How was your experience with Dara Havemann at Dallas IVF?
Our experience was that she never wanted to think outside of the box and give us a diagnosis or even theorize why we aren’t getting pregnant. She seems very timid and scared. For example, after 3 miscarriages I had to push hard for a recurrent loss panel - which is pretty standard. So, all of our treatments and procedures were a very generic, blanketed approach. She was supportive and sweet throughout our time with her. Once we got to IVF everything fell apart. Due to going into IVF with unexplained infertility and a very generic approach, I was concerned about a zero fertilization rate and had requested to do ICSI. I was assured by my nurse if it was deemed necessary on day of procedure it would be done and I let it go because it wasn’t explained clearly how that decision was going to be made so I assumed it was going to be done because I had asked. (Rookie mistake) Dr. Havemann also pushed for us to fertilize “X” amount and freeze the rest because since we were on the younger side she prepared us that we would probably end up with more embryos than the number of children we wanted. We decided to fertilize 10 and freeze any remainder. We ended up with 10 to fertilize and 7 to freeze at retrieval. On the day of retrieval the embryologist suggested doing ICSI and Dr. Havemann made the executive decision to do conventional IVF because she made the statement we had a religious objection to ICSI because we had only requested 10 eggs to be fertilized and we were worried about having too many embryos. Fertilizing “X” amount and freezing the rest was her idea! For the record, we do not have any religious objections to any fertility treatments/procedures and this was a complete assumption made on Dr. Havemann’s part and I found out after speaking with embryologist this was actually noted in our medical chart!! In the end, we had a zero fertilization rate and had one slow-to-start embryo that was poorly graded and we were told ICSI probably would have circumvented this issue. That was an expensive and upsetting lesson, especially when it was not communicated to me clearly we were not doing ICSI and I had to find out my doctor put notes about me being religious in my chart. Even worse the embryologist later denied our conversation where she told me she recommended ICSI but Dr. Havemann made the decision to do conventional due to our “religious objections” to ICSI. Also, since our embryos were doing so poorly, we kept being told every day when the embryologist would call that Dr. Havemann would call us that day to check on us and explain where to go from there. This was told to us 4 times and we never received a call from Dr. Havemann. That was very upsetting. We did do a fresh transfer on day 5, in which that morning the embryologist called me and chewed me out denying our previous conversation about the ICSI and called me crazy and a liar. Which was very unprofessional and upsetting. We did get pregnant from this transfer but it ended in a chemical pregnancy a week later. In our appointment to debrief this whole IVF cycle and figure out how to move forward, Dr. Havemann was looking across her desk at me 8 months pregnant and crying tears saying how unfair this was for us but that at least we learned a lot. She apologized for the religious assumption and the poor communication and said she would do ICSI moving forward. And used the cliche hindsight is 20/20. I would not recommend her if you aren’t a straight forward, text book, simple case. I think her bed side manner is great but her intuition as a doctor and her confidence in herself and her decisions she makes needs some growth. Communication and professionalism in the whole practice is very poor. I truly felt that Dr. Havemann and the embryologist knew they had both made poor and unethical decisions and were both trying to cover their behinds so we couldn’t sue or wouldn’t get a compensated cycle. We had an independent doctor that has been doing IVF for 30 years look at our case and he said the least Dr. Havemann owed us was a free cycle with our frozen eggs. I don’t even trust Dr. Havemann to do something for free on me.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Dara Havemann at Dallas IVF?
Make sure you are communicating yourself very clearly about your wants and needs as a patient. I would get as much in writing as you can.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Dara Havemann at Dallas IVF?
She was very personable, sweet and compassionate.
Describe the protocols Dara Havemann used in your cycles at Dallas IVF and their degree of success.
Timed Intercourse- Letrozole, Follistim 75 iu every other day for a total of 3 shots and progesterone suppositories 100 mg daily for 14 days
IUI - Letrozole, Follistim 75 iu every other day for a total of 3 shots, Pregnyl trigger shot, progesterone suppositories 100 mg daily for 14 days
IVF - Ganirelix 250 mg for 4 days, Menopur, Gonal F 300 iu daily, Pregnyl trigger shots and Crinone 90 Mg progesterone daily for 14 days
Describe your experience with your nurse at Dallas IVF. (Assigned nurse: Angela )
Joan was great! Angela was sweet but I feel communication to getting messages to Dr. Havemann was challenging.
Describe your experience with Dallas IVF.
I think the strength of this clinic is their bed side manner. I think their weakness is communication. I would just make sure you get as much as possible in writing and go in trying to not be too emotional about this process and stay on top of every detail yourself.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Dallas IVF.
For the most part, since I was working I requested the earliest appointment so there wasn’t much of a wait. The only thing I didn’t like was our ultrasound tech didn’t seem familiar with IVF because I had some follicles measuring 22 mm and she told me that I had already ovulated and caused a big scare and she told a nurse and she came in and looked at the size of the follicles and told me I had not ovulated.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Dara Havemann at Dallas IVF.
An IUI was about $500 plus the medications.
IVF was about $15,000 plus medications
Describe Dara Havemann's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Dallas IVF.
I was pleased that my doctor felt one embryo was best for us.
What specific things went wrong at Dallas IVF?
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Dallas IVF.
We thought we were getting ICSI with our IVF cycle but Dr. Havemann made the executive decision to do conventional IVF because she assumed we had religious objections to ICSI which was an incorrect assumption. We had a zero fertilization rate and it was said after the fact that if ICSI had been done we probably would have had different outcomes but we thought ICSI was being done. It was very upsetting.
Also, when we were doing TI and IUIs Dr. Havemann had me on Letrozole and it made me terribly sick and gain about 10 lbs every cycle. I asked if I could switch to Clomid to see if I tolerated it better and was told she had never heard of anyone having side effects on Letrozole and when I addressed my concern of the weight gain she said I didn’t look like I had gained any weight and not to worry about that. It made me feel like I had no say in this.