Dr. Goldstein stays on top of the latest scientific research...She is highly responsive via email. She genuinely cares about her patients and is attentive to your Ultrasounds, Bloodwork, and anything else you might bring up as a relevant health concern. Every Ultrasound was conducted directly by her, not just a Technician. She pays attention to your data. She is forthcoming...When I asked about supplements or various treatments I had read about, she would answer honestly as to whether or not she felt data on that particular topic was persuasive or not...
Gunay [nurse at Reproductive Fertility] was warm, professional, and organized. I felt safe and confident with her as Dr. Goldstein's support. Melissa, Care Coordinator, and was very responsive about administrative questions, especially when I was changing RE's at the 11th hour (from another office to Dr. Goldstein). She schedule me for Diagnostic Ultrasound with speedy turnaround....
How was your experience with Ellen Goldstein at Reproductive Fertility?
Dr. Goldstein stays on top of the latest scientific research, which is always changing in the field of ART, thus something I find valuable. When I asked about supplements or various treatments I had read about, she would answer honestly as to whether or not she felt data on that particular topic was persuasive or not.
She is highly attentive to patient results as they unfold, conducted all ultrasounds directly, and called me with bloodwork results herself. I feel very much that she cares sincerely about her patients' outcomes, and prides herself in providing excellent care. It is clear she is rooting for each individual to have ideal outcomes (given the realities of the data).
While it is a plus to have a female RE, there were other female RE's that I did not want to work with, based on reviews. Dr. Goldstein's reviews are stellar, and were ultimately the reason I switched RE's just before starting ER 1. I had already done my AMH and Consult with another clinic (with good reviews), but my gut said to go with Dr. Goldstein.
My first ER (of 2 planned) began with a sub-optimal reaction to one part of the protocol. I decided to continue forward and Dr. Goldstein was supportive of the decision. She ultimately left it up to me since there were upsides/downsides to canceling vs. continuing. Since your first Cycle always has a Diagnostic element to it, I chalked it up to "this is all part of it", and continued with Stims, hoping for the best.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Ellen Goldstein at Reproductive Fertility?
Definitely meet with her. Do your research and interview several RE's, but she is worthy of your shortlist! If you have underlying health issues that affect fertility, be forthcoming, as well as reading about your individual circumstances. Your consult is a great place to get a feel for how your questions, concerns, treatment, and interactions will continue.
Do your homework, then go with your gut. Good luck!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Ellen Goldstein at Reproductive Fertility?
I interviewed 3 RE's from my shortlist (whittled down via extensive research), and Dr. Goldstein was my favorite. She is highly responsive via email. She genuinely cares about her patients and is attentive to your Ultrasounds, Bloodwork, and anything else you might bring up as a relevant health concern. Every Ultrasound was conducted directly by her, not just a Technician. She pays attention to your data. She is forthcoming.
Describe the protocols Ellen Goldstein used in your cycles at Reproductive Fertility and their degree of success.
First ER: Microdose Leuprolide Protocol, Gonal-F (or Follistim, same thing), Menopur. Pregnyl 10000 Trigger shot. Additionally, we discussed BCP or Estrace priming to line up the follicles. I went with Estrace, because it tends to suppress for fewer patients.
Second ER m: same, minus Estrace, as I happen to have a sensitive system, and Estrace did not work well for me compared to most patients. We also discussed alternately trying Antagonist protocol, but since the initial protocol seemed to prompt a good response (minus Estrace) and minimal side effects for my body, we will likely repeat same with the one omission.
Additionally (*not per her protocol*), I chose to do Acupuncture 1x/week in the 5 weeks leading up to ER, and 1x/month prior to that for about 6-months.
I started supplements about 6-months before (not rigorously, but occasionally, and at lower doses early on). Then upped to daily supplements in the 5 weeks leading up to ER. Most of the supplements came from "It Starts with the Egg" or lists I read about from similar recommendations, forums, or friends' RE's.
Per Dr. Goldstein, CoQ10 is the one that is most impactful (and if you do a lot of reading, that is the one that has the clearest science), so she said whatever I wanted to take outside of that was up to me.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Reproductive Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Gunay)
Gunay was warm, professional, and organized. I felt safe and confident with her as Dr. Goldstein's support.
Melissa, Care Coordinator, and was very responsive about administrative questions, especially when I was changing RE's at the 11th hour (from another office to Dr. Goldstein). She schedule me for Diagnostic Ultrasound with speedy turnaround.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Fertility.
Dr. Goldstein is the reason I chose this clinic, and I do not regret the choice. I feel confident going into another cycle. All clinics (as in any business) are a mix of humans, all humans are complex and varied. :) I felt grateful that the people I spent the most time interacting with in this clinic are top folks.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Ellen Goldstein at Reproductive Fertility.
I paid upfront Professional Fees for 2 ER cycles, which was discounted more than paying for 2 Single ER Cycles separately. This part of the fee was comparable to other LA clinics.
Surgery/Anesthesia/Storage line items higher than other LA clinics I compared with.
Cancellation of Cycle Fees more strict than some other Clinics I compared to.
Fees for everything *after* Egg Retrieval (ICSI, PGT, Thawing, Assisted Hatching, Implantation) higher than the other clinics I compared to, but my upfront Egg Retrieval seemed slightly lower if I paid for 2 cycles.
Long term, I will end up paying more than the other 2 clinics I narrowed to, but my upfront costs for 2 ER retrievals were comparable, so I am kind of caught in the middle, as you generally are safer staying with same clinic for thawing, embryos, PGT, and implantation, but I noticed that the Lab fees, Storage, and all individual line items AFTER ER are higher. Everything except the initial professional fees run a bit higher. One surprise cost was that the Lab (where surgery is done) charges another $750 ($712.50 on auto-pay)/ year, beyond the $1200 fee that is already listed in the line items for the ER.
That said, I think they are comparable with many well-rated LA clinics. Not necessarily the highest end of the spectrum, but within the mid-to-above middle range. The tough thing about fees for Fertility Services, is you don't really get a full menu of rates for everything you need (until the very end of the line) from any clinic.
Rare exceptions to this rule are CNY (obviously a budget place), and maybe KindBody who seems to be more upfront about pricing. I noticed friends who did this procedure in NY city had lower costs, but maybe IVF/Egg Freezing just costs more in LA than NY (rare for most costs).
Describe Ellen Goldstein's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Reproductive Fertility.
We haven't gotten that far yet, but I believe I have read here that she believes in single embryo transfer. Again, I have not had this discussion with her, just what I believe I read online, so please verify yourself directly.