How was your experience with Guy Ringler at California Fertility Partners?
Dr. Ringler is amazing and a consummate professional. We had a number of setbacks throughout the process, which he helped us through as much as possible. For example, there was an early issue with the communication style of one his staff, which was corrected when we switched to another IVF coordinator. We also had one transfer cycle cancelled because of excessive uterine fluid (a uncommon reaction to hormone injections) - which was frustrating because there was no data to tell us whether the problem was likely to recur. Dr. Ringler stuck to the facts, and was patient with our angst over the situation. It all resolved happily, and the grin he flashed at us on the day of transfer is an unforgettable memory from our journey. The only disconnect was that we still don't quite understand whether the survival rate of our frozen embryos was normal: it seems to us that ending up with three surviving embryos when we started with fourteen was not consistent with our expectations.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Guy Ringler at California Fertility Partners?
Understand that Dr. Ringler will only give you the facts, and not definitive recommendations for every decision that needs to be made. And there aren't always going to be data points available for every consideration. But he's a great person and completely trustworthy.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Guy Ringler at California Fertility Partners?
Dr. Ringler was very professional but empathetic throughout the entire process, which was unusually prolonged. He remembered our situation, and ended up not only walking us through the clinical process but also being a professionally subtle part of our emotional journey.
Describe the protocols Guy Ringler used in your cycles at California Fertility Partners and their degree of success.
I don't know the protocol details for our egg donor. Our initial prospective surrogate had been exposed to varicella (chicken pox, through her young children) and the strategy was simply to wait for it to clear her system - which took months. She also had uterine polyps, which had to be removed to make her uterine as optimal an environment as possible. It took a few weeks for her to recover. Dr. Ringler had our surrogate begin with Delestrogen injections, with Progesterone injections after ultrasound confirmation. The surrogate that we ultimately ended up with had excessive uterine fluid build up (2.3 mm) leading up to the scheduled transfer. This is apparently an uncommon reaction to the hormone injections (delestrogen), and has been pretty definitively shown to reduce transfer success rates. Dr. Ringler canceled the transfer cycle, started our surrogate on Provera (10mg for seven days), and reduced her initial delestrogen injection levels (from 2mg to 1 mg). He ramped up her delestrogen injection levels to 2mg, which worried us but it turned out that slowly "ramping up" hormone injections kept uterine fluid build up to a minimum.
Describe your experience with your nurse at California Fertility Partners. (Assigned nurse: Donna King)
Donna was efficient and referred us to Dr. Ringler for procedural related questions. There were times where we had to play "phone tag" - but nothing hugely problematic other than the fact that the process can be emotionally trying.
Describe your experience with California Fertility Partners.
Some nurse coordinators are not as effective communicating as others. Don't be afraid to ask for another - we did and things were much better after.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Guy Ringler at California Fertility Partners.
$6,600 in gestational surrogate medical screening fees. $4,500 in medical fees for one frozen transfer cycle. $2,200 in medications (inclusive of medications for one dropped cycle).
Describe Guy Ringler's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at California Fertility Partners.
Dr. Ringler will not transfer more than two embryos at once. He very clearly explained the statistical probabilities of success for a one versus two embryo transfer.
What specific things went wrong at California Fertility Partners?
- Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at California Fertility Partners.
The clinic has very regimented hours for accepting and returning calls. That, combined with vacation and holiday schedules, meant that results weren't communicated on one occasion.