IVF, during my first five cycles of pills, timed coitus, injectables, and IUI's I had two nurses that handled my care. They were both attentive and had different personalities. One was warmer than the other. When I began IVF I was assigned an IVF nurse practitioner, Julie S. She is great. At first she comes off as unemotional or cold, but she is really just focused on your care. By the end she is all hugs and honesty. She never makes you feel stupid if you forget a direction and have to call her back. You will have her direct phone number and she is great at calling you back. She will make sure to contact you and get you directions, and never minds returning phone calls. The only downside is having to go to GR on days that Kalamazoo is not open.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to convey critical information
How was your experience with William Dodds?
Dr. Dodds is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. Sometimes I feel he is spread thin but when you are meeting with him he is full of honest feedback, compassion, and makes you feel at ease about whatever choices you make.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of William Dodds?
Write down questions and don't be afraid to ask for more details if you want more. Don't be afraid to call and ask questions in between visits, or for clarification.
Describe the protocols William Dodds used in your cycles and their degree of success.
When we first started seeing Dr. Dodds, we had no idea why we weren't conceiving. It had been 4-5 years of unprotected and later timed sex. At my normal OB/GYN we checked my fallopian tubes with dye for any blockages, and my husband had his sperm specimen looked at. All looked good, so he referred us to Dr. Dodds. We started out with getting blood tests to look for causes and mine all came back normal. I started taking oral pills, femara, and timed coitus for two cycles. Third cycle I started injectables (Follistim 75, cycle days 5-11) and created 4 follicles. We had an IUI and used vaginal progesterone. That did not work for us either. During the IUI we elected to have Husband's sperm looked at again.
Nearly a month after our failed IUI I called and asked what his results were. We found out his count was low and he had a 1% morphology. I wish they would have told us that sooner. We did 2 more rounds of injectables (follistim 75, and 100) with IUI. We used Ovidrel and progesterone during those two as well.
Finally after 8 months of failed pregnancy test we saw Dr. Dodds again and went over our plan. Apparently with Husband's counts and morphology we only had a 3% chance of success doing the past treatments. I wish we would have known that, we probably wouldn't have continued doing IUI's. Dr. suggested we go see a urologist and consider IVF.
Husband went to urologist and found out he has varicocele veins in one testicle. We elected to have surgery to help with that and he began taking Clomid to boost his testosterone level. 3-4 months after his surgery and taking Clomid his counts and morphology were up in normal ranges. We tried naturally for 6 months.
IVF #1 began with birth control pills, vitamins and giving up coffee. Our insurance covered some of the medicines for IUI but not any for IVF. My stim cycle consisted of 75 Menopur and 75 Follistim. Once my follicles got to a certain size we used Ganirelix to prevent early ovulation. We used hCG and Lupron to trigger. I had 25 eggs retrieved, 19 were mature, we chose to do ICSI to three of them and froze the rest of the eggs. All three fertilized. 1 arrested after day 1, 2 made it to day 2 and were transferred. Progesterone shot up until pregnancy test. Negative Pregnancy test.
We decided to try to thaw some of our eggs and fertilize them. We had 16 frozen and they were frozen in vials of 3. A frozen transfer involves Lupron (SQ), progesterone, and estrace. We wanted to thaw enough eggs to fertilize three. We got a call saying they had to thaw all 16 of our eggs, and 14 did not survive the freeze/thaw. Two were ICSI and only one fertilized. By day two they transferred that one, but it did not look great. :( Negative pregnancy test.
That brings us to current times. Due to the shocking egg dilemma, Dr. Dodds discounted our next IVF if we chose to do it. There is no way we could afford to do it again at full price.
Husband's morphology went from 1% to 6% after his surgery so we chose to do 6 months of Femara and timed coitus. 6 negative pregnancy tests.
That brings us to now. We are on IVF #2 where Dr. Dodds decided to try to stimulate me less, creating less, but hopefully better quality eggs. He also encouraged that we fertilized all of them, because fertilized eggs have a better chance of surviving in the freezer than do eggs alone. We started with birth control to regulate me. Then we stimmed with 75 Menopur, 75 Follistim. I used cetrotide to prevent premature ovulation and triggered with Lupron and hCG. At egg retrieval they retrieved 11 eggs. 3 were immature, 1 had a broken zona, and 7 were mature. 7 ICSI, 4 fertilized. We are going to day 5 so will continue to get updates. Tomorrow is day 2. I obviously do not have very high quality eggs, but we hope all four of these lovely fertilized eggs make it to day 5 blastocysts.
Describe the costs associated with your care under William Dodds.
IUI's were about 450$ (sperm isolation and prep, and IUI). Freezing sperm 400$. 8,000-14,000$ for IVF (medications, appointments, bloodwork, egg retrieval, lab work, ICSI, crypo...) 400$ anesthesia.