Describe your experience with UCLA.
Overall, happy with the clinic as it was what we expected as part of a large academic medical center. Definitely no-frills when compared to some of the other clinics out there (i.e. no chandeliers or velvet couches in the waiting room), but clean, bright, and also with friendly office staff who we got to know well with so many visits. Early morning appointments (as early as 7:30am) are available on weekdays, which was appreciated. Mainly the clinic runs on time, but here and there we did have a bit of a longer wait. Open 7 days a week, with lab conveniently located downstairs in the same building.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Kathleen Brennan at UCLA?
Dr. Brennan, Ruthie (nurse), and Megan (nurse) were always on top of the details of my treatment. Everyone was always on the same page and had excellent communication. Each time I called, Megan and Ruthie always gave me personal attention and made sure my questions were answered. Dr. Brennan was always very reachable via email and answered my questions same-day.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCLA. (Assigned nurse: Ruthie, Megan)
AWESOME nursing staff. Both Ruthie and Megan were total rockstars, and on top of any and all adjustments to our treatment protocol at all times. Very organized, which is especially important when it comes to deciding on how much of the EXPENSIVE fertility meds to order at a time, etc. Always available, and always got back to us quickly.
How was your experience with Kathleen Brennan at UCLA?
Dr. Brennan is clearly up to date on the latest scientific advancements in the fertility field. She is also very easy to talk to and never made me feel like I asked any "dumb" questions. I am someone who likes to fully understand all the details of my treatment, and she always took the time, whether in person or via email, to answer all of my questions thoroughly and completely. I always felt well taken care of and like we were doing everything possible to give us the best shot at success. We saw Dr. Brennan at every weekday visit, and did see the other doctors in the practice when we had weekend appointments for monitoring. I can honestly say I fully trusted all of the other doctors as well. Great communication amongst all providers (doctors, residents/fellows, and nurses) in regards to our treatment plan. Even when we saw another doctor on weekends, Dr. Brennan was always contacted to make decisions about any adjustments to our treatment. I felt like everyone was on the same page at all times, which was comforting.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Kathleen Brennan at UCLA?
Smart, thorough, and easy to talk to. She is very direct and to the point, which we appreciated. Makes you feel like you are being well taken care of and taking every possible approach to achieve success.
Describe the protocols Kathleen Brennan used in your cycles at UCLA and their degree of success.
We tried two IUI's at first, which resulted in negative pregnancy tests. We could've opted to do a third IUI, but instead chose to dive right into IVF. Our protocol consisted of Menopur, Follistim, growth hormone (for egg quality), and dexamethasone. After two cycles/egg retrievals, we ended up with 5 frozen embryos, 2 of which were PGS tested as normal. This was right in line with what Dr. Brennan predicted based on my age at the time of retrieval (37/38). Dr. Brennan performed both of our egg retrievals, and also our (single) frozen embryo transfer (which was a success on the first try!).
Describe the costs associated with your care under Kathleen Brennan at UCLA.
Initial workup (including HSG) and all fertility-related lab monitoring (bloodwork) was covered by insurance. We paid out of pocket for both IUI's, for all ultrasound monitoring (they offer "packages" to pay upfront for this when you start a new IVF cycle so you're not paying at every visit), all medications ($$$), and for all lab fees related to egg retrieval and embryo transfer. They use an outside lab (not part of UCLA) for egg retrieval/storage and embryo transfer, which was state of the art and which we were very pleased with. Once we got pregnant, all ultrasounds were covered by insurance.
Describe Kathleen Brennan's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCLA.
Based on my age and the fact that our embryos had been PGS-tested, Dr. Brennan pretty strictly recommended that we transfer only a single embryo at a time, which we felt was appropriate based on our own research as well.