How was your experience with Carl Herbert at Pacific Fertility Center?
I liked Dr. Herbert in general, he was kind and friendly enough. But I would say the warmest/most compassionate doctor in the practice is Schrioc. He proably has the best bedside manner/warmth. Over the course of the many years I was at PFC, I had appointments with all of the doctors, as they cover for each other for u/s and all the way to retrievals and transfers.
Dr. Herbert would get on the phone and answer questions and was responsive. It's looking back that I'm not sure he was as creative with treating my infertility. I had 3 retrievals and many transfers there - and don't think there were very many changes to my protocol. That being said, when I asked for some things, for example, for them to let all of my embryos "have a chance" and grow them out and freeze them, even if they were low quality, he let me. He let me transfer them too. Those "bad" embryos at least got me pregnant, though I did miscarry. My current clinic would not have frozen or transferred those low quality embryos. The fact that Dr. Herbert did and I got pregnant, gave me hope to continue - as that was my first pregnancy ever. Had my 1st round of IVF not produced a pregnancy at all, I think we would have quit. So bottom line, I found him more open to listening to my wishes, in that sense and letting me decide. I think that was a good thing.
On the other hand, I did bring up a concern with transferring fresh embryos when I am an endometrios patient (a disease that flares up with hormones). He wasn't very open to exploring this and we continued to transfer my best embryos in fresh transfers. My current clinic said they would not have done this with me, full of stim meds. In fact, the trend overall now, is to mostly do FETs. I always wonder if we wasted by best embryos at PFC doing those fresh transfers. I wish he would have taken more time to consider what I was saying.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Carl Herbert at Pacific Fertility Center?
I think if you are not successful with a protocal or a doctor, ask them to change things. They should learn from the data they have on your cycles. I would also ask them for their success rates with people similar to you. PFC is a big enough clinic now that nothing should be completely new to them. If it is - I would find another clinic. You don't want to be any clinic's guinea pig.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Carl Herbert at Pacific Fertility Center?
When I first started at PFC, they weren't very patient-centric. I was learning all of this new terminology and how everything worked - and had to be the translater between their different departments (that didn't talk to one another). This was a tremendous stress and burdent on me as a new patients - to check their work and keep them on track, when there was no way for me to know their process or even the fertility process for that matter. I made suggestions, and others must have complained too - b/c they then established teams for each doctor. So you would work with the same group who knew you and your treatment plan. This was a big improvement. And once I got a great nurse, it was much, much better. Though I am no longer with PFC, I have still had occasion to reach out to my nurse at PFC for updates and very rarely, some advice. That tipped the scales to feeling more "human".
Describe the protocols Carl Herbert used in your cycles at Pacific Fertility Center and their degree of success.
Too long ago and too many to remember specifically. I know I used Follistim, Menopur, Cetrotide. My FETs were (mostly) unmedicated. I got 15 eggs on two rounds, 17 on another. So not a lot of variance there. We tended to have about an 80% fertilization rate. My embryos didn't do well between day 3 and 5 in the lab, so for my 2nd and 3rd round we froze on day 3. I had a few pregnancies, and all ended in m/c - some early and one 2nd trimester. No living children to date.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Pacific Fertility Center. (Assigned nurse: Marris)
As mentioned before, once they established teams, things were WAY better. Then you had one person managing and overseeing the whole process.
Marris was my primary contact and I think she went above and beyond for me many times. She advocated for me, she showed tremendous compassion during the tough times and losses. She became almost a friend and I feel she shared things with me about personal experiences to help me on my journey. I felt extremely luck to have her. She was always responsive, never left me hanging or waiting for important results. I had other nurses where I had to check their work and make sure they got my prescriptions right, for example. I could really trust Marris.
She is no longer in the same role, as far as I know, she is now a retrieval nurse. I'm sure she is wonderful there too, but is no longer the day-to-day contact for patients, which is a loss for PFC patients!
Describe the costs associated with your care under Carl Herbert at Pacific Fertility Center.
In 2010, I think IUIs were roughly $2,000 plus meds. For our second & third ERs we did a plan that allowed you to do two ERs if you didn't get pregnant, at a slight discount. That was in the mid-$20,000 range - drugs, monitoring and additional transfers were all in addition to that.
What specific things went wrong at Pacific Fertility Center?
- Lost paperwork
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Pacific Fertility Center.
It's hard to remember all of details now. I know had issues with lack of communication between departments several times. There was a lot of "you need to talk to x about that/not my department." It was frustrating when you were just trying to get through the process to be bounced around and manage up. And there were times that I didn't know I was supposed to be the middle man and it held things up at cricital junctures and then it felt like I was asking special favors to just keep moving.
I'm no longer at PFC and about a year after my last treatment, they sent me a bill for several hundred dollars. They claimed it was some unpaid portion of a FET. I am all OOP and had to pay my bills at the time of service, it's not like they were waiting on insurance or something. So it was odd of them to claim I hadn't paid in real time AND wait a year to bill me. I refused to pay and spoke to several people in billing about this. They agreed it was wrong to charge me. Just recently, I got another email saying I owed $ still. I keep having the same conversation over and over. The real rub is - while they continue to ask for this $, this month they refused to do my outside monitoring for my new clinic. I know this is unrelated to this bill - it's their "new policy". It just left me wondering how many unsuccessful patients they must have asking for outside monitoring, if they are refusing?? I found this very disappointing, after all the time & $ I spent there without success that they would not support me as I continue to try to build a family. Not having the continuity/having to find a 3rd clinic for just this piece has been stressful.