Describe your experience with Harvard Vanguard.
My fertility clinic experience is a little bit different as the majority of my treatment was done through my primary care physician's medical group, Harvard Vanguard, but my IVF procedures (egg retrieval, FET) were done at Boston IVF. This set up provides its own unique challenges, with my insurance company dealing with multiple entities, including genetics lab Igenomix. If my insurance allowed, I would keep all of my care, monitoring and procedures in one place because it can be a bit overwhelming.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Charles Obasiolu at Harvard Vanguard?
Dr. Obasiolu sees a lot of patients, particularly after Dr. Jill Attaman left the Harvard Vanguard practice and he absorbed many of her patients. I feel that he cares about me as a person and as a patient and frequently takes the time to review my chart and information before an appointment, which allows us to move forward instead of reviewing old information, which I appreciated.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Harvard Vanguard. (Assigned nurse: Christine French )
Christine French is far and away the best part about working with HVMA's fertility department. She is exceptionally kind, impressively knowledgeable and a fantastic resource for her patients. She always went out of her way to be helpful, to answer any questions and to provide a shoulder to cry on when needed. This journey has not been an easy or successful one for me and she has been my rock at the doctor's office.
The other nurses, particularly Tracy, are very kind and helpful. Scheduling can be a challenge but nothing worse than other doctors' offices.
What specific things went wrong at Harvard Vanguard?
- Failed to call with results
- Provided conflicting information
How was your experience with Charles Obasiolu at Harvard Vanguard?
I really like Dr. Obasiolu and feel that he is competent and informed about infertility diagnoses and treatments. I have a genetic condition that requires PGD/PGS testing of embryos and felt that he explained that process very well. He is very good about answering any questions asked. My biggest issue (and one that is perhaps not unique to Dr. Obasiolu) is that I feel he was not upfront or forthcoming about success rates with IVF. With my first egg retrieval, I had 11 eggs retrieved but only 6 were mature and only 1 made it to day 5. I was shocked and extremely disappointed that only 1 of the 11 retrieved fertilized and grew to a day 5. Luckily, that was normal with PGD/PGS testing but it did not result in a successful pregnancy. When discussing the transfer, I asked what the odds of success were with transferring a healthy and genetically normal embryo and was told about 40%. I know these aren't numbers that people want to hear and are not unique to me but I wish the doctor had been more candid about the chances of success because I felt really let down at every step in this process.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Charles Obasiolu at Harvard Vanguard?
Ask questions! Dr. Obasiolu is great at providing answers when asked but was not always forthcoming about information or statistics.
Describe the protocols Charles Obasiolu used in your cycles at Harvard Vanguard and their degree of success.
Because I suffer from migraines with aura, I was started on Estradiol patches before proceeding with my IVF cycles. Both times I started with Menopur and Gonal-F pens, then adding Cetrotide as an antagonist. In preparing for FETs, I was prescribed Estrace in increasing doses and progesterone in oil. For my second IVF egg retrieval, my dose of Gonal-f was increased and my nurse recommended adding CoQu10 to help with egg quality, which seemed to work.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Charles Obasiolu at Harvard Vanguard.
I am incredibly lucky that Massachusetts mandates insurance coverage for fertility treatment when certain conditions are met. That being said, co-pays and out of pocket expenses add up very quickly. In addition, despite my genetic testing being pre-approved, I continue to fight with my insurance company for reimbursement for $13,000 in PGS/PGD testing expenses. Fertility medications under my insurance were about $1,000 for egg retrieval medications and $200 for FET medications. There were also co-pays for all diagnostic testing such as HSGs, hysteroscopies and sonohysterograms.
Describe Charles Obasiolu's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Harvard Vanguard.
My doctor, in conjunction with my maternal fetal medicine specialist, advised against multiple embryo transfers due to my high risk pregnancy status. As we have used PGS/PGD, the best quality embryos were selected for transfer. First transfer failed, still waiting on the second one.