How was your experience with Craig Sweet at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery?
Dr. Sweet can be very candid (almost blunt) when initially meeting with a couple to discuss their fertility health and treatment options. For us, it felt like he wanted us to have a clear and accurate picture rather than sugar coating our options. During treatment, Dr. Sweet has a surprisingly impressive bedside manner. He is gentle, caring and funny at the same time. Dr. Sweet knows when to pause for a joke, when to include an anecdotal story and when to quietly pause to allow you to process the emotional aspect of IVF and infertility.
We sadly miscarried after our first IVF cycle. During our first ultrasound to hear the heartbeat, we knew that something was wrong. Dr. Sweet took the time to explain everything that was happening and ensure we understood the gravity of the situation. Dr. Sweet sat with us while we cried and grieved and simply provided emotional support. He was available 24/7 until our next appointment for any concerns, and allowed us the time to process the information and determine how to proceed.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Craig Sweet at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery?
First impressions are not always accurate. He can come off as a bit harsh initially because he does not sugar coat and is very candid when discussing fertility health. It comes from good intentions and he will be a valued part of your team.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Craig Sweet at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery?
During our initial meeting with Dr. Sweet, he was very candid regarding our fertility health and our chances of conceiving a child through various methods. During our treatment phase, Dr. Sweet and his staff were available to us 24/7 for questions/concerns/high emotions, and addressed all of our questions with patience and compassion. Staff was there to literally hold our hands or give us a warm hug when needed. We never felt that Dr. Sweet was rushed when he was with us, and always felt that we had his undivided attention for as long as needed.
Describe the protocols Craig Sweet used in your cycles at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery and their degree of success.
Superovulation IUI: Menopur and progesterone supplement after the IUI. (**Negative HPT.)
IVF: Long protocol, which is recommended for many younger patients or those with strong ovarian reserve (I was the latter of the two…). I was prescribed Lupron, Follistim and Menopur. Due to Advanced Maternal Age and no prior pregnancies, we transferred 2 Day 5 blastocysts. After transfer I used Crinone (progesterone gel). (**Inevitable miscarriage at 8 weeks (genetic testing after miscarriage revealed Trisomy 18, which is "incompatible with life"))
Medicated FET: One of the main reasons we selected a Medicated FET was the ability to control the cycle and predict when the transfer date would occur. Since my job requires 2 months advanced notice for time off requests, and they weren’t as supportive during our first IVF cycle, we hoped that having some idea of when transfer would occur would let me rearrange my schedule without quite as much push back. For our medicated FET, we used estrogen pills, which was a nice change from injections! Our medicated FET protocol included both intramuscular injections and Crinone. I started the progesterone on cycle day 17 in preparation for a cycle day 22 transfer. Due to my dreaded Advanced Maternal Age, we planned to transfer two embryos again this cycle. (**BFN)
Natural FET: After our first IVF cycle resulted in an early miscarriage and our first FET cycle did not result in a pregnancy, we had two remaining embryos from our egg retrieval. We previously discussed the benefits of a medicated vs. natural FET cycle, and decided that we wanted to try a Natural FET for our remaining embryos. Although pregnancy rates in natural FET cycles are equivalent to that of medicated cycles, these cycles are much more difficult logistically to perform. We were also a little concerned with monitoring ovulation, since I ovulated prematurely during our initial IUI. In order to monitor for ovulation, we began using home ovulation predictor kits on cycle day 10. Our first ultrasound was on cycle day 12. I actually had two follicles that were developing (16mm and 17mm) and my lining was great, at 7.7mm. My estrogen level was at 219. Since it looked liked I was pretty close to ovulating, our RE opted to have us do an HCG trigger shot the following evening. Our HCG trigger shot was the first medication (other than prenatal vitamins) during this cycle – what a change! Five days after the HCG trigger, I started using progesterone supplements to help thicken my uterine lining further. Unlike our previous embryos, our remaining two had actually started to hatch prior to transfer. (**BFN)
We are currently preparing for our 2nd IVF cycle. This cycle, we will be using an antagonist protocol, including HGH to address poor egg quality. The antagonist protocol uses injectibles to prevent premature ovulation
Describe your experience with your nurse at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery. (Assigned nurse: Rebecca)
Our IVF nurse, Rebecca was amazing! She made sure to spend as much time as needed explaining how to administer medications and go over any and all questions we had. She is so patient! We truly feel like we are part of a family at SRMS.
Describe your experience with Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery.
There have been some changes with the front end staff over the last year, and it can be difficult at times when dealing with them as far as scheduling initial appointments and general questions. Once you are established, you are able to basically bypass them and go directly to the clinical staff, who are amazing.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Craig Sweet at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery.
Our insurance did not cover fertility treatment (including diagnostic testing). Dr. Sweet does offer a "Dream-a-baby" discount program for people not using insurance, which offered a significant discount on the base price of IVF and FETs.
Describe Craig Sweet's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery.
At the start of our treatment, I was 37 (Advanced Maternal Age) with no prior confirmed pregnancies. Due to this, Dr. Sweet opted to transfer 2 embryos each time. We did not do PGS.
What specific things went wrong at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery?
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery.
We received some conflicting information regarding financing when we first contacted the clinic. There were ongoing billing issues (we were not charged the correct amounts up front and ended up with balances due when the new billing specialist reviewed our account).