I rarely saw or spoke with Jungheim. The care was through nurses. ... I never felt like she was involved in my care at all - or that she even knew any of the details. ... found her nice but behind in the medical literature...based on the outdated practices used in my care compared to the recommendations by ACOG and ASRM. ... She wanted to transfer all 3 but I refused as that is not recommended by ASRM
Wrong semen results. Poor protocols. [Washington University School of Medicine] Charged $2000 because we made more embryos than transferred. Never told prices after insurance despite asking. Incorrect billing to insurance - transfer and extra two days of incubation covered, not doctor or egg retrieval. Double billed for ultrasounds. ... With medication $31,000 for one cycle of IVF. We were not told this upfront ... The nurse was fine - she handled some of the IUIs and the phone calls. I often felt like she didn't have good answers to my questions but no real issues.
How was your experience with Emily Jungheim at Washington University School of Medicine?
I rarely saw Dr. Jungheim despite being her patient. The model of care is centered on nurses and techs - you only see the doctor for initial consult and egg retrieval/transfers and there is no certainty you will get your doctor. I found her nice but behind in the medical literature and she certainly didn't seem like a world class IVF researcher (or Center of Excellence as WUSTL bills it) based on the outdated practices used in my care compared to the recommendations by ACOG and ASRM.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Emily Jungheim at Washington University School of Medicine?
Go elsewhere - the people that have success here with IVF would likely conceive with monitored IUIs elsewhere.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Emily Jungheim at Washington University School of Medicine?
Honestly, I rarely saw or spoke with Jungheim. The care was through nurses. I saw her for my initial visit, for a a visit after 3 failed IUIs, at egg retrieval, and at my fresh embryo transfer. She called once or twice - once after I left a furious message with the nurse when we were given the wrong man's sperm information and after I demanded a call when our embryo transfer failed. I never felt like she was involved in my care at all - or that she even knew any of the details. The few meetings we had felt like combat - I would come in having read all the recent literature and wanting standards of care based on current recommendations, and she would cite decade old research as justification for her decisions. IUIs were done with clomid and no monitoring. When I could not detect ovulation one month they did a vaginal ultrasound and found a cyst. I was not told about the cyst (I saw it when I requested my medical records) nor was it monitored in any way.
Describe the protocols Emily Jungheim used in your cycles at Washington University School of Medicine and their degree of success.
IUIs - 2 with clomid, no cycle monitoring. Test at home for ovulation using home predictor strips and call when positive. Bring in sample, it will be washed and inseminated by a nurse. Next 2 IUIs were with femera after I had a reaction to the clomid.
IVF: long lupron. 15 days stim protocol. daily lupron, started with 3 vials menopur and gonal-f. I was told this is what they did for low AMH values. Doses were adjusted every 3rd day based on bloodwork and ultrasound scans. Triggered with IM HGH; egg retrieval followed. We retrieved 13 eggs, 10 mature, 3 fertilized and all 3 made it to day 3.
Transfer: fresh embryo transfer on day 3. She wanted to transfer all 3 but I refused as that is not recommended by ASRM. We agreed to two. We had 8, 7, and 6 cell embryos; transferred 6 and 8 cell embryos and asked to continue growing the 7 cell to day 5 and freezing. We were told it would likely not make it. It did and we froze the embryo. And for this - our embryo having the audacity to live and me refusing to transfer above the ASRM recommendations we were charged $2000 in lab culture fees for the additional two days of growth.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Washington University School of Medicine. (Assigned nurse: Melanie or Molly? )
The nurse was fine - she handled some of the IUIs and the phone calls. I often felt like she didn't have good answers to my questions but no real issues.
Describe your experience with Washington University School of Medicine.
Strengths - TV shows episodes of Great British Baking.
I was really well monitored coming out of anesthesia following the egg retrieval and felt really well cared for. They kept me for more than a hour, made sure I could urinate, and just overall kept me well monitored. This was probably the best part of my experience with them.
Weaknesses - IUIs are unmonitored and not likely to succeed. Cysts were not monitored. No communication with doctor outside of consults and those were few and far between. The biggest issues: 1) we had very low fertilization rates even with ICSI (next clinic 100% vs 30%). 2) 3 day fresh transfers are just not that common any more because all the data suggest that day 5 and frozen transfers are more likely to implant.
Ultimately, we choose to move our remaining embryo to a different practice because we both were convinced WUSTL would kill the embryo and our chances of success with them would be low. Based on the numbers, they do numerous egg retrievals for each success and they have a biased clinic population towards younger (<35 years old) women. Also, they gave us someone else's semen analysis.
Finally: billing. We went to the WUSTL FRCM because it was the only clinic my insurance would cover. We had 10k in drugs and 10k in infertility. I got a pre-approval as required by the practice and the insurance company. I asked what our share would be when paying the $600 cycle deposit. I was told they couldn't tell me - it was against policy. We went ahead on good faith. That was a huge mistake. Our IVF cycle with them cost $31,000 including $12,000 in drugs. We were expected to pay the $11,000 difference at full rate - not a plan and not at the negotiated rate with our insurance company. It cost us more to do a cycle with WUSTL FRCM with insurance than with another clinic without insurance.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Emily Jungheim at Washington University School of Medicine.
With medication $31,000 for one cycle of IVF. We were not told this upfront (had 20k insurance cap - 10 meds, 10 procedures). We were told after negative pregnancy test we owed $11,000 including $2000 in lab fees for making more embryos then were transferred.
Describe Emily Jungheim's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Washington University School of Medicine.
She transfers too many embryos too early.
What specific things went wrong at Washington University School of Medicine?
- Lost paperwork
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Washington University School of Medicine.
Wrong semen results.
Charged $2000 because we made more embryos than transferred.
Never told prices after insurance despite asking.
Incorrect billing to insurance - transfer and extra two days of incubation covered, not doctor or egg retrieval. Double billed for ultrasounds.