How was your experience with Barry Witten at Sher Fertility of St. Louis?
The right Reproductive Endocrinologist for you can be the difference between success or heartache. Therefore, I want my review to be as honest as possible so others can make an educated choice. My experience with Dr. Witten spans about a 2 year time frame and if I had to do it all over again, I would most definitely choose a different RE. We were struggling to conceive so I was instructed to see a RE by my Ob-Gyn. She gave me a list of RE's that came recommended but I settled on Dr. Witten, who was not on her list. We wanted to be seen by an older RE, thinking his years of experience would be an advantage. Under Dr. Witten's care, I received an HSG, which revealed one of my fallopian tubes was not spilling any dye. Dr. Witten said that he thought the other one was fine He recommended a laparoscopy surgery. Dr. Witten does not do surgery, he did not tell me this, I just figured it out after he advised me to have my Ob-Gyn do the surgery. My Ob-gyn said she preferred him to do the surgery so they went back and forth. I had been complaining for the majority of my life how awful my periods were but no one would ever listen. After 2 months in lingo, Dr. Witten referred me to the gynecological surgeon he apparently sends all of his patients to. So off I went to surgery with a different doctor, who ultimately discovered endometriosis and a damaged tube. He removed the tube and removed the endometriosis and sent me back to Dr. Witten. Dr. Witten continued to monitor me, we'd do ultra-sounds constantly but not much direction was given, other than he kept wanting us to do timed intercourse, which is what we'd been doing for the past 1.5 years with no luck without a RE. I felt like we needed medication but he wouldn't even discuss it. It took so many ultrasounds-2-3x a week, traveling 60 miles one way to his office and leaving work early just to hear the same old spiel. One day, during an ultrasound he mentioned IUI but he said I needed to do it right away because I was about to ovulate. I had not been on any medications but trusted him so I received 1 trigger shot and had an IUI the next day. It failed. I was told at his office that the IUI would cost $525 but once I got to Sher Institute, which is where he does the IUI, they told me the price was $1000. They did honor the original price I was told but informed me any future IUI's would be $1000 a piece. Then the next 2 cycles he put me on clomid, with no pregnancy resulting. He then suggested IVF, which is not in our budget no matter how bad we want to have a child. We were devastated and felt as though he did not give us enough time on medication early on to try an IUI again. He waited over a year to even attempt any medication, even after telling us that we had to rush because I have very low ovarian reserve. We are devastated and haven't been back. We are currently doing research to find a RE that better fits us.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Barry Witten at Sher Fertility of St. Louis?
Ask questions and demand answers. Do research before your appointments and ask about medication and treatment options starting with your first appointment and everyone thereafter. I regret that we didn't push harder, wasting valuable egg quality time.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Barry Witten at Sher Fertility of St. Louis?
I usually was made to feel like a human being. There were times he was busy and I felt somewhat rushed but that was not the norm.
Describe the protocols Barry Witten used in your cycles at Sher Fertility of St. Louis and their degree of success.
IUI, with 1 trigger shot.
Clomid with timed intercourse.
His treatments are very reserved, not an aggressive go getter type.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
There were so many nurses running around. I had a different nurse at every appointment, especially once he permanently moved his office to Sher Institute. I had no idea who was coming and going in my room.
Describe your experience with Sher Fertility of St. Louis.
They did not offer late appointments available for those of us that work. Latest appointments were 3pm. When you live 60 miles away and work, it made it very frustrating for my employer to work around this doctor's schedule. The receptionist was very loud when talking about my appointment when I would arrive. Which I found very embarrassing. She was also very loud when asking for my payment at each appointment. Anyone sitting in the waiting room could hear the receptionist utter things like, 'So, we need your full payment for your 'IUI' or 'oh, you are here for your vaginal ultrasound?'. That's jus awful to blurt it all out right there. She never seemed to know what was going on and everytime Dr. Witten would tell me to schedule another appointment she had to ask me what it was for. I would think most places would just read the chart and make the appointment without asking 20 personal questions in the reception lobby for all to hear. Also, the clinic is extremely busy. Nurses speed walking everywhere, seems disorganized, phones ringing and only one person answering. Hard to get anyone's attention...
Describe the costs associated with your care under Barry Witten at Sher Fertility of St. Louis.
At least $5000, maybe more for just doctor appointments, very little medicine and 1 IUI.
What specific things went wrong at Sher Fertility of St. Louis?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
- Provided conflicting information