How was your experience with Lauren Alexandra Rubal at Kaiser Permanente SoCal?
I appreciated the way Dr. Rubal explained everything to my husband and I at our initial consultation. From there, each time we met, I always felt like she answered all my questions, and gave me clear plans on where we should go next, without feeling forced that it was our only plan of action. I still felt like it was my decision to make for each part of the process, with a clear and understandable plan and guidance on what we should do. I liked that I actually saw Dr. Rubal on every single one of my appointments, except one ultrasound. I was told I may see different doctors during my IUI cycles because I was going in for ultrasounds so frequently.
During my first IUI procedure, I was really nervous, not really knowing what to expect. Dr. Rubal made it very comfortable, by explaining exactly what she was doing, and walking me through the process. There were no surprises and made the process very comfortable. Dr. Rubal really knows what she's doing, and even though we haven't gotten pregnant yet, I really like working with Dr. Rubal.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Lauren Alexandra Rubal at Kaiser Permanente SoCal?
Don't be afraid to ask questions if you have any.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Lauren Alexandra Rubal at Kaiser Permanente SoCal?
I always feel like Dr. Rubal knows exactly who I am, where we are in my plan, and where we are going. I appreciate that although she has several patients, that she knows where we've left off, and what our plan is moving forward. I also saw Dr. Rubal at almost every single one of my ultrasounds during my two IUI cycles. There was only one time that I saw a different doctor, when I was told that I may see different doctors throughout my cycle for my scans.
Describe the protocols Lauren Alexandra Rubal used in your cycles at Kaiser Permanente SoCal and their degree of success.
My case being a bit unique, I appreciated that Dr. Rubal looked into what would be the best protocol for me specifically. Although I am only 30, I never felt like she categorized me as "you're so young, you'll be fine" or anything of that nature. She took me seriously, and allowed me to be my own advocate.
With my history of elevated LFTs, we jumped straight to an all injections round for IUI instead of using clomid or letrazole which could have irritated/inflammed my liver further. After months of working on getting my LFTs to stabilize, we used menopur (1-3 vials/night) to get my follicles to mature. Each cycle (we did 2), the plan was "slow & steady". With having PCOS, I have no shortage of follicles, and we wanted to be sure we didn't over stimulate. My first IUI cycle, I had 1 mature follicle before trigger, and the second IUI cycle, I had 2 (almost 3) mature follicles before trigger. Each cycle, I had a hard time thickening my lining, and therefore that could have been a reason for no implantation, but can't be certain.
Although I didn't get pregnant from either cycle, I am aware of the percentage of success with IUI and therefore we are contemplating doing another IUI or moving onto IVF.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Kaiser Permanente SoCal.
All the nurses are wonderful at this facility! Although you primarily see the same nurses, everyone is so friendly and helpful. Anytime I had a question, I would email through my online portal, and always got a response within 24 hours. While Dr. Rubal was out on maternity leave, I was still able to contact the nurses to get in touch with the other doctors who were filling in for her, and I didn't feel like there was a lapse in treatment. Although I didn't seek much treatment during her leave, due to waiting for my cycle to start, anytime I reached out to the nursing staff with questions, I always got a response on what I should do.
I especially loved the receptionist, Elizabeth, who was always so friendly and kind, and easy to work with. When you're really nervous, checking into the "INFERTILITY DEPARTMENT" can be a bit overwhelming, and even more nerve wracking. Elizabeth always has a smile on her face, and remembered my name and made me feel welcomed and like a friend.
Describe your experience with Kaiser Permanente SoCal.
I started seeking treatment in August of 2018, and each time I had an appointment, I checked in 15 minutes early, and was always seen on time and there was hardly a wait.
Through my first IUI cycle, in June 2019-July 2019, the response was still very quick, and wait times were minimal, with my ultrasound appointments only being 5-10 minutes at most. This was helpful, since my ultrasounds were early in the morning, before jetting to work and trying to get to work on time.
During my second cycle, patients from another Kaiser facility were sent to the Kaiser Irvine facility while one of the doctors was out of the office, and the office really became crowded and flooded in with patients. The wait times after check-in became longer, and the wait times in the rooms became longer as well. Sometimes, the wait was 45 minutes to an hour before being seen by the doctor. It became more overwhelming when one of the doctors left in August.
I took a break after my second failed IUI, and thankfully so, it was good timing because I was told that they are no longer able to help patients during this time as they are completely overwhelmed with patients. I am currently still waiting for my cycle to begin, but I'm not sure if they are able to take patients (current or new) at this time still. I really hope that I will be able to continue working with Dr. Rubal if we choose to do another IUI.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Lauren Alexandra Rubal at Kaiser Permanente SoCal.
My insurance only covers 50% of infertility (no coverage on IVF), so my copays were about $160 and meds were still very expensive.