How was your experience with Cynthia Austin at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center?
Dr. Austin was very thorough. We did every test we could so far. The one test we haven't done, she wanted to wait to do until we were ready to start IVF (currently saving for this). I wish she wouldn't have encouraged us to do 4 IUI's and just told us to start saving for IVF sooner. IUI's aren't covered by our insurance, so knowing that money could have gone to the savings is frustrating. I wish we would have met with her in person more often rather that communicating with her via the nurse all the time, however, when we did meet with her she was always so caring. She was very carful with her words when discussing testing, keeping in mind that our first and only child died, which is incredibly important to my husband and I.
Update: My husband and I knew we couldn't afford to do IVF when Dr. Austin wanted us to. We decided we would continue taking letrozole and just hope for the best. I recently came across an IVF grant and reached out to her about it. There is a portion your medical provider needs to fill out, and when I told her about it, she discouraged me from applying. I told her I still planned on applying, and that I needed the paperwork by a certain date. I also said that if she couldn't complete them by the necessary date that I understood, just let me know. She told me she would be able to, however, I didn't get them until it was too late, and she didn't fill them out correctly. Since finishing our IUI's, any time I have tried to communicate with her or her office, it's been a headache. It has felt like we became another number.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Cynthia Austin at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center?
Don't get frustrated when she isn't the one your seeing all the time, but know that nothing is done without her input.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Cynthia Austin at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center?
When we would meet with Dr. Austin, she spend a good hour each time going over every little thing we could ask her, making sure if we didn't understand something to find a better way to explain it, drew us diagrams of the entire process for us to keep for notes. She was truly wonderful.
Update: We decided to stop trying IUI's so we could save for IVF. When I told Dr. Austin that we couldn't afford IVF when she wanted us to do it, the level of communication and compassion dropped. Every time I tried to contact her it was a headache, and seemed like they (everyone we dealt with at the clinic) would rather put more effort forth for the patients that could afford IVF right away. I recently tried to contact her about a grant I was hoping to apply for, and she discouraged me from doing so. When I said that I still was going to, and I needed her to fill our 2.5 pages of my medical history (which she did wrong), she said that I didn't have good odds of being chosen. I told her when I needed the papers by and that if she didn't think she'd have time to do them, then I understood. She said I would have them back in time, and I didn't.
Describe the protocols Cynthia Austin used in your cycles at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center and their degree of success.
She saw that the first doctor we went to only prescribed clomid without doing any tests. That was the first thing she wanted done- to find out the cause of my cycle's just stopping and getting out of whack. Once we learned more about me through the tests, she prescribed me a thyroid medication, as well as increased the Clomid. When that no long worked, we switched to a letrozole. We began doing IUI's and trigger shots during the second cycle of letrozole. Every month when a treatment wouldn't work, she would go back to the drawing board and think of another test that could be done (which I liked, I felt that she really was doing everything she could).
Update: We recently decided to get a second opinion, and while I thought Dr. Austin was doing everything she could, this new doctor saw my husbands semen analysis and was confused as to why Dr. Austin didn't have him see a male fertility specialist. It has also been more than a year since some of my own tests have been conducted, which they should have been redone a long time ago.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center.
Our primary nurse was so wonderful. Would call to give me updates as much as she could and always had something positive to say to help us get through the experience.
Describe your experience with Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center.
I wish IVF wasn't so expensive. They have a wonderful staff, but certain procedures are only done during certain hours because of sharing equipment, which can be a pain for people who don't always have the time to take off of work during those set hours.
Update: it seems as though if you can't do procedures/tests when they want you to based on your of finances, you become less important.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Cynthia Austin at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center.
We spent at least $5,000 between all the tests, copays, IUI's and medication. Not to mention the money spend on the high quality pre-natal vitamins, and the organic, fertility diet my husband and I were on.
I also did acupuncture at least once a week, but more if it was the day of an IUI.
Describe Cynthia Austin's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center.
I had this question for her during one of our meetings. I brought it up because during my first pregnancy, I experienced a placental abruption and was afraid that by transferring more that one embryo, I was putting myself and too great a risk. But because of my daughter being stillborn because of that placental abruption and educating myself on how often pregnancy loss occurs, I thought maybe implanting two would be better. Dr. Austin talked my husband and I though it, and we all agreed that a single embryo would be best for my situation.
What specific things went wrong at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost paperwork
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center.
When my husbands semen analysis came back, we were told if he just took some specific vitamins his numbers would improve. They did, but only slightly. When we switched to a new doctor and he saw the semen analysis, he was frustrated that more wasn't done for my husband. Why hadn't we been told Joel's numbers were way worse than we thought/were told?