How was your experience with Angeline Beltsos at Fertility Centers of Illinois?
Dr. Beltsos is very sweet, almost to an in-genuine level. My consult appointments were generally pretty useless. They just involved her going over the results of my previous cycle, which I was well aware of, and then making a plan for the next cycle, which was usually changed, unbeknownst to me, and communicated via one of her nurses once the next cycle had started. She never really seemed that concerned that I had so many failed cycles when in treatment with her, and the only change in treatment approach was slight tweaks to stimulating drug doses. She also had a revolving door of nurses which was was concerning (how hard was she to work for?), not to mention, since the nurses were the medical professionals I regularly dealt with, it felt like I was constantly having to acclimate myself with those whom I was working with.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Angeline Beltsos at Fertility Centers of Illinois?
You will have to self-advocate. Keep your own records of everything and don't be afraid to ask questions if your treatment plan doesn't seem quite right.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Angeline Beltsos at Fertility Centers of Illinois?
I felt fairly regularly like my treatment wasn't individualized. There were a number of occasions where I obviously confused with another patients (one phone consult started "I heard about your bad news (test results)" when I hadn't yet had my test done, it was scheduled for the following day). Nurses would assume I was taking drugs that I wasn't medically cleared to take. I had to self-advocate a lot.
Describe the protocols Angeline Beltsos used in your cycles at Fertility Centers of Illinois and their degree of success.
The initial strategy was just to increase the amount of progesterone in my body as I came into treatment with a couple chemical pregnancies under my belt. It started with Clomid and timed intercourse, then adding oral progesterone after 2 cycles, then adding IUI after one cycle. Three IUI cycles with Clomid and progesterone support, then FSH injectables added into the mix for the 4th IUI cycle. All resulting in negative betas.
IVF was next. The first cycle was Antagonist protocol which yielded a whopping 4 eggs. Two day 3 embryos transferred, leading to a negative test. The later 2 IVF cycles were Lupron Microflare protocols which were more successful, but still lacked the outcome which we were hoping for.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Fertility Centers of Illinois. (Assigned nurse: Betsy)
Dr. Beltsos had many nurses while I was under her care. It started with Fran and Jen. They were awesome, but soon transferred to a different department in FCI. Then there was Emily and Jessica, Emily is perfectly nice and on top of things, but was never my main nurse, Jessica left suddenly and was replaced by Betsy. Betsy was awesome and always there if I needed a question answered. She transferred to a different doctor at FCI after my second IVF cycle. Since then I've not really had a nurse that seemed as though she was assigned to me.
Describe your experience with Fertility Centers of Illinois.
This is a big clinic with a lot of patients. It's a pretty well-oiled machine. I'm easily able to get in and out for monitoring in the morning and get to work on time. Being a big clinic though it can feel impersonal, but I've managed to build relationships with the staff, so it doesn't feel that way anymore.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Fertility Centers of Illinois.
Monitoring appointments are so easy. They have early hours and you're normally in and out in under an hour. You start in a main waiting room, are called back in groups to the ultrasound waiting room and, after ultrasound, you go to the lab waiting room, then get your blood drawn, and go on your merry way. If you need to speak to a nurse, the phlebotomist can normally flag one down for you too. No issues.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Angeline Beltsos at Fertility Centers of Illinois.
Thankfully I have very good insurance and state-mandated fertility coverage. Out of pockets costs were comparatively minimal (Freezing fees- $1200, biopsy fees- $2200, and prescription meds.)
What specific things went wrong at Fertility Centers of Illinois?
- Lost appointments
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Fertility Centers of Illinois.
On occasion, lab orders have not been filed for tests that aren't the regular hormone panel (like when I had to have my prolactin rechecked, I had to tell the phlebotomist, who had to remind the nurse). I've been scheduled for ultrasound when all I needed was labwork, or vice versa. And people keep talking about putting me on lovenox when I shouldn't be on any blood thinners. They aren't a big deal when you're used to being your own advocate, but I can see some people not asking questions about their treatment and having a different outcome.
The lack of communication about protocol changes was my biggest issue with Dr. Beltsos. I brought it up to her that I wasn't happy that she had changed my protocol after our consult and failed to communicate the changes, or the rational behind it, with me. She did not react professionally to my criticism.