How was your experience with Larry G Andrew at East Bay Fertility Center?
My friend referred me to Dr. Andrew, who had had a great expereince as a patient of his. I have felt from our initial consultation with Dr. Andrew that he really truly wants to help us get pregnant. I was impressed with how much time he spent with me and my husband at our first appointment. I had already seen another infertility Dr. elsewhere and their whole operation felt very standardized and I felt like another number. It was so different with Dr. Andrew. He really delved into all the possibilities as to why we hadn't been able to conceive in our 6 years of trying. Dr. Andrew even discovered some possible health issues that my husband has because he gets so much more detailed about his patients. Other infertility clinics we had been to didn't do anything to test my husband beyond a semen analysis and to test him for STD's. Dr. Andrew did a whole work-up of labs that uncovered health issues (non-fertilty realted) that we would never have learned about. My husband and I felt like he was treating us as our own individivual case and not with a standardized approach, like we had experienced at another clinic. We are working against my age, which I had just barely turned 40 when we first started seeing Dr. Andrew. I'm now 41.5 and have done two IVF cycles with Dr. Andrew. I didn't get pregnant after the first IVF. I got pregnant after the 2nd IVF, but miscarried. We are now ramping up to do our 3rd IVF attempt. There have been bumps along the way that have not been Dr. Andrew's fault, that have prolonged the time in between my IVF cycles. First of all, we live in a different state, and travel and arranging time off from work is a challenge. Second of all, I've had some unexpected polyps grow quickly (very rare) that I've needed to take time out for to have surgically removed. Then, most recently, I've had some symptoms pop up that indicate possible endometriosis, so we are going to address that before moving forward with the 3rd IVF cycle. We are grateful that Dr. Andrew is doing all he can to help us and we are grateful that he offers such affordable pricing (it's still a chunk of money, but compared to other infertility clinics, it's much less expensive). Because of my age, we were able to take advantage of his package he offers to patients over the age of 39, which is a 3 cycle package. I never, in a million years, thought it would take us this long to conveive and never thought in a million years that we would go through all 3 of those IVF cycles. But, here we are, ramping up for our 3rd and final attempt to concieve and sustain a pregnancy. Dr. Andrew has been upfront about our chances of conceiving, due to my age alone. It's only 15%. Yet, each time we see him, he's optimistic. Dr. Andrew isn't in this business for the accoladtes or due to pride or ego, like a lot of other infertility Drs. He simply is passionate about helping couples have children.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Larry G Andrew at East Bay Fertility Center?
Don't hesitate to call anytime and ask quesitons, or get clarification on anything.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Larry G Andrew at East Bay Fertility Center?
His clinic is fairly small and I like that I see the same people each time I'm there. They know my name and remember my situation without even needing to review my chart as a re-fresher.
Describe the protocols Larry G Andrew used in your cycles at East Bay Fertility Center and their degree of success.
I like that Dr. Andrew wants to work with the natural rhythm of the body, as much as possible, rather than introduce synthetic hormones or drugs, if it's not necessary. For example, my menstrual cycles are very regular so he doesn't put me on birth control to force my body into a cycle that's convenient. We are already forcing the body to do things we want it to do with all the stims, so not using birth control, if not necessary, is one less thing to force on the body. I love that.
Both of my IVF cycles have been just as he would expect from a woman my age. I have started Gonal-F and Monopur on day 3 of my mestrual cycle, then I start Cetrotide on day 7. Older women tend to be ready quicker for the egg retrieval because their follicles grow faster on the stims, so both IVF's I've been ready for egg retrieval on day 11. I did the trigger shot of Lupron a day and a half before the egg retrieval. Both egg retrievals went fine, and, again, based on my age, Dr. Andrew said we are hoping for 10-13 eggs. First egg retrieval I got 11 eggs, 9 fertilized (His embryologist is awesome!) and we got 5 embryos. The 2nd egg regrieval, I got 13 eggs, 10 fertilized and we got 4 embryos. My husband and I did not opt for any genetic screening on our embryos. East Bay Fertility can do genetic screeting on embryos, but Dr. Andrew felt that due to my age, we would put in all 4 embryos, in the hopes that even one will stick (I only have a 15% chance of this working because at my age, only 1 in 7 eggs is genetically viable). So, why spend the money to genetically test, when they are all going in my oven anywa? We appreciated his thinking, because other clinics are adamant not to put in more than 1 embryo, but that's because they strongly encourage genetic testing and think that twin pregnancies are dangerous. I also think it's a money maker for those clinics. Dr. Andrew isn't about what's going to bring in the most revenue. He's all about what makes the most sense for this patient. I did not get pregrant with first IVF, which was a fresh cycle with 3 day embryos. I got pregnant with 2nd IVF and miscarried at 6 weeks, which was a frozen cycle with 5 day blasts. Going into this 3rd IVF cycle, Dr. Andrew wants to leave no stone unturned, so he has had me do some labs to check my immune response and plans to do an endometrial biopsy while I'm asleep during egg retrieval. I'm also going to get a laparoscopy to check for endometriousis, which there was no indication at all that I had endo, up until recently. So, we better check that out, too! We are going to do a frozen transfer with this next IVF cycle, since I got pregnant last time with a frozen embryo transfer.
Also, East Bay Fertiliy ALWAYS does ICSI with every IVF cycle. It's just automatic and not an additional cost, like with other clinics. We love that!
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Since East Bay Fertility is such a small clinic, there really isn't a nursing staff. There are two nurses/medical assistants, I believe. Then the receptionist. There is the IVF coordinator, Susan, who is fantastic! And Erin works in the lab and draws blood. She is my favorite! Erin is the most chipper, sunshiney woman. The only feedback I really have is that the billing coordinator has a pretty slow repsonse time and isn't the most friendly. My husband has noticed the same thing. She's a little cold and doesn't smile, but everyone else is very friendly.
Describe your experience with East Bay Fertility Center.
East Bay Fertility is modest. There isn't anything fancy about it. It's a pretty basic clinic. I've been to other clinics that were so beautiful and new and fancy, but I just felt like a number. One of the reasons those other clinics charge so much is to pay for their ultra nice buildings, at least in my opinion.
Everyone is very friendly and nice there. We've always had a good feeling and gotten postive vibes when in the clinic. The one thing I wish they would do, is not play the radio so loud in the waiting area and not have it on the "Top 40" station. LOL! It just isn't relaxing, and doesn't align with that type of business. I guess it feels a little on the unprofessional side. I would prefer something a little more on the lighter side, especially considering that going through infertility struggles and treatments is so stressful. But, that's just me, and maybe other patients don't even think twice about it. It really isn't a make-it or break-it factor in choosing an infertility Dr. There are far more important things to consider.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Larry G Andrew at East Bay Fertility Center.
We paid $12,000 for the 3 cycle IVF package that is offered to women over the age of 39. That includes the ultrasounds to monitor follicles, all labs related to the IVF cylce, egg retrieval, ICSI, lab culturing, & pregnancy serum test.
Additional costs we have had that were not included in that $12,000: $500 for surgical nurse and anasthesiologist during each egg retreival, IVF consulation each cycle ($100), additional blood testing outside of standard blood work, $200 for an SHG to check for uterine polyps, since I tend to grow those quickly, a few supplements that Dr. Andrew suggested I take, additional monitoring for the Frozen embryo transfer ($400).
Describe Larry G Andrew's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at East Bay Fertility Center.
I actually included that in another comment. :)
What specific things went wrong at East Bay Fertility Center?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost paperwork
- Provided conflicting information