How was your experience with Sunita Kulshrestha at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia?
To be honest, it was great to work with a physician who identifies as a woman. We feel comfortable at Shady Grove however, all the doctors are male while all the nurses are female. It was nice to have a woman who was kind, gentle and knowledgeable. She was truly wonderful and I wish we had the opportunity to work with her when we transitioned to IVF. Dr. K relocated to the Maryland office after our last round of IVF. We saw Dr. Martin after that who is also great (I did a review for him already). After we lost our twin daughters (Dr. Martin did that embryo transfer), both he AND Dr. K called me to express their condolences. That meant a lot and showed that even though I wasn't currently a patient of hers (because she had relocated), she was still keeping an eye on my treatment and invested in our success. I absolutely adore Dr. K.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sunita Kulshrestha at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia?
It's ok to be vulnerable. Ask your questions and trust that she will spend the necessary time with you to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible when leaving the office.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Sunita Kulshrestha at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia?
Dr. K was absolutely amazing. She was very kind and genuinely seemed invested in our family creation. She answered our questions, was very personable, gentle and respectful. She genuinely seemed just as disappointed when we didn't get pregnant with IUI and she also appeared to try everything she could with clomid stimulation to assist.
Describe the protocols Sunita Kulshrestha used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia and their degree of success.
We did the IUI portion of our treatment with Dr. K. Initially, I think we just did the monitoring with no additional stimulation. We eventually added the clomid at 50 mg and towards the end, increased it to 100 mg. I believe I also did birth control protocol prior to starting the clomid 100 mg on our last 2 tries. Monitoring was every other day or everyday as we got closer to insemination. Dr. K also did two saline sonograms to ensure my uterine cavity was normal. I had an HSG prior to starting w/ Dr. K and at the time, my tubes were open and the dye passed through without incident.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia. (Assigned nurse: Daniella Pellicioti)
Daniela had her challenges in that she sometimes seemed a bit scattered. Initially, I was not a huge fan because of this. Having said that, Daniela was actually my FAVORITE nurse. She too, left the agency towards the end of our IUI trials but she was present for all of our inseminations. When we had a IUI w/ a different doctor, she was in the room and she really went to bat for me when I had a narrowing of the cervix. The doc (Dr. Munabi) attempted to use dilators which was extremely painful and Daniela really was amazing with me and him. She advocated for me, helped to calm me and genuinely made me feel like she had my back. I really valued her for all she did.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia.
As mentioned in my other review (of Dr. Martin), Shady Grove Fertility (SGF) is a very well-run, well-organized facility. The staff is kind, personable, friendly and knowledgeable. Though you have a primary physician, all of the doctors tend to make you feel very comfortable and cared for. I don't have any other facility to compare it to however, sharing stories with other people having fertility challenges, I am very grateful for feeling like a human rather than a number more often than not.
The one issue I have with SGF is their shared risk program. It's a great option but they do not do an efficient job at talking to you about what constitutes dis-enrollment from the program. We felt extremely blindsided by this decision from the review board and felt like they did not take into account that we experienced a loss and that grief can effect med response. Instead, we were put in a situation where we have to make very difficult decisions about moving forward because of the financial burden. I will say that through this hard time, my doctors have been kind and understanding. The decision seems to be above their heads and I think it would be helpful for there to be some kind of appeals process.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sunita Kulshrestha at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia.
We exclusively did IUI with Dr. K. We paid for our co-pays and for the medication. I estimate we spent between $300-$400 total on those expenses.
Describe Sunita Kulshrestha's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia.
Dr. K had conversations with us twice about the possibility of multiples. On our last two tries of IUI, I made 8 eggs and 7 eggs (with the clomid for both). She spoke to us about eSET from a safety perspective. We were honestly a bit uncomfortable with this idea and didn't know what we would do if I did get pregnant with more than two babies. I didn't want to risk the entire pregnancy by doing the reduction procedure. When I worked with Dr. K, it was not IVF so the embryo transfer was not the issue. It was whether all the eggs I made actually fertilized.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia?
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility of Philadelphia.
As mentioned previously, SGF does not do a great job at conveying when you would be dis-enrolled from their shared risk program. They push the "you get up to six tries and you either get a baby or your money back" jargon but they do not highlight that low response following grief can make them kick you out which adds insult to injury. This is a delicate process only complicated by losses of pregnancies or negative test results. That, was not handled delicately and we absolutely felt like we were just a number or just statistical odds rather than people.