How was your experience with Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron at Fertility Centers of Illinois?
Some of the things that I like about Dr. Hirshfeld:
- Easy to work with, even though I am a remote patient (live in michigan). She did phone consults instead of in person when needed.
- She didn't overwhelm with data, but was able to speak to data when I asked for it. For example, what percentage chance for XYZ to happen
- She called to talk to me personally when we had to decide whether or not to cancel a cycle.
A few other notes:
- I'm sure she is a busy person, but on two occasions during phone consults my husband and I felt like she was rushing us off the call.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron at Fertility Centers of Illinois?
Even though she is the ultimate expert, you should still be your own advocate. Do your research, and ask her what she thinks if you have questions on something.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron at Fertility Centers of Illinois?
FCI sees A LOT of patients, so if you are a person that wants to see the same technician, or nurse at every visit, it is not for you. That said, the nurse assigned to you is extremely responsive, and even more helpful. Dr. Hirshfeld also shows empathy when she is talking to you, but is also going to be real with you.
Describe the protocols Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron used in your cycles at Fertility Centers of Illinois and their degree of success.
First IVF cycle was Lupron Microdose with a priming of estrogen and lupron prior to cycle start. Although the intent was to get me to have a better response to meds, my response was very poor. 2 mature follicles, and a cancelled cycle.
2nd cycle: no priming, high dose of gonal (600 IU) from the start. Dexamethasone steroid added. Menopur on day 5. 16 Follicles, 14 mature eggs retrieved, 6 embryos, 2 frozen, 1 transferred, BFP!
Describe your experience with your nurse at Fertility Centers of Illinois. (Assigned nurse: Marni and Jessica (and others))
I can't say enough good things. I am also comparing to the nursing staff at the first RE clinic that I went to before transferring to FCI. The staff is quick to respond and answers in full without leaving you guessing. They leave a voicemail and follow up by email if you aren't available.
Marni helped me to get better costs on medications by writing scripts to 5 different pharmacies that I asked her to. I must have emailed her 30 times about medications and she never once acted bothered.
The only watch out is that there wasn't a heads up when a nurse was going to be out of the office. I would most often get an out of office email response, with another person to contact. Sometimes that other person would be out too. If its really urgent, there is an after hours nurse to call though, which I did once.
At my previous clinic the nurses all shared one voicemail account, and you HAD to leave a message and wait for a call back. There was no option for email. They also said they would do something (like call in a script) and several times would not remember. They also lacked empathy and would seem bothered. I NEVER had that experience at FCI.
Describe your experience with Fertility Centers of Illinois.
Strengths are: good variety of locations, very knowledgeable doctors, huge support staff, you can do everything at one location (not go to a separate lab for blood draws), easy to schedule, lots of options for appointment times, was easy to work with even though I live far away in michigan. I like that they partner with Pulling Down the Moon for a holistic angle on treatment if you are into that.
Weakness might be that they could help patients save a bit more $$. For example, I ended up with loads of extra medications on both cycles. I could have ordered less and then reordered. Or they could tell you about alternative brand drugs to consider.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron at Fertility Centers of Illinois.
The first cycle was very minimal because we had some insurance coverage. Roughly $500-$1000 for copays. $800 for genetic screening.
The second cycle the coverage was maxed out for medication. Meds were approx $7000. We have not finished paying bills yet, but we expect the same $1000 for co pays and misc.
Without coverage, IVF is about 12k. There would be other charges for freezing, pre-screening test needed, etc. They give you an outline of costs when you consult.
Describe Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Fertility Centers of Illinois.
The doctor recommended single embryo transfer, since the quality was very high.