How was your experience with Erica Johnstone at University of Utah?
She is fair, blunt, and informative. She can come across as slightly scripted sometimes, which rubs some the wrong way, but she diverts from the script as needed. I have requested some unique accommodations, and she has done everything she can in that respect without making me feel stupid. I've never felt rushed or like I'm asking stupid questions. She is brilliant, which is a little intimidating. I do wish she'd try to get to know me as a person a little bit more.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Erica Johnstone at University of Utah?
Come armed with questions, knowing she will answer them but might not think to initiate that train of thought.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Erica Johnstone at University of Utah?
She is almost frustratingly objective, which could make you feel like a number. However, she reaches out when it's not required, spends as much time as you want with her, and engages in small talk about personal lives at times.
Describe the protocols Erica Johnstone used in your cycles at University of Utah and their degree of success.
For our one IUI, I took femara for a few days and tested for ovulation at home. When positive, I scheduled the procedure for the next day and had a nurse do the IUI.
For the egg retrieval, I took 112.5 IU gonal-F and one vial of menopur each day for 10 days. The dosages were conservative because my amh is 7.4 and there were concerns about OHSS. I started cetrotide on day 6 and took it for five days. I triggered with a hybrid lupron and hcg. Egg retrieval resulted in 20 eggs. Of those, 15 were mature and 14 fertilized through ICSI. Four made it to freeze on day 6. I did not receive good a good explanation about the extreme dropoff or slowness to reach blast. Three were rated good/fair and one poor. Our doctor did not recommend testing on the embryos, primarily because of the cost (about $4,000).
FET #1 started with birth control pills. After two weeks, I added 10 IU lupron. I stopped BCP a week later and decreased lupron to 5 IU after 10 days. Also on that day, I added 1 mg estrace twice a day. A week later, I increased estrace to 2 mg, three times a day. On week four of lupron, we did a lining check ultrasound. It was over 10 mm and trilaminar. Two days later, I stopped lupron, decreased retrace back to 1 mg 2x daily and started 100 ml of progesterone in oil. Five days later, we transferred one embryo. It did not thaw well and was rated poor at the time of transfer. I was given one lupron dose day of transfer. I stayed on the same estrace and PIO protocol for 10 days, until we had a negative beta.
FET #2 had the exact same protocol with drugs and the same problem with the thaw. Our doctor still recommended transferring it and said she sees a lot of babies come from poorly rated embryos. She said she doesn't put as much stock into ratings as other doctors and added that the rating at the time of freeze is more critical than at the time of transfer. I'm now 8 days past transfer and testing negative at home.
Our doctor did recommend transferring our two remaining embryos at the same time in our next attempt. She'll probably also provide the option of an endometrial scratch but didn't sound super confident about the research around it.
Describe your experience with your nurse at University of Utah. (Assigned nurse: Denise F)
We like Denise. She is informal and kind. She is a little frantic and seems to always appear over-caffeinated, but it doesnt affect her performance. She has always gotten back to me very fast and gives good information.
Describe your experience with University of Utah.
Our clinic doesn't have a lot of visual bells and whistles, which I appreciate. It doesn't seem like I'm paying for fancy furniture and decorations. The online portal used by the university is awesome. It makes communication easy and fast.
My only complaint is that despite the sign saying not to bring children, there are almost always children there. I understand it's a sensitive thing, but it bugs me.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at University of Utah.
It was efficient and fast. I always got in fast and was never kept waiting in the room. I wish the time window was longer. (It was 7-9 a.m. and I live 90 minutes away.)
Describe the costs associated with your care under Erica Johnstone at University of Utah.
IUI was $500.
IVF egg retrieval freeze-all was $9750 with ICSI
Meds for egg retrieval were about $4000
FET is $2720
Meds for FET were $400
Describe Erica Johnstone's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at University of Utah.
She seems to operate by what the research says is best for my age.