How was your experience with Erica Anspach Will at Midwest Fertility Specialists?
Dr. Erica Will is a perfect mix of candid and empathetic. She clearly understands the ins and outs of reproduction endocrinology at a very technical level, but communicates at a very approachable and understandable level. She does prefer to err on the side of conservative treatments (freeze-all rather than fresh transfer, single embryo transfer on first cycle, 1 month of natural rest cycle in between medicated FET cycles), though this may have been sure to my specific diagnosis (endometriosis). I don't mind though, I appreciate that she cares quite a bit about maintaining overall health and well-being during the very physically demanding IVF cycles.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Erica Anspach Will at Midwest Fertility Specialists?
Don't be afraid to ask as many detailed questions as you need to, she's very amenable to them. Be sure to advocate for appointments if you feel you need more, she's happy and willing to make sure you can have as much of her time as you need, but will tend to default to less if your treatment moving along smoothly and she doesn't hear from you. She's very good with phone appointments if that's preferred.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Erica Anspach Will at Midwest Fertility Specialists?
Dr. Will is warm and caring, she listens thoroughly and engaged conversation and questions very personally.
Describe the protocols Erica Anspach Will used in your cycles at Midwest Fertility Specialists and their degree of success.
Stim cycle(amh -11):
Cetrotide started stim day 6, gonal-f moved to 75mg on stim day 8. Lupron trigger on stim day 10.
I started at a relatively low dose and maintained that dose until a few dates before trigger where it was lowered. She monitored my with ultrasounds every other day for the first 6 then every day until trigger. She updated dosage based on hormone levels and follicle size. My stim cycle went smoothly with no issues, so communication was fairly basic, but I was kept informed well throughout the whole process. After they retrieved 36 eggs, I did have significant pain for the next three days, but they had a doctor on call in off hours and checked in on me often until I was healed. The embryo lab called me to report number fertilized (20 on day 1, 4 more on day 2) and then on day five and six with the final number of frozen blastocysts.
Estradiol .3ml every 4 days (increase to.4 ml on the 2 estradiol days before transfer)
Dexamethasone .5mg daily until day before transfer
Progesterone in Oil (ethyl oleate) 50mg/0.5ml, 2x daily - starting 6 days before transfer
Prednisone 5mg g 2x daily starting 2 days before transfer
Medrol 8mg - 2x daily starting 4 days before transfer stopping 2 days after
Antibiotics 1 day before procedure and 2 days after
After the initial appointment, there was a 2 week lining check appointment. My lining was 12mm, and hormones were at good levels so progesterone was scheduled to begin and transfer was scheduled. Next appointment was the frozen transfer, I received several calls in the days preceding to confirm scheduled times and from the embryo lab for updates on thaw process. After transfer I was scheduled for a beta HCG test 10 days post transfer.
After 2 failed identical protocols, Dr. Will has suggested taking the Endometrial Receptivity Array testing. That is my next step but I have not started that cycle yet. Dr will setup a phone appointment after each failed transfer to go over any questions and talk about any alternatives or treatment changes. She suggested the ERA test after FET #1, but since we had not pgs tested, we opted to try one more FET first. She has also discussed the possibility of 2 embryos transferred but was clear on the risks of choosing that option. We have not yet decided on that.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Midwest Fertility Specialists. (Assigned nurse: CHELSEA)
Chelsea occasionally had trouble remembering the specifics of my treatment, and some things were communicated to her but never put on our charts (decision to not do pgs testing, what kind of cycle we were doing- ERA test or FET). She was very on it during active cycles though, calling with updates to treatments even when everything remained unchanged. She was friendly and caring.
Describe your experience with Midwest Fertility Specialists.
The clinic has scheduling mishaps more often than I would prefer. In my case - 3 times. I started getting them to give me a written appointment card every time, as I had one instance where my appointments got put on the right time but wrong day and I was treated as though I was at fault, despite being very certain I hadn't said the wrong day(had to schedule in between work days). There was 1 appointment time change that I was never updated on and found out through the web portal by chance, and one afternoon appointment that when the day came was called and told that I had missed it. I was on my way to the appointment time I had in my calendar, but it was somehow in their system as earlier in the day. I can understand mistakes happen, but the office staff was a bit rude about it. It was during my stim cycle and I freaked out thinking somehow everything was ruined, and they acted very inconvenienced and as it was a very emotional(and hormonal!) time, some kindness and benefit of the doubt would have gone a long way.
They have an excellent phlebotomist, and Ultrasound technicians.
They don't take messages during off hours, which I don't like. They also have some odd hours, no calls after 11 on Friday, 7-10 weekends. I can never remember when they are open and I should call, and I wish I could just leave messages if I forget and call after 4 or on Friday.
They have gone out of the way to help find the pharmacy whit the best out of pocket med prices, which was hugely appreciated.
They don't post specific lab results on the web portal, just the status of the labs and if the Dr has reviewed them yet.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Erica Anspach Will at Midwest Fertility Specialists.
I got a job at Starbucks to use their insurance. They provide 15000 of procedure coverage and 5000 of medication coverage lifetime max. I had 3000 deductable before i blew through the medication coverage on my stim cycle, and have been paying out of pocket on meds ever since. Total out of pocket for that is around $4000 currently. The procedure coverage paid for my egg retrieval, freezing and most of the first FET. We are now fully out of pocket. Our second FET was $4900 not including meds or ultrasoundss. Overall we're at about 10-11k out of pocket currently. We had to pause after FET #2 to save up for the ERA test and FET #3.
Describe Erica Anspach Will's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Midwest Fertility Specialists.
Dr. Will definitely preferred single transfer for me starting out. She has offered that as a possible option now that I have had unsuccessful FETs, but continues to be clear of the risk of twins, and would be more comfortable doing 1 per transfer. She has left the choice up to me and my husband at this point. I don't believe she would be down with transferring more than 2.
What specific things went wrong at Midwest Fertility Specialists?
- Lost paperwork
- Lost appointments
- Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Midwest Fertility Specialists.
I had to call and get bounced around the office to get the results of my first HCG test of my first FET. I had a missed call but no message or call back number and no one on the phone knew who to pass me to. I heard later there was a change in my doctor's primary nurse and I got lost in the shuffle. Not the best way to hear about a failed FET.