How was your experience with Stephanie Gustin at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine?
I think Stephanie was extremely relatable. I felt super comfortable asking any kind of question, no matter how “silly.” Before leaving every visit, she made sure we understood and would always say “please text me or call me” and we had her personal number. She always seemed have a very good rapport with the other clinical staff. Even though the IUI’s didn’t work for us, we 100% would have continued treatment with her had we not moved out of the area.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Stephanie Gustin at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine?
Don’t be afraid to ask a question, give your opinion or input. She will make your plan work with your schedule, and she will answer all of your questions with no judgment.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Stephanie Gustin at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine?
Stephanie consistently would look my husband in the eye while discussing treatment and other information. She remembered things about us, what we like, where we work, etc and modified things based on who we are. There was an appointment in which I left very upset, and she took time in her super busy clinic schedule to FaceTime me, go over my imaging and decided on a new treatment plan. As a nurse that works in a different specialty clinic, this is a rarity. I was very impressed
Describe the protocols Stephanie Gustin used in your cycles at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine and their degree of success.
For the 2 cycles of IUI, I was put on Femara 5 mg, for 3 days. I don’t recall what day of my cycle I started them, however. My labs were all with normal range and my cycles are fairly regular, so she expected a good response from a low dose of femara. After I finished the femara, I was monitored pretty frequently to note follicle count with ultrasound. This was done by an RN. Once I had follicles at 16-18 mm, I was directed when to take the “trigger shot.” This was ovidrel, I do not recall the dosing on that; but it’s a quick subcutaneous injection to stimulate your follicle to release. About 36 hours later, my husband went to the clinic to leave his sperm. They spun that down to get only the sperm, and then prepare it to be transferred. An RN did the procedure, which I thought was odd.
The second cycle was extremely similar, except I was monitored quite as much as we knew how I would respond.
Dr. Gustin chose IUI for us as my husband sperm count and shapes are very low and abnormal. He had varioceles that could be repaired, but due to his work schedule, wasn’t able to take off time to recover from surgery. Dr Gustin suggested this as a way to continue to try for pregnancy before his surgery.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine.
We had two nurses that were amazing; extremely knowledgeable and kind. None of the nurses were ever rude or not willing to help, but didn’t always seem willing to explain things in depth. I feel because I’m a nurse, I want to know what my labs should be, what it means when it’s not normal, how I can change it, etc. The nurse I had during my IUI didn’t explain things well, and always seemed preoccupied with what was going on at the nurses station.
Describe your experience with Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine.
I liked that when our initial appointment was over, we met with the financial counselor. She had looked up our insurance and had print outs of what each thing would approximately cost (varies based on medication).
I could tell the staff got a long really well, so they always seemed to be in a good mood.
My husband did say that the sperm analysis clinic was a little outdated, and he felt like he could hear people outside of the room talking. He brought headphones the next time, so that made it better. Considering what he had to do in there, I’m not sure there’s much to suggest to improve that.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Stephanie Gustin at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine.
It’s a private clinic and I had health insurance through my hospital job; so it wasn’t “in-network.” I felt like most things were fair in cost; however, the actual “artificial imsemination” was charged as a surgical procedure, despite being performed solely by an RN, with no imaging, or any equipment other than a syringe and catheter.
Describe Stephanie Gustin's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine.
Did not have serious conversations about IVF with Dr. Gustin before moving. She did bring up being more likely to do single embryo over multiple, but we did not get I depth with that conversation as that wasn’t what we working at.