Describe your experience with Aspire Fertility.
They have a pricing system that includes everything (in my case, monitoring, blood tests, IUI), but that means they really don't do as much monitoring as other clinics. How their weekend hours work isn't clear. I heard them schedule married people for IUIs on weekends, but unlike my original clinic, no one said anything to me about weekend hours, even though my first IUI should have been scheduled for the weekend. For donor sperm IUIs, they made me come in an hour early to sign a consent to thaw the sperm and then sit and wait for my IUI. Once, the office staff apparently forgot I was there since I was the only person in the waiting room, and they started talking about patients they didn't like while standing around the front desk.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Linda Elkins at Aspire Fertility?
Dr. Elkins was always very friendly when I was there, but throughout the process, I was annoyed that they weren't really paying attention to my cycle or recognizing that my situation with frozen sperm required different timing than their married couples. The real indicator though that I was just a number was when I pushed forward with IUI 5 against advice and was pushed off to a nurse for all appointments and my IUI.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Aspire Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Charly Liscomb)
They assigned me a primary nurse, but I rarely saw her. I would email her when my new cycle started, and she would often call with results, but sometimes, it was another nurse. Once, after a sonogram, I was put in a room to wait for her to talk about scheduling my IUI, but she forgot I was there until I went looking for someone.
What specific things went wrong at Aspire Fertility?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
How was your experience with Linda Elkins at Aspire Fertility?
Dr. Elkins was always friendly, but she gave me NO information. At the beginning, she told me I'd get pregnant with no problem because I'd had my son after 1 unmedicated IUI, and didn't seem concerned about the fact I was now 37 and had a low AMH. For the first 4 IUIs, she did the procedures and most of my sonograms, but she never told me how many eggs I had or other relevant information. When I decided to do a 5th IUI because I knew they'd mistimed 2 of my previous IUIs, she pushed me to the nurses. When she called to tell me I was pregnant, she didn't hide her surprise. When she called me a week and a half later to tell me I was miscarrying, she was nice, but she also told me they would follow up in a couple of days and no one ever followed up. That was actually the last I ever heard from anyone there.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Linda Elkins at Aspire Fertility?
Go somewhere else. They seemed to treat married people a little better - giving them IUI appointments on the weekends for example, but their methods for IUI at least probably mean you're going to have a lot of mistimed cycles and waste a lot of money.
Describe the protocols Linda Elkins used in your cycles at Aspire Fertility and their degree of success.
1st cycle-unmedicated IUI with Ovidrel trigger shot on CD14, IUI 48 hours later on CD16, negative blood test
2nd cycle-unmedicated IUI with Ovidrel trigger shot on CD11, IUI 48 hours later, negative blood test
3rd cycle-50 mg of Clomid, Ovidrel trigger shot on CD11, IUI 24 hours later, negative blood test, cyst developed following cycle
Next cycle scrapped due to cyst-when nurse called with baseline results, she told me we were good to move ahead but that Dr. Elkins said I should stop the estrogen now, I told her I wasn't on estrogen, she hung up on me immediately and then called back about 30 minutes later to say we needed to scrap the cycle because my estrogen was too high
4th cycle-50 mg of Clomid, Ovidrel trigger shot on CD12, IUI 48 hours later-was initially told to trigger on CD13 12 hours before IUI, negative blood test, recommended I move to IVF, arranged a "free" appointment with in-house therapist to sell me on IVF
5th cycle-50 mg of Clomid, nurse told me Dr. Elkins wanted to add Gonal-f, I indicated I preferred not to but was willing to discuss but it was never raised again, Ovidrel trigger shot on CD11, IUI 48 hours later, chemical pregnancy
All my cycles were monitored but that only meant one baseline sono at 2-5 days and one monitoring sono about a week later, then they would arbitrarily set the date for the IUI-my 1st was 5 days after the monitoring appointment
Describe the costs associated with your care under Linda Elkins at Aspire Fertility.
Each IUI cost $1400, which included the monitoring and blood tests.
Describe Linda Elkins's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Aspire Fertility.