Describe your experience with Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester).
Although I'm happy with my doctor and nurse, I am a bit underwhelmed with Strong Fertility as a whole. There were major missteps during many points of my treatment, costing me both money and fertility time. The front desk staff is very uninformed and there are a few staff members that are downright angry and rude. That said, they are conservative and practice evidence based medicine (even though it may mean they are not on the cutting edge). If you prefer science over the kitchen sink approach, then this clinic is likely a fit for you based on the choices in the area.
I've left detailed comments on all of the missteps and errors that occurred so far during my treatment in another section of this review.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Erin Masaba at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester)?
Dr. Masaba remembered all the details of my treatment, the specifics of what was going on with me each time I saw her, and recommended a new protocol she had just learned about during a conference because she felt I fit the required profile.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester). (Assigned nurse: Kaitlin)
Kaitlin is extremely sweet and a super caring person. She was meant to be an IVF nurse. She's completely genuine, friendly, and took a personal interest in me as a patient. I always felt comfortable talking to her about anything regarding my treatment. She is a bright point at Strong Fertility.
What specific things went wrong at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester)?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
How was your experience with Erin Masaba at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester)?
Dr. Masaba is smart and straightforward, but also kind and warm. She has a positive attitude and a lot of energy. She cares about her patients and is willing to explain things in detail. She's returned my calls during off hours and has never hesitated to help. She gets excited about your treatment and each small success. She's also down to earth and very real, not pretentious in any way.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Erin Masaba at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester)?
Dr. Masaba talks quickly and is very energetic. I absolutely love that type of personality as it matches my own pace, but some people may prefer a doctor with slower and steadier style. While Dr. Masaba is extremely smart, to the point, and very enthusiastic, she sometimes struggles with details and organization. As long as you self-advocate and stay up on your treatment details (which I'm finding to be an absolute necessity as an IVF patient), you should be fine.
Describe the protocols Erin Masaba used in your cycles at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester) and their degree of success.
Estrogen Priming Protocol for DOR with Duostim
I have diminished ovarian reserve from multiple surgeries for endometriosis.
Dr. Masaba wanted to try IUI first to see how I would respond to meds before proceeding with IVF. IUI is covered by my insurance whereas IVF is not, so I thought this was a good idea before deciding to invest a large amount of money.
My antral follicle count had been very low during monitoring - around 2 or 3 during two different baseline ultrasounds. Once it was confirmed that I was responding to meds during my IUI cycle (albeit poorly), Dr. Masaba recommended estrogen priming in conjunction with IVF to increase my follicle production. My antral follicle count went up to 13 and 15 respectively during the two cycles I've done with estrogen priming, so it did help.
The first cycle produced 3 follicles. It was less than hoped for, but the cycle was ultimately canceled because the trigger shot failed and converted to an IUI. No pregnancy.
The second cycle was a freeze all duostim. The plan was to stim, retrieve, and then stim again 5 days later in the same cycle month to capitalize on all the antral follicles from the priming. The first retrieval in the duostim resulted in 3 follices, with 2 mature eggs. Both fertilized. The second retrieval in the duostim resulted in 7 follicles, 5 mature eggs retrieved, and 5 fertilized.
After the duostim, I had a frozen embryo transfer of two high quality 8 cell embryos on day 3. We had one embryo make it to blastocyst on day 6 so that is currently frozen. I did not get pregnant from the transfer.
I proceeded with another duostim using estrogen priming rather using my remaining frozen embryo since I'm 36 and want multiple children. The second duostim had similar results as the first in terms of numbers but I ended up with two 5 days blasts for my frozen embryo transfer and two 6 day embryos to freeze! I was thrilled! I am currently 5 weeks pregnant from the embryo transfer this cycle.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Erin Masaba at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester).
At the time of my treatment, this was the pricing scheme:
Package 1. $6500 - Includes one fresh IVF cycle and up to 2 transfers (one fresh transfer and one frozen transfer, or 2 frozen transfers)
Package 2. $10,800 - Includes 2 fresh IVF cycles and up to 3 transfers (either fresh or frozen)
Package 3. $14,700 - Includes 3 fresh IVF cycles and up to 4 transfers (either fresh or frozen)
I started with package 1, moved to package 2, and will be continuing with package 3. My medication costs per cycle were around $4000-5000 (would have be $9-10,000 if I hadn't ordered overseas).
If you needed to do any retrievals beyond package 3, previously you needed to start over at package 1 and pay $6500 again which didn't make any sense! After complaining to every doctor I encountered at Strong and making multiple calls to the IVF secretary over my fourth retrieval, I'm thrilled to say that this has been changed! Now additional cycles are $4900 (Package 3 divided by three).
Describe Erin Masaba's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester).
Dr. Masaba strongly recommended eSET and warned against the complications of multiples. Ultimately I signed my transfer instructions document with another doctor who happened to be in the office that day. She had no issue transferring two embryos considering my age and infertility history, so that's what I ultimately did.