Describe your experience with Boston IVF.
I liked that they had early morning appointments for monitoring (starting at 6:45am). The front office staff was always nice. I did most of my cycle monitoring at the South Shore clinic, but weekend monitoring and all procedures were done at the main location in Waltham. Being at the big clinic was far less personal, but they were organized and usually running on time. For egg retrieval and transfer, you had the doctor that was on that day, not necessarily your usual doctor, so I saw several doctors over my course of care. I didn't mind this, I liked the additional perspective on my cycles and they all seemed to be on the same page as far as treatment recommendations. I liked that they had a no-children allowed policy for their clinic waiting rooms.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Alison Zimon at Boston IVF?
I felt like Dr. Zimon really listened to me and took my concerns seriously. I had already done several rounds of treatment before starting with her, so she respected that I knew what I was talking about and had experience. I never felt rushed at my appointments. Getting bloodwork and ultrasounds done, it was easy to feel more like a 'number' just due to the sheer number of patients they saw at my clinic, but Dr. Zimon was very personable.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Boston IVF. (Assigned nurse: Karen)
I loved Karen. She was kind and loving and compassionate. She had been through infertility treatments herself, so her empathy was strong.
How was your experience with Alison Zimon at Boston IVF?
I came to Dr. Zimon after already being treated by another doctor in another state. I wasn't new to infertility or treatments, so we hit the ground running. We had some insurance hoops to jump through (like trying IUI one more time) and she was patient through all that. She explained everything we needed to know about IVF, the risks, the benefits, and the odds of it working for us. She was cautious going into our first cycle (maybe too cautious) and we found out I was a poor responder to meds. She was open to adjusting my protocol and she was open to trying different things. I met with her several times and she always listened to my concerns and took the time to answer all my questions. She did my first egg retrieval, and we only had one egg retrieved, but she took the time to talk to me about everything and called me personally when that egg didn't fertilize. She celebrated with me when we had successes and shared my disappointment with failed cycles. I felt like she was a good balance between honest and direct but also compassionate. We ultimately ended up with twins after our third retrieval and second transfer, so I'm glad she was willing to try different protocols until we found what worked.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Alison Zimon at Boston IVF?
Come to appointments prepared with a list of questions and be ready to take notes. It can be a lot of information at once.
Describe the protocols Alison Zimon used in your cycles at Boston IVF and their degree of success.
First cycle: antagonist protocol. Started low and slow, very little response to meds (Bravelle and Menopur). Tried upping the dosage, with some response. I have some symptoms of PCOS, so I think she was worried I would over-stim, but since I have DOR, that wasn't an issue. Only 1 egg was retrieved and it didn't fertilize, so nothing to transfer that round.
Second cycle: no birth control pills taken prior to cycle start, since I was over-suppressed. Switched to an estrogen priming protocol with much better response and upped my dosage of Bravelle, continued Menopur. 8 eggs were retrieved, 5 fertilized. Elective single embryo transfer on day 5, 2 embryos were frozen. Negative pregnancy test.
Third cycle: Dr. Zimon recommended another fresh cycle, so we left 2 embryos frozen and did the EPP again. My dose of Bravelle was upped again, I think to the max recommended dose. 6 eggs were retrieved, 4 mature, 2 fertilized. Dr. Zimon recommended a 3 day transfer (clinic policy with less than 4 embryos on day 2). We transferred both embryos on day 3, both were 8 cells. One was good quality and the other was showing some fragmentation. They told us that embryo likely wouldn't survive to day 5, and if it did, wouldn't meet the freeze criteria, so we decided to transfer both. Both embryos implanted and I gave birth to twin girls at 37 weeks 4 days.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Boston IVF.
Monitoring was done first thing in the morning, I liked the early appointments. It was organized and the wait time was never long.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Alison Zimon at Boston IVF.
I think the total cost for the cycle was around $12.500. We had insurance coverage, so our OOP was around $1500. I know ICSI was going to cost us an extra $1500, but our insurance ended up covering it. We were quoted $4500 for PGS, but didn't ended up using it (not recommended based on our diagnosis, but cost would have been prohibitive). Retail for meds was over $6K per cycle, I paid about $1K in co-pays per cycle for meds.
Describe Alison Zimon's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Boston IVF.
The clinic policy was eSET if patient was under 35 and first IVF cycle, so we followed that recommendation for our first transfer. She seemed very supportive of eSET, especially because we were concerned with the risks of multiples. She explained that the cost of multiple transfers would be potentially less that the cost of a high risk pregnancy and/or premature babies. After our eSET transfer failed, she was open to us transfering 2, but she let us know that the risk of multiples went up more than the probability of pregnancy.