How was your experience with Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal?
Overall, Dr. Ikhena-Abel is an excellent doctor. She responds quickly to my questions and is caring about my situation. There have been a few times where she references discussing something in my initial appointment that I don't remember talking about but it was a lot of information in a short amount of time. I was diagnosed with PCOS during my first ultrasound and I wish I could have talked to her more about the implications. It took a while, and a lot of research on my part, to understand what PCOS and anovulation meant for my fertility journey. I appreciate that she and the nurse practitioners changed my protocol each time to try to have a better outcome and that she's been honest with me through each step of the process.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal?
Take copious notes at your first consultation!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal?
Dr. Ikhena-Abel is great about getting back to me. She clearly cares about her patients and I feel like she really wants me to succeed.
Describe the protocols Deborah Ikhena-Abel used in your cycles at Kaiser Permanente NorCal and their degree of success.
1st cycle: Femara 5 mg. days 3-7, IUI 1, failed
2nd cycle: Femara 7.5 mg. days 3-7, 2 days of Menopur ml. at the end of the cycle to try for more than one egg (cancelled)
3rd cycle: Femara 7.5 mg. days 2-6, Menopur 75 ml. days 3-10; IUI #2 with 3 eggs, failed
4th cycle: Femara 5 mg. days 2-6; Menopur 75 ml. days 3-13; IUI #3 with 1 maybe two eggs
5th cycle: Femara 7.5 mg. days 2-6; Menopur 150 ml days 3-4; Menopur 75 ml days 5-9; Menopur 37.5 ml day 10; IUI #4 pending
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Overall, I've had great care with the nurses at Kaiser. One nurse was a little too heavy-handed with the ultrasound wand but lightened up when I asked her to do so. I was unhappy with one when she talked about next steps during my third IUI but I didn't want to think about another cycle or IVF at that point. I understand everyone is different. They've been very understanding throughout my fertility challenges and given me hugs with bad news. They're all very caring and kind.
Describe your experience with Kaiser Permanente NorCal.
This is a Kaiser clinic, so like any Kaiser service you have to advocate for yourself. You don't see the reproductive endocrinologist more than once or twice and most care is with the nurse practitioners. I think I've seen four of the NPs, Carla, Debbie, Marion and Lori and I've liked them. I'm considering a cheaper option for IVF but I hope if I do go somewhere else that the staff are as good. They are quite aggressive (in my experience) with treatment, but I do have PCOS so it can be hard to stimulate my ovaries. Overall I've been very happy with them.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal.
I have IUI fertility coverage so my generic medication was $7 and my non-generic was $25. My ultrasounds and IUIs are $20 per appointment. I did not pay anything for my HSG or blood tests.