How was your experience with Zalman Levine at Fertility Institute of New Jersey?
I will always be thankful that after my egg retrievals with Dr. Levine I always healed well. I just wish that the Doctor would be more open minded with me as his patient to consider a fresh transfer, or modifying my protocol, or explaining why other protocols can't be tried. Dr. Levine always said I responded well to the protocol I was on, but after my first IVF CP I wish he would of consider in my second IVF a different protocol for what I believe would be future pregnancy losses due to my medical history. I went in trusting his first protocol and advise in PGS testing due to my age because I believe in the Doctor and wanted to follow him faithfully. I initially had wanted to try Clomid, but in my consult with him he said that he wouldn't advise it because it would be frustrating for him meaning that I wouldn't be successful in conception because I believe in him and appreciated his honesty about the clomid I felt my treatment would have to be his way, but I don't understand why for the second IVF attempt he wouldn't consider as an option a fresh transfer. when I mentioned opting out of PGS testing he didn't seem supportive. When I asked after my egg retrieval how long I should wait for to attempt another protocol because my husband and I are hoping for at least two children the Doctor seemed dismissive of my question perhaps it was because I asked right after egg retrieval surgery, however he should of answered me. I believe he tries to be very positive in nature, but in my opinion after my second egg retrieval I would of wished he would of come with a bit more medical options. He is a by the book Doctor and while I realize i'm no experiment and I appreciate him for not pushing anything medical on me I felt like a failure for him constantly mentioning there were other options such as adoption, or egg donor; I should of caught on to that on my first consult with him. I came to see this Doctor to feel as if I could find someone that would be willing to fight with me in beating my odds in infertility based on my age. I think he is a wonderful Doctor,but perhaps he works best for women under 36 and younger. I leave this clinic broken hearted and not willing to go a third round because I feel Dr. Levine isn't open to any other options with me and perhaps it was my age and he knew best, but he didn't want to consider my options. I'm sure he is wonderful with other patients that could produce better results.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Zalman Levine at Fertility Institute of New Jersey?
during your consult ask what would be the protocol he would put you on based on your age? and is the same for other women your age? is he open to other methods? Is PGS testing a must if you have no known genetic diseases? is he willing to do a fresh transfer based on your age?
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Zalman Levine at Fertility Institute of New Jersey?
Dr. Zalman Levine has a constant personality of positivity, he always asked how I was doing, remembered little details such as my bday. He has a wonderful bedside manner and seems caring.
Describe the protocols Zalman Levine used in your cycles at Fertility Institute of New Jersey and their degree of success.
First IVF got as far as transfer tested one PGS Normal (good quality) embryo- Gonal-F 450, Menopur 350, Ganarelix, estradiol, pio shots
second IVF only egg retrieval- Gonal-F 450, Menopu 350, ganarelix - retrieved four embryos, but according to Doctor Levine on Day 5 they were abnormal (they stopped growing).
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Some were more compassionate then others, but it probably didn't help that i was overly inquisitive. Michelle one of the nurses there is kind, but I wish she would of offered me the supplements list before my first IVF not after I called and mentioned that I have a friend currently treating with the clinic. On my second IVF i asked about the prices of one of the trigger shots because at the moment I was confusing it for another shot that I had payed for before egg transfer. I kept my trigger shot for another shot that I had before egg transfer, after she pulled us to the back office I was irritated by her comparing medications to running sneakers and her example of all running sneakers are the same; no they are not, not all runners use the same sneakers especially not avid runners depending on the shape or conditions of their feet the same applies to human beings and medications. while I hope she really didn't mean to seem condescending by also saying this one medication cost $1,000 versus this other medication it would of been enough if she would of just showed us what the medication looked like (which she did after to compare them) because I needed the visual. I am for the most part self pay of course I don't want to pay more than I am already paying, and I'm sure she is great at what she does, but comparing running sneakers to medication to patient care, and if I would prefer to pay more versus the other was not called for. I think at times even nurses forget what it feels to be a patient until they are on the other end. wanting to understand what one is paying for and asking shouldn't feel like as if the clinic is robbing you I just wanted to understand.
Describe your experience with Fertility Institute of New Jersey.
They get busy. Ashley at the front desk was always awesome. Allison the NP once called me after requesting to speak to Dr. Levine to call me, but he never got my message and had left on vacation she called and answered my questions and at that moment I learned and wished that I could speak more with Allison because it was the way she explained my questions that I felt she offered more of what I probably needed. TTC is such a tough journey I guess everyone offers something different and everyone there fills in emotionally on what you as a patient feel. I'm not here to attack the clinic I personally wished it would of worked with them. The billing department in my opinon awesome never had an issue Penny is great.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Zalman Levine at Fertility Institute of New Jersey.
First IVF was expensive but included monitoring and blood work not medication, they do offer military discounts. Second IVF was the same but they were willing to work a price because it was my second. I think they try to work with you.
Describe Zalman Levine's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Fertility Institute of New Jersey.
The clinic is specific only one single embryo transfer.