How was your experience with Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal?
Dr. Abel listens to you and I loved that she did all the monitoring and the procedures. She is very personable and I was transferred to her care after the initial consult with another doctor in the clinic because I wanted to have my cycle earlier. I was on the antagonist protocol and we were initially concerned about the risk of OHSS, which fortunately we avoided. While the cycle ended in a chemical pregnancy, she offered a lot of suggestions on what to do moving forward and was open to suggestions.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal?
Get her from the start if you can. Ask about supplements.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal?
Dr. Abel has a warm bedside manner and is easy to talk with. I felt heard in all of my personal interactions with her.
Describe the protocols Deborah Ikhena-Abel used in your cycles at Kaiser Permanente NorCal and their degree of success.
We used the antagonist protocol because I have irregular cycles and a high AMH. I was on BCP 2 weeks at a time for about 3 weeks before starting injectables. We did ICSI although we didn't have MFI. We expected to retrieve a lot of follicles given the monitoring results but we only retrieved 7 eggs, fertilized 5 via ICSI, 2 fertilized normally and ended up with 1 day 5 blastocyst. Fresh transfer.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nurses were great -- the challenge was leaving voicemails and playing phone tag but they are very nice and responsive once you get a hold of them. The OR nurses were amazing.
Describe your experience with Kaiser Permanente NorCal.
Monitoring can happen at the doctor's home clinic but all retrievals and transfers occur in Fremont. The clinic batches cycles which can be a pro and a con. It's good because your doctor will likely do all the monitoring and procedures. It can be bad because the wait times can be long for monitoring appointments and you may have to wait months to be on another IVF cycle. The Fremont REI clinic doesn't do lab draws -- you will have to walk to the main Kaiser Fremont hospital lab for lab draws. DNA fragmentation screening is not part of the screening process.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Kaiser Permanente NorCal.
You are lucky if you get to the Fremont REI early but there were times when I had to wait an hour.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Deborah Ikhena-Abel at Kaiser Permanente NorCal.
ICSI was an additional $1,500. My HDHP plan covered 1 cycle of IVF and medications.
Describe Deborah Ikhena-Abel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Kaiser Permanente NorCal.
We only had one embryo to transfer but the clinic prefers eSET.