Describe your experience with Michigan Center for Fertility and Women's Health.
Strengths-Everyone is extremely helpful, knowledgeable and compassionate.
Weaknesses-You will always have to leave a message for one of the nurses, which can make people nervous if they want to talk to someone right away, but they will always call you back the same day, which was reassuring.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
The care that I received from Dr. Kowalczyk and her staff was amazing. I developed real relationships with her nurses and staff. They were always available for any questions that I had and always called me back promptly. I felt as thought I was fully informed on my treatment options and what expectations I should have.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nursing staff was amazing, if it wasn't for them, none of this would be possible. The nurse that I ended up talking with the most was Barbara. She was so helpful through this entire process, always calling me back and answering all of my questions. She became like a friend to me, who I could depend on and who knew exactly what I was going through. When I finally became pregnant all the nurses that I had contact with were so happy for me. The last time I talked to Barbara it was such a bittersweet moment that I cried. We had been through so much together and she was so happy for me.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
How was your experience with Carole Kowalczyk?
We met with Dr. Kowalczyk numerous times throughout our time spent being treated at her clinic. She was very straightforward with what was going on with our inability to conceive and what she thought our best course of action was. She was very sympathetic to what we were going through and I truly felt as if she wanted the best for us.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Carole Kowalczyk?
Listen to the expertise and advice that you are being given. When I was going through my first IVF cycle I was at a high risk for over stimulation and Dr. Kowalczyk did not feel comfortable proceeding with the embryo transfer after the egg retrieval due to the medical risks. We opted for a frozen transfer next cycle that would be risk free for me and our potential child.
Describe the protocols Carole Kowalczyk used in your cycles and their degree of success.
After going through numerous testing, I was told that I had a thyroid condition and that the shape of my husband's sperm was off, which could make it hard to fertilize my eggs. I was put on medication and told to eat a low carb diet. We were instructed to try IUI's first, it was possible that his sperm just needed a couple more targets in order for us to become pregnant.
1.) IUI's-I was first put on clomid, which ended up making the lining of my uterus thin even though I ovulated 5 eggs. Pregnancy test negative.
2.) The next two IUI's- I was put on letrozole, which unfortunately did not trigger the release of more then one egg in each cycle. Negative pregnancy test.
The doctor only wanted to perform 3 IUI's before moving onto another treatment. We were given the option of IVF or other stimulation drugs to be used with IUI. The only problem with not doing IVF was that the other treatments were unpredictable and could result in high order multiples. She was concerned because I am very small (short and thin), which could lead to many health complications. We decided to move forward with IVF.
3.) IVF- The day before the egg retrieval, I was told that my numbers that day were extremely high and I was at risk for over stimulation. We went through with the egg retrieval in which 7 eggs were removed. They were fertilized and we ended up with 5 eggs. We were told that we should proceed with a frozen embryo transfer to avoid further health complications.
4.) Frozen embryo transfer- We transferred 2 eggs and I became pregnant with one embryo. We still have 3 left for future transfers.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Carole Kowalczyk.
My husband and I were lucky enough to have really good health insurance which covered a lot of the costs. The IUI's were $500.00 a piece. The most expensive thing that I paid for out of pocket was the IVF medications, which were between $4,000.00-$5,000.00.