How was your experience with Anitha Nair at Shady Grove Fertility?
I was extremely satisfied with the care we received at Shady Grove Fertility and Dr. Nair. Dr. Nair had actually come recommended from a friend of mine who had been her patient and is now the mother of beautiful twins. Dr. Nair sat down with us and walked us through their predictive model and what to expect. I felt she always had our best interest and safety in mind. For example, we were highly encouraged to only transfer one embryo. While we only ended up with two embryos at the end of the process, instead of the four that the model predicted, both were A++ embryos and the one transferred resulted in our beautiful baby boy. I felt jilted by the fertility experience after a year of failed treatments abroad resulting in no pregnancies. Dr. Nair's kind and compassionate demeanor immediately allowed me trust her and trust the IVF process with Shady Grove Fertility.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Anitha Nair at Shady Grove Fertility?
Don't ignore their pre-IVF checklist. I had been undergoing fertility treatments for a year abroad (in Hong Kong) resulting in no pregnancies. While my husband's sperm analysis results showed issues, our doctor in Hong Kong did not look into why. I happen to see that an appointment with a urologist was recommended so I scheduled one with Dr. Shin. Dr. Shin identified the issue - my husband had a varicocele. We decided to move forward with IVF while at the same time my husband had the surgery to correct it. We are hoping this will help with conceiving children naturally in the future. Also, ask as many questions as you need to until you feel comfortable moving forward with the IVF process. The stakes are high, both personally and financially, and Dr. Nair understands that.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Anitha Nair at Shady Grove Fertility?
Dr. Nair was extremely compassionate and kind throughout the entire IVF process. She acknowledged the difficulties and discomforts. I felt that we were in great hands and I didn't have to micro manage the process. Though the personal and financial stakes where high, I fully and completely trusted her. When the outcome wasn't quite what was predicted (for example, the predictive model showed we would have four embryos at the end instead of two) she took my concerns into consideration and explained the results. Her gentle, kind, and compassionate demeanor really helped put me at ease and have full confidence in her and the team. She also knew I'd gone through a year of failed infertility treatments with a doctor (abroad) that I felt took our money knowing the treatments would fail. Knowing my sensitivities and distrust she paired me with Debbie Rice as my nurse, someone who was equality dependable, compassionate, and kind which really made it a smooth process.
Describe the protocols Anitha Nair used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility and their degree of success.
I took 17 days of birth control pills and then started taking the IVF medications. I started with Gonal F 150 IU and Menopur 75 IU and went in for monitoring daily. Each day they would call me with the results and let me know how to proceed with my medication. Adjustments were made to the dosages. For example, at on monitoring session the blood tests showed a spike in my progesterone which caused them to adjust the medication down, until the levels went down, and then they adjusted the medication up again. I also had a cyst in one of my ovaries which impacted the growth of follicles on that side. I felt bloated as the follicles matured but otherwise ok. Once they were close to reaching maturity, I was given very specific instructions on how and when to take Cetrotide - the trigger shot. Egg retrieval was the only time I felt I had not been prepared as I was in a lot of pain following the procedure. Fortunately, I filled the pain medication prescription they gave me and that helped alleviate the pain. Throughout the whole treatment, I was in daily contact with my nurse, Debbie Rice, or a backup if she was out of the office. My questions and concerns were promptly responded to. I felt very well informed and always knew exactly what I needed to do.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Debbie Rice)
Debbie Rice was absolutely wonderful! She was kind and compassionate and I really connected with her. I emailed and spoke to her by phone almost daily throughout the IVF process. She would give me very clear instructions and would explain if adjustments to my protocol were made and why. She also relayed questions I had to Dr. Nair or answered them when she could and even made me laugh, despite the insurmountable amount of stress I felt. She was gentle when she delivered the news about the final embryo count and allowed me to cry and process the news. I actually did not take a home pregnancy test in advance of the blood test following the transfer. When she delivered the news that I was pregnant it was a true surprise and I could tell she was reveling in our joy. She is amazing!
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility.
Something to strongly consider when selecting a clinic is the quality of the embryologist and labs. Before I went through this process, I focused a lot on the doctor but having been through the process I now truly understand and appreciate the vital role the embryologist play in your IVF success. Once egg retrieval happens, they take over, carefully caring for each of the embryos and ensuring they develop properly. Also, I did acupuncture with Autumn at SGF throughout the cycle. She was so kind and knowledgeable. Each treatment I felt really helped me physically and emotionally and I would highly recommend it. On a personal note, I really appreciated that several members of my IVF team had been patients themselves. This allowed me to feel supported and understood during each phase. The only department at SGF I was not impressed with was the financial department. They were extremely disorganized and created a lot of unnecessary confusions in terms of treatments, cost, payments, etc. They tried to get me to pay for things that I didn't have to or had already paid for. Also, our insurance covered none of the treatment so we paid a lump sum for one IVF cycle. Despite the fact that all care was included, they billed my insurance for some of the appointments and procedures. I caught the claims and it was a headache to reverse but I felt it was so wrong for them to do that.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Anitha Nair at Shady Grove Fertility.
We have Aetna insurance and they have negotiated rates with Shady Grove Fertility. Therefore, we paid $7,500 for the IVF cycle and about $3,000 for medication. I have to admit that one of the big draws to Shady Grove Fertility was the Shaded Risk Plan. After doing a lot of research and crunching numbers, we realized that it was not the right fit for us. One of the big reasons is because medication is not included. On top of the lump sum, you are paying $3-5k in medication for each cycle. Additionally, research indicated that they lean towards selecting couples for the program that have a higher chance of succeeding in the first cycle. Therefore, when they told us we were approved for the program I was hoping it was because they thought we'd be successful on the first cycle. It's a high stakes financial gamble where you have to hedge your bets. For some the program is worth it, for others it's not so do your research.
Describe Anitha Nair's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility.
We were highly encouraged to transfer one embryo. I have to admit that before starting IVF the thought of twins for the price of one cycle was extremely appealing. Though, after a lot of research I realized the risks. In the end, I agreed with Dr. Nair's advice of having one healthy baby at a time.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility?
- Provided conflicting information