Describe your experience with Duke Fertility Center.
This clinic practices evidence based medicine and overall, i think they provide quality care. The front desk staff are great. The fellows are great, especially Dr. Acharya and Dr. Keyhan. However, the clinic weaknesses are related to being very busy, impersonal, seeming to have high turnover of nursing staff, and not assisting patients enough with coordination of care leading up to cycles. I've also had many issues with billing problems and insurance not being billed properly, so I have to micromanage that as well.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Jennifer Eaton at Duke Fertility Center?
Because Duke is a teaching hospital, I see the fellows more often than I see Dr. Eaton. And my retrievals and transfers have been done by various doctors in the practice, although Dr. Eaton manages my care. The fellows are generally warmer and more friendly than the doctors, and since this process is extremely stressful, expensive, and emotional, I don't always feel like Dr. Eaton is sensitive to that as much as I'd like her to be. However, I also feel like I've received good care from her medically. The other difficulty of this clinic is that it is very busy, and the patient really needs to be on top of their own care or it's easy to miss cycles because you don't have all your paperwork, labs, meds, etc. in order. The clinic does not give patients enough support with that.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Duke Fertility Center. (Assigned nurse: I've worked with several nurses, but the IVF team has one person who primarily manages those patients)
In general, I feel the nursing staff are compassionate, and helpful. I've been able to call the nursing lines during IVF and IUI and get answers to my questions within a reasonable amount of time. The one thing that I wish they would do better is to be more organized in telling patients all of the things that they need to have in place before starting cycles. Between resigning consent forms, tests, ordering meds, and having donor shipment forms signed, it seems like every cycle there is something missing that results in a stressful period of running to the clinic to sign forms that i didn't know I was missing. I've also missed several cycles due to issues with not having documents ready, meds ordered in time (because I wasn't told when I needed them and didn't know enough to proactively manage the clinic staff), or because the clinic had blacked out dates for IVF but didn't communicate this with patients until I was about to start a new cycle. That has been very frustrating.
What specific things went wrong at Duke Fertility Center?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost appointments
- Failed to convey critical information
How was your experience with Jennifer Eaton at Duke Fertility Center?
Dr. Eaton is very straight-forward and patient and willing to explain all of the medical information clearly and in detail. She presented us with options, listened to our concerns, didn't pressure us into treatments but was clear about what she felt was the most likely to work. That said, I had a few occasions where I felt like I would have liked a more compassionate response from her, especially when it came to missed cycles due to clinic issues.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Jennifer Eaton at Duke Fertility Center?
I'm not sure.
Describe the protocols Jennifer Eaton used in your cycles at Duke Fertility Center and their degree of success.
I had previously undergone letrazole+trigger shot IUI for about 6 cycles with an OBGYN, so when I started seeing Dr. Eaton, she recommended trying min stim (150 menopur) IUI. We did that for about 3 cycles (she recommended going to IVF sooner, but for scheduling and financial reasons, we had to put that off). Then moved to IVF. The first IVF, I started with 300 gonal f/150 menopur and after 5 days, increased to 375 gonal f/150 menopur. I think retrieval was on day 11ish. They got 18 eggs, about half fertilized, and 5 made it to day 3. 2 of those were low quality, so Dr. Eaton transferred all 5 eggs (rationale was that the 2 low quality would not survive freezing so choice was to transfer to dispose of them). Resulted in a chemical pregnancy. I am doing the second IVF cycle now. Started with 375 gonal f/150 menopur and then reduced to 300 gonal f/150 menopur on day 5. similar timing for retrieval. This time, they got 12 eggs (but more were mature than 1st IVF), 6 fertilized and grew to day 3. Transferred 3 and froze 3. I saw Dr. Price at the transfer, so we talked through options for how many to transfer vs. freeze. This seemed like the best approach to both me and Dr. Price. Waiting for result of transfer now.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Jennifer Eaton at Duke Fertility Center.
IUI meds plus treatment (with insurance) cost about $4000-5000 per cycle, I think.
IVF meds cost about $6000 and cycle with my insurance cost $4800. Although, I spent the past 3 months fighting with Duke Medicine over a $15000 bill for IVF because my insurance was improperly registered in their system, and my claims were being rejected.
Describe Jennifer Eaton's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Duke Fertility Center.
Dr. Eaton recommended transferring 3 embryos prior to starting IVf, due to my age and the fact that I was okay doing selective reduction. That said, I was a little nervous about the 5 embryo transfer, but I trusted that Dr. Eaton is conservative and doesn't have a high multiples rate, so she was advising us well.