How was your experience with Ania Kowalik at Fertility Solutions of New England?
We came to Dr. Kowalik after a less than ideal experience at another clinic. We were always a low probability case, and she was realistic but very compassionate with us, promising (and following through on her promises) to do everything she could to help us achieve success one way or another. In the month between the 2 rounds we did with her, I actually fell pregnant naturally. However, it was not to be. Dr. Kowalik did everything she could to help me sustain the pregnancy until it was clear that it would not continue, and cared for me through the miscarriage. We made adjustments for the final round and finally, an embryo took. My husband and I were already talking about moving onto donor eggs assuming the final round would fail, and she said that she’d help us through that if it came to donor eggs, but in the meantime, she was 100% focused on the round at hand and needed us to be the same. Her commitment to her patients is unparalleled.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Ania Kowalik at Fertility Solutions of New England?
Be honest with her. Let her know exactly what’s on your mind and she will do everything in her power to get you to your goal.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Ania Kowalik at Fertility Solutions of New England?
She has a warm but no-nonsense bedside manner. She’s very focused and kept us on track, but compassionate as well. She’s laughed with us, cried with us and hugged us.
Describe the protocols Ania Kowalik used in your cycles at Fertility Solutions of New England and their degree of success.
My previous clinic used an antagonist protocol with estrogen priming and crinone for luteal support. I bled before both betas there. The first observation Dr. Kowalik made after reading my records was that I clearly had insufficient luteal support and she switched me to PIO shots. Concerned that the priming was suppressing me too much (I’d had 4 mature eggs in each of my first 2 rounds), she switched me to a microflare protocol (10 Lupron morning and night, 450 Gonal F). In the first round we got 5 eggs, all mature, all fertilized. 1 had arrested and 1 was arresting on day 3- we transferred the other 3 and beta was negative. For the second round, protocol remained the same except we added Omnitrope (.333) for the 9 days of stims as well as EmbryoGen growth medium. We got 4 eggs, all mature, all fertilized. All were still growing on day 3, despite one being graded poor and 2 fair on day 1. All were transferred. We achieved pregnancy and I learned at my first ultrasound with my ob that 2 had actually implanted, though only one developed. I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant with that one.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
They are wonderful. Quick to return phone calls (usually within the hour) and always informed and prepared to discuss my case. During retrieval procedures, they were a constant reassuring presence- provided great care while making it feel like a visit with friends. There were almost 4 months between my retrievals and during the second, one of the nurses actually remembered a conversation we’d been having at the previous retrieval. That’s when you know they care about their patients as the people we are.
Describe your experience with Fertility Solutions of New England.
Strengths: communication, compassion and true partnership with their patients. Also willing to “think outside the box” and try treatments that more conservative or high volume (factory style) clinics will not consider. I love that I could communicate directly with my doctor pretty much whenever I wanted to.
Weaknesses: I honestly did not encounter any. I think maybe only once I didn’t get a phone call returned the same day. And I called a lot. The handle to the clinic’s front door was loose for a few months, but even that has been fixed. I have to really stretch to find anything to criticize.
Coming here after having had a frustrating experience at a high-volume clinic made me really appreciate how well they do everything. They take pride in their work, as all clinics should, but they understand that each patient is a person who carries a lot of pain due to infertility, and they take success and failures as personally as their patients do. Their patients are not just statistics to them, they are family.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Ania Kowalik at Fertility Solutions of New England.
I remember that pit of pocket, the cost would have been close to $9000, which was comparable to my previous clinic. I am lucky to have good insurance, so aside from the medication costs (about $275 for each round), the rounds themselves cost $40 each and my consultations with Dr. Kowalik were also $40.
Describe Ania Kowalik's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Fertility Solutions of New England.
I’d had this discussion with my previous clinic. Due to my age and the limited number of embryos we always got, we were always going to transfer all that looked healthy, within SART guidelines.