[Dr. Reistenberg] was very data-driven and very textbook in her treatments...We initially got diagnosed with male factor, as my husband had low sperm count, mobility and motility. Dr Riestenberg suggested doing ICSI...When it came time for transfer, [she] did not believe in many of the tests that I had heard about and wanted to try (ERA, Alice, Emma, ReceptivaDx, natural killer cell testing and immunological testing)...
Most appointments I would wait about an hour before getting seen [at Reproductive Partners Medical Group]....If your physician is not present at the day of your appointment, you will be seen by one of their associates. The doctors there seem to have differing opinions about treatments...Overall, the nurses are not in sync with each other and can use a lot of organizational improvement...
How was your experience with Carrie Riestenberg at Reproductive Partners Medical Group?
Dr Riestenberg was the newest physician to RPMG Redondo Beach when I was her patient. I took the earliest consultation available which was with her in October 2020. Initially I was happy with Dr Riestenberg as my RE because she was very kind, caring and took time to listen and answer all my questions. However as time passed after spending several months as her patient, I began to realize how her short experience affected how she practiced. She was very data-driven and very textbook in her treatments. I knew going into IVF, I wanted to do all the preventative/preparation/mock procedures to ensure the best success for the first round. We initially got diagnosed with male factor, as my husband had low sperm count, mobility and motility. Dr Riestenberg suggested doing ICSI which we for sure wanted to do. I got 21 eggs retrieved but only 1 made it to blast stage, which was incredibly disappointing. I wanted to do a second round to bank more embryos and asked how we can achieve better results. My husband researched Zymot and I brought it up to Dr Riestenberg. She brought it up to the lab director but said PICSI was better for us in being even more selective with the sperm. It did result in much better results, retrieving 28 eggs and 6 making it to blast. It did make me wonder why she did not suggest PICSI to us in the first round since she knew we were dealing with male factor. When it came time for transfer, Dr Riestenberg did not believe in many of the tests that I had heard about and wanted to try (ERA, Alice, Emma, ReceptivaDx, natural killer cell testing and immunological testing). She said that the only procedure she recommended for me prior to transferring was a hysteroscopy, which we did that came out normal. We proceeded with a modified natural cycle which failed. This resulted in the loss of my only female embryo which I cannot describe how painful that was. Dr Riestenberg chalked it up to just not having luck on our side that time and said that there's a high amount of success after 3 euploid transfers and suggested doing the exact same protocol for the second attempt. We did that and second transfer failed as well. After this, she still thought a 3rd attempt wouldn't be a bad idea but I was adamant that something needed to change at this point. She suggested either a laparoscopy to look for silent endometriosis, which was she said was more clinically proven than doing a ReceptivaDx biopsy. I opted for the biopsy and wanted to do an ERA at the same time. Results came back as positive for high levels BCL6 which suggested silent endometriosis. The treatment she suggested for that was either 2 months of Lupron Depot or 2 months of birth control. I started on the birth control but after 3 weeks I decided to switch to a different clinic.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Carrie Riestenberg at Reproductive Partners Medical Group?
If you feel strongly about doing certain testing, push for it as she will most likely be skeptical of it if there is not much data supporting it.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Carrie Riestenberg at Reproductive Partners Medical Group?
Dr Riestenberg is great at answering all questions in a kind, caring and thorough manner.
Describe the protocols Carrie Riestenberg used in your cycles at Reproductive Partners Medical Group and their degree of success.
For my first stim cycle, I primed with Estrace then was on 2 vials of Menopur and 300 IU of Gonal-F daily until trigger. I triggered with Lupron and Cetrotide. 21 eggs were retrieved with my first cycle but only 1 embryo made it to blast stage. For my second stim cycle, we followed the same protocol but added Omnitrope to the priming stage and continued until trigger. That round yielded 28 eggs and 6 made it to blast.
For the transfer cycles, we used a modified natural which meant I was not on any meds during my follicular phase. I was monitored every few days and triggered with HCG when the dominant follicle became large enough. Then I started on 1mL of progesterone in oil until the transfer and until blood HCG test. I did this transfer protocol twice and both times resulted in a negative pregnancy test.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Reproductive Partners Medical Group.
The nursing staff all have their own ways of doing things and that can cause a lot of confusion for the patients. For example, some nurses provided a detailed calendar of my protocol however when something needed to be shifted, another nurse would replace that calendar with Word-doc-like written instructions. Another nurse didn't provide documentation at all and only told me verbally. There was a time when I did not switch to the proper dose of a medication because a nurse did not inform me on time. One nurse told me that all patients must have hysteroscopies before transfers while another nurse told me they are optional and up to the patient. Overall, the nurses are not in sync with each other and can use a lot of organizational improvement.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Partners Medical Group.
There is always a long wait at this clinic. Most appointments I would wait about an hour before getting seen. People's time are valuable and I think its disrespectful to constantly make your patients wait that long. They should not be overbooking or taking on new patients if they can't even handle their current load.
If your physician is not present at the day of your appointment, you will be seen by one of their associates. The doctors there seem to have differing opinions about treatments.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Carrie Riestenberg at Reproductive Partners Medical Group.
Even with my insurance, there were many out of pocket expenses. I paid about $16K out of pocket for two stim cycles and two transfer cycles. Expenses included medication, anesthesia, surgical facility fee, PGS testing and testing (Receptiva and Igenomix).
Describe Carrie Riestenberg's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Reproductive Partners Medical Group.
Dr Riestenberg was a big supporter of only transferring one euploid embryo per transfer and I agreed with her in this regard.
What specific things went wrong at Reproductive Partners Medical Group?
- Provided conflicting information
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error