Describe your experience with IVF New England.
The clinic is very efficient. You know exactly where to go (for blood work and ultrasound). They get you in and out quickly and I hardly ever had to wait past my appointment time. The hours are very flexible. They open early in the morning and weekends which made it convenient for me since I did not need to miss any work. I would suggest them to change the process for people who brings the sperm. I remember on the day I had to bring my husband's sperm to the clinic immediately after he had surgery, there were 2 other people ahead of me in line and it took a long time for the receptionist to address their questions. Before the surgery, I specifically asked where I should bring the sperm. The nurse told me that I needed to bring the sperm to the receptionist and she would take care of it. They should have told me to bring it to the second floor where the lab is located so that I did not have to wait in line for another 15 minutes to speak with the receptionist. I was so nervous since I was told sperm would survive with 1 hour after retrieval and it took 20 minutes drive to the clinic. Even at the lab, I still had to wait for the lab technician to come out and meet me. They should improve this process.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
During my entire treatment, we only saw/spoke with Dr. Carla 3 times during the entire process. I raised concerns about the low # of follicles during the injection to the nurse since we did not have any interaction with the doctor directly; however, my med dosage was not adjusted. Prior to the treatment, there was no issue (on paper or blood result) about my egg quality as all along I was told it was a male infertility factor. I was surprised that I only had 5 eggs retrieved. I am currently pregnant and looking forward to the baby arrival. When I was confirmed that I was pregnant (through day 14 bloodwork and week 7 ultrasound), there was no personal phone call from the doctor to congratulate me.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
There are total of 3 nurses on the nurse team that I normally worked with. They are very friendly and do get back to me in a reasonable time whenever i left a message. They ordered the medicine timely and provided the instruction including the calendar. I did not know how to inject myself but the nurse told me to youtube as the links that they provided did not work.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
How was your experience with Carla DiGirolamo?
When we met with Dr. Carla the first time, she was very warm and explained things to us in details and made us comfortable. We were actually shopping for fertility doctor at the time and decided to go with Dr. DiGirolamo since she was able to start the process right away (and we got the appointment with her within 3 days meanwhile the original RE doctor that my OB doctor recommended did not have any appointment for 2 months). However, we had no interaction with Dr. DiGirolamo throughout the entire process after we decided to go with her and everything was through the nurses. Dr. DiGirolamo happened to be the scheduled doctor on the day of my egg retrieval (IVF New England does rotation). She was in the waiting area where all patients were while she awaited for her first retrieval to start but did not come by to say hi or acknowledge that I was her patient (I was the 3rd or 4th one).
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Carla DiGirolamo?
Dr. DiGirolamo gets the job done. At the end, I did get pregnant and have a healthy baby. Don't expect Dr. DiGirolamo to connect with you at the personal level or spend the time to listen to your needs/concerns. Dr. DiGirolamo does have a great nurse team and they work very efficiently.
Describe the protocols Carla DiGirolamo used in your cycles and their degree of success.
It was explained to me that because it was male infertility factor, I must go through IVF process with the egg retrieval and embryo implementation. I was on birth control pill (i did not understand why I was on the bcp when my period has always been very regular but did not question since I thought everyone needed to be on it as part of the process. I later asked my friend who also went through IVF treatment and she said her wasn't on the bcp), I was then on menopur and follistim on the first day of my period. On day 5 was my first ultrasound and learned that I had 2 follicles that were larger than 10mm. There was no increase in dosage through the entire process even though I had expressed my concern as the # of follicles remained low for the next few ultrasound. I was told that as long as I have at least 3 follicles that were larger than 10mm, my retrieval would not be cancelled. But I was hoping to have more eggs so that I could save some for the second baby. I am not sure if increasing would have helped with getting more follicles but it would have been nice to the doctor adjusted the treatment.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Carla DiGirolamo.
My insurance covers all the costs. All I had to pay was the co-payment for the appointments and medicine. However, I had to pay genetic testing as well as my husband's sperm storage and analysis before receiving the procedures. IVF New England would not submit claims to my insurance for these. I submitted the claims to my insurance in early 2016. Because the contract my insurance has with IVF New England, they paid IVF New England as well. Due to some kind of policies, neither party could refund me the money directly and ask other to pay me back for the money I paid to IVF New England. It's now January 2017, I still do not have the money.