How was your experience with Craig Witz at Houston Fertility Institute?
This clinic was a complete waste of time and we felt misguided throughout the process. On our first round of IVF, we had a lot of eggs retrieved (~12 embryos) but then very low quality. Most eggs stopped growing after day 3. Only one egg passed genetic testing and it was a 7 day egg. Now we know most clinics would not have transferred this egg due to low quality. Instead, Dr. Witz encouraged us to do so. When this was unsuccessful, he told us on the next attempt, we could add growth hormone to improve egg quality. Once the next procedure protocol was established, Dr. Witz did not prescribe growth hormone. When we discussed this with him, he told us due to FDA scrutiny, fertility clinics were no longer using growth hormone and we'd have to go to Europe to get it. So we proceeded with a 2nd round of egg retrieval without it. Again, we had a large number of eggs / embryos, but they did not make it past day 3. We were left with only one 7 day embryo that passed genetic testing. Again, Dr. Witz encouraged us to transfer this egg. So we went through the time/stress/expense to transfer it with yet again a bad result. We have since learned that most other fertility clinics across the U.S. still use growth hormone. We used it on our next egg retrieval round in Colorado and had excellent results (6 very high quality embryos resulting in one live birth - our daughter). I believe HFI is now using growth hormone again. During procedures, Dr. Witz seemed more interested in the music we wanted played than explaining the procedure itself. He may have been trying to get us to relax but it felt strange.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Craig Witz at Houston Fertility Institute?
If you are older or have egg quality issues, ask him to use growth hormone during the first attempt. If you have a 7 day egg that passes genetic testing (or a low quality egg), don't bother to transfer it. Freeze it and go for another retrieval.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Craig Witz at Houston Fertility Institute?
The clinic was extremely busy and did a poor job of communicating the process to me or displaying that they cared about what we were going through. In particular, I think they do a poor job of communicating with out of town patient. Maybe an in town patient experience would be better. I frequently could not get through to the nurse to ask questions in a timely manner.
Describe the protocols Craig Witz used in your cycles at Houston Fertility Institute and their degree of success.
Our protocol felt very cookie cutter. He didn't make adjustments during the process based on how fast our eggs were growing or that were specific to our issue - poor egg quality.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Houston Fertility Institute.
We were initially assigned a relatively new nurse who was horrible - she was not compassionate and over-worked. She also didn't have answers to our basic questions but always stated that the doctor wasn't available to answer them. The 2nd nurse was someone who had been at the clinic a long time and was much more understanding and knowledgable. Although you could tell she was also overworked and had limited time.
Describe your experience with Houston Fertility Institute.
It was a nice clinic but the staff seemed overworked.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Craig Witz at Houston Fertility Institute.
The first round of IVF was between $15 and $20k, I can't remember exactly. If you get genetic testing (PGS), I think it was $5k and that covered 10 eggs. If your first round doesn't work, you get a discount on the 2nd round, so I think that was more about $10k to $12k.
Describe Craig Witz's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Houston Fertility Institute.
We knew for certain we only wanted to transfer one embryo (and we never had more than one at HFI) so this wasn't discussed.
What specific things went wrong at Houston Fertility Institute?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information