How was your experience with Rene Allen at Santa Barbara Fertility Center?
We cannot say enough good things about SB Fertility and Dr. Allen. My husband and I did not start trying until I turned 40, so we expected an uphill battle, but at every point in the process we felt we were in great hands with Dr. Allen. Shortly after my first appointment, he diagnosed me with a septate uterus, which he repaired through surgery this summer, clearing the way for a successful first transfer 3 months before my 42nd birthday.
From the beginning, Dr. Allen was confident we could conceive using my own eggs, and he was right. In addition to the little girl I'm carrying, we made 7 PGS normal embryos and one segmental mosaic, remarkable results given my age. At no point did I feel like I was receiving treatment from a "local clinic." Not only did we have better success than that advertised by some of the clinics renowned for treating women over 40, Dr. Allen followed a cutting edge protocol (including HGH). He was also willing to transfer my mosaic and even to try certain abnormals (after consultation with a geneticist) had we needed to do so, but since we only want one more baby, I am hopeful it won't come to that.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rene Allen at Santa Barbara Fertility Center?
Write down your questions before an appointment, it can be hard to think of them while talking to him after an exam.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rene Allen at Santa Barbara Fertility Center?
We had 3 PGS normal embryos after the first round, 5 after the second. I desperately wanted a girl, though, and we only had boy embryos banked. Knowing I likely wouldn’t be able to make more healthy embryos after a pregnancy, Dr. Allen allowed me to continue trying for a girl though I’m sure it hurt his numbers.
Describe the protocols Rene Allen used in your cycles at Santa Barbara Fertility Center and their degree of success.
Dr. Allen added HGH for my last 3 cycles, which I believe played an important role in helping us have a successful first transfer. He also allowed us to transfer four embryos - 2 early blasts, 2 morulas- for which I am forever grateful because that’s how we ended up with the little girl I’m carrying.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Santa Barbara Fertility Center. (Assigned nurse: Nathali)
My primary nurse, Natali, could not have been more compassionate or lovely. I wish I could continue to see her throughout my pregnancy.
Describe your experience with Santa Barbara Fertility Center.
Clinic is small but well run. Seeing Dr. Allen every appointment is a big plus. Only major negative for IVF is that they do not have a full time embryologist, so your cycles have to be scheduled around the traveling embryologists’ schedules.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rene Allen at Santa Barbara Fertility Center.
We did 6 cycles and I still haven’t seen a bill.
Describe Rene Allen's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Santa Barbara Fertility Center.
Dr. Allen strongly advises against DET with PGS tested embryos but will allow it if the patient is adamant. Beyond that, it’s age dependent. I felt he definitely took my age into account when allowing us to transfer four embryos, which resulted in my current first pregnancy at almost 42 years old.