Describe your experience with Aurora.
The clinic's strengths is that they are organized and coordinated. They provide a lot of support and consult on your case well. They even had the lab director sit with us in a meeting to go into more detail about our case and what his suggestions are from his perspective. They were able to help us work out a payment plan for our treatment and they communicated well with us. We felt heard and supported overall.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Aida Shanti at Aurora?
Overall, she did not sugar-coat our prognosis or challenges. She appeared very vigilant about our case, making recommendations and changes along the way to optimize our chances. She was blunt, which we needed, but sometimes it lacked warmth. She seemed to be uncomfortable with my emotions, which invalidated the emotional roller-coaster of IVF at times. However, she still heard my needs and appeared to do her best to meet them. She always answered my questions and provided a lot of hope for us when other doctors didn't. Above all, the hope she instilled in our case was powerful.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Aurora.
The nurses and staff were so wonderful! They were so invested in our case, appeared genuinely happy to see us for each appointment and provided a lot of emotional support. We truly felt welcomed and supported by the staff. They always took the time to explain things to us and check in on how we are doing.
How was your experience with Aida Shanti at Aurora?
Overall, I liked my experience with Dr. Shanti. She provided a lot of detail to us about our case along the way. She made adjustments to the treatment as things arose. She heard our needs and concerns and sat down to address them. She was blunt in her communication, which was a double edged sword as we needed to be realistic about our chances and progress, but when we displayed or expressed emotion, we sometimes felt invalidated as she appeared uncomfortable with our emotions. She provided us with a lot of hope when other doctors had not. Her hope appeared to be founded in reality and we trusted her. We did get pregnant, but lost it right away. Although the loss was devastating, we did get pregnant under her care and this silver lining supported the hope she instilled within us. Additionally, she encouraged our seeking support of alternative care to supplement our treatment with her (i.e., acupuncture, abdominal massage, etc.), while other doctors seemed either indifferent or didn't support this.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Aida Shanti at Aurora?
Ask lots of questions. Don't feel like you are burdening the doctors, even if they make you feel that way. It is your right to know everything you can about your case, treatment protocol, results, and what to expect.
Describe the protocols Aida Shanti used in your cycles at Aurora and their degree of success.
We did an IVF cycle before we met with Dr. Shanti. That first cycle with the other doctor failed. However, I responded fairly well to my stimulation, so Dr. Shanti made a few tweaks to optimize those results, but kept most of it the same (I do not remember the details). Our case is male factor infertility, and so she decided to have my husband do a testicular biopsy to get testicular sperm in addition to fresh samples on the morning of egg retrieval (which our previous IVF doctor cancelled his surgery due to finding sperm in his sample on the morning of). She wanted us to get both ejaculated sperm and testicular sperm and do ICSI with both sperm sources on my eggs. However, the biopsy was not successful (no sperm found) and we did not have enough fresh sperm to fertilize my eggs. She decided to freeze the remaining 9 eggs and place my husband on a different protocol with supplements for 4 months before attempting a second round of fertilization. We had good results the second time we fertilized and ended with a strong 5 day blastocyst. She found fluid in my uterus and decided to freeze the embryo and do a FET a few months later after the fluid cleared up. I got pregnant, but lost it within a week. We did not do genetic testing, but she suspects that there may have been a chromosomal issue with the embryo. She highly recommended we do PGS testing the next time we do IVF. She explained her rationale along the way and we trusted all her decisions. In the end, her decisions and tweaks along the way did get me pregnant, which provided me even more hope that I can get pregnant (and hopefully have a baby) in the future. She was very cautious and vigilant with our case and we felt she truly cared about our results. We did not feel like just a number.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Aida Shanti at Aurora.
IVF was about 10,500, ICSI was an additional 1,500-2,000. Our FET was about 4,600 (in addition to the IVF cost).
Describe Aida Shanti's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Aurora.
She did have strong opinions about the number of embryos transferred. Had we had more than one healthy embryo, she strongly suggested we only transfer one at a time as our case was male-factor infertility and I was young (26 at the time). She felt the risks of multiple pregnancy were too high. However, we only had one healthy embryo to transfer and so we did not have to challenge her protocol. Had we had multiple embryos, we would have wanted to transfer more than one, and would have pushed on this issue with her. However, we did not have multiple embryos and cannot speak to how that communication would have evolved.