After our first IVF cycle failed with Dr. Duleba; he advised us to try a second and to not go directly forward with using donor eggs. We were ready to use donor eggs at that point. I felt like another number because as a patient I shouldn't have to fill my Doctor in on every little aspect of my infertility history after I've been under his care for over a year... I just felt like he didn't even truly know much about balanced translocations and my story/history. He was just doing his job duty of calling and giving the bad news.
The front office staff [at Repro Partners] is very friendly. The medical assistants are also very friendly and efficient at their work. It is a busy office and you can certainly feel like another number amongst the crowd but they do try to keep the wait-times down...You will not always see your assigned Dr at each appointment; especially with the ultrasounds. Most of the Dr's teach or do research over at UCSD and have limited hours at the clinic.
How was your experience with Antoni Duleba at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center?
Dr. Duleba has a very charming personality. During our initial consultation he made my husband and I feel at ease and relaxed. Going in to the appointment we did know that he only worked in the office on Tuesday and Thursday but all follow up ultrasounds would be performed by either himself or another Dr in the office. So, we felt comfortable moving forward with this office. Dr. Duleba had all of our records coming into our initial appointment which included a report from our genetic counselor which stated that I have a balanced translocation on chromosomes 3 and 9. He assured us that he had treated other women with translocations that he helped get pregnant successfully and that with two cycles we could get pregnant as well. After our second IVF cycle; Dr. Duleba called me personally with the results from our PGS testing stating that all five embryos again were abnormal...he went on to say that I really need to speak with a genetic counselor to see what my odds are on having children using my own eggs. I just felt like he didn't even truly know much about balanced translocations and my story/history. He was just doing his job duty of calling and giving the bad news. I shouldn't have had to fill him in on what the genetic counselor told my husband and I over a year ago...he himself should have advised us differently.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Antoni Duleba at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center?
He does have great bedside manner and a real charming- personality but if you or your spouse have a balanced translocation which is the cause of your infertility; please get second or third opinions before settling with this office and Dr. Duleba. Go with your initial gut instincts!! With all of his expertise and teaching which he continues to do at UCSD; he should know more about balanced translocations and odds of successfully getting pregnant with IVF.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Antoni Duleba at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center?
Going into my initial consultation with Dr. Duleba I knew that I had a genetic condition, called a balanced translocation; which added on a 29% chance of any of my future confirmed pregnancies ending with an embryo that was unbalanced and which will end in a miscarriage or an embryo that is balanced such as myself. Dr. Duleba gave us reassurance that he had treated and helped other women get pregnant through IVF (using their own eggs) that also had balanced translocations. He had said that with two cycles; he could definitely get us pregnant. After two IVF cycles- 55 eggs retrieved, 10 abnormal embryos (diagnosed through PGS testing); and having spent over a year under Dr. Duleba's care...he asked us to see a genetic counselor to find out what our odds were at having our own children using my own eggs and my husbands sperm. Before starting care with Dr. Duleba we had already consulted with a genetic counselor at UCSD. We knew our odds going into treatment and this was relayed to Dr. Duleba. After our first IVF cycle failed with Dr. Duleba; he advised us to try a second and to not go directly forward with using donor eggs. We were ready to use donor eggs at that point. I felt like another number because as a patient I shouldn't have to fill my Doctor in on every little aspect of my infertility history after I've been under his care for over a year. He knew my balanced translocation issue from our first meeting and had copies of the report from our UCSD genetic counselor in my chart. He worked only two days at the office and just always seemed too busy; over-worked. His nurse also posted my incorrect treatment plan for our 2nd IVF cycle on my treatment calendar...I am a RN myself; I know how busy health-care can be but this was a huge mistake. Had I not spoken up, I could have been taking the wrong stimulation medications and spent thousands of dollars on medications that could have never been returned to the pharmacy. We've spent $40,000 on our IVF cycles and these mistakes should have never been made...I really hope that other couples don't succumb to these mistakes.
Describe the protocols Antoni Duleba used in your cycles at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center and their degree of success.
I have PCOS along with a balanced translocation on chromosomes 3 and 9. Both of my ovaries have multiple follicles.
1st IVF cycle: 33 eggs retrieved; 5 embryos--all abnormal with PGS testing. I was prescribed Menopur, Follistim, Pregnyl, Decadron, an antibiotic, Lupron, and a growth hormone. Apparently this was their standard protocol for a basic stimulation and egg retrieval. Dr. Duleba was amazed at how many eggs were retrieved but shocked that we only ended up with five embryos and all five were abnormal with PGS testing. He thought that maybe I had almost been hyper-stimulated.
Our 2nd cycle- consisted of stimulating with just oral Clomid and Menopur. I was also prescribed the antibiotic, Decadron, Lupron, and growth hormone. Along with testosterone cream. This treatment protocol was used more for women with diminished ovarian reserve. They had retrieved 22 eggs, 5 embryos again; with all five being abnormal...again diagnosed with PGS testing.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center. (Assigned nurse: Charlene King)
We were assigned an IVF coordinator at our very first appointment with Dr. Duleba; Charlene King. She has been working with him for years. We could always reach her through email and/or by leaving voicemails. For the most part she would respond in 24-48 hours. I just felt like the whole IVF process wasn't explained to us that well and we kept learning and finding new things out as we went along. First off, every patient should be told in advance of the medications that will be ordered for them and through which pharmacy. With our first IVF cycle, I had received a phone call from MDR pharmacy with my order and knew nothing of it. I didn't even know that that order was placed with them and that I needed to be home to receive the package/medications. Second, I had provided a list of medications that I already had on-hand from a family member which were okayed by Charlene. She went ahead and ordered them anyways. It's careless; had I not been on top of it; I would have spent thousands of dollars on medications that were already in my refrigerator and un-returnable to the pharmacy.
We also needed PGS testing done with both cycles on our embryos. She kept insisting that we only needed to do the PGD...which is completely untrue and left us to figure out and research which company should do our PGS testing for the embryos...we opted to go with iGenomix.
For my second IVF cycle she copied and pasted the wrong medication/treatment protocol to my calendar. I had to call and email and let her know that Dr. Duleba wanted to try a different approach and use the protocol for diminished ovarian reserve. I also clarified it with Dr. Duleba himself. I'm a nurse myself and that's a major error. Again, if I didn't follow up and clarify this; more money, stress and anxiety would have been wasted. We pay too much money for IVF for these mistakes to be made.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Partners Fertility Center.
The front office staff is very friendly. The medical assistants are also very friendly and efficient at their work. It is a busy office and you can certainly feel like another number amongst the crowd but they do try to keep the wait-times down. Only a few times did I wait over 30 minutes to be seen. You will not always see your assigned Dr at each appointment; especially with the ultrasounds. Most of the Dr's teach or do research over at UCSD and have limited hours at the clinic.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Antoni Duleba at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center.
We spent $40,000 on two IVF cycles with Dr. Duleba. Both cycles failed; we only had the egg retrievals.
Describe Antoni Duleba's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center.
We never had the opportunity for an embryo transfer but were advised that if we did get to that point that a single embryo would be transferred due to less potential complications.
What specific things went wrong at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Reproductive Partners Fertility Center.
A wrong IVF protocol was posted to my treatment calendar by the nurse; after I had an appointment with Dr. Duleba and we went over the changes in the medications.