How was your experience with Heather Hoff at Houston Fertility Institute?
Dr. Hoff is a sweet person and extremely compassionate. After each loss she called me personally and seemed to commiserate with me and really feel my pain. During my "wins" (one chemical and one miscarriage) we celebrated together my positive betas and was always willing to talk to us if we didn't have positive betas. I felt that she was really on my team when it came to my results.
As far as the not-so-good, she was not very proactive regarding our treatment. We had to bring a treatment option to her that was not offered to us and was extremely simple (freezing sperm to mix with a fresh sample for an IUI). Only after doing my own research with my own labs did I discover that I likely have PCOS but this was never diagnosed by Dr. Hoff, nor was it ever brought up in any conversation I ever had with her.
Dr. Hoff is an extremely positive person so all of our conversations centered around what could go right in the future, and not what was going wrong right now. It was comforting to have her reassurance but I think I really could have used more professional guidance on the actual problems we were having.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Heather Hoff at Houston Fertility Institute?
Be your own advocate and research your own treatment options. Ask "why" ALWAYS because she won't tell you or give you a vague answer. A lot of times the answer really is vague, but sometimes it's not....but you aren't given any details.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Heather Hoff at Houston Fertility Institute?
I felt like Dr. Hoff listened to what I had to say and what I wanted out of treatment, but she also wouldn't give us much direction on treatment. A few times we had to bring ideas to her about treatment options instead of her presenting them to us. It was a little frustrating because we didn't go to medical school for this.
Describe the protocols Heather Hoff used in your cycles at Houston Fertility Institute and their degree of success.
Before cycling I had a hysteroscopy and my husband had a SA to determine where we were. Hoff said my hysteroscopy results came back perfect, but when I looked in my surgery report it said that the biopsy result they took was not positive for inflammation, but contained "pre-inflammation" or something. I was never told this by Hoff as she said everything looked good so I believed her. My husband's SA came back a little less than perfect but she said it was adequate for an IUI even though it had less than 1% morphology.
IUI #1-- I used Clomid and regular monitoring. The last monitoring appointment I went to they said I had already ovulated and instructed me NOT to use my Ovidrel trigger but to have sex that evening and then come in for an IUI next day. I did so and during my TWW I used Endometrin vaginally 1x a day. after my TWW I had a positive beta of 16. The next beta it fell to 5, resulting in a chemical pregnancy.
IUI #2- Same exact protocol as IUI #1 except I did use my Ovidrel trigger this time. Husband's sample day of IUI was extremely poor. We asked Hoff about this and she said he may have had an infection three months prior. Results were a negative beta.
IUI #3- Changed protocols by switching to Letrozole with another Ovidrel trigger. I responded well to the Letrozole. This cycle we brought up the option of freezing samples beforehand and mixing them with fresh samples to get better counts. This resulted in better counts but ended in another negative beta.
IUI #4- Protocol was not changed at all and ended in a missed chemical pregnancy (positive HPT but negative beta.)
IUI #5- Same as previous protocol.
In November of 2018 I became pregnant naturally. I went to see Hoff for my betas and eventual scans. My progesterone was not at the level they wanted so they kept increasing it. Eventually I was on Endometrin 3x daily and oral progesterone 3x daily. No heartbeat ever developed and I had a miscarriage.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
I loved the nurses at my branch of HFI (Katy.) They were communicative and really compassionate. I have trouble with vaginal ultrasounds and Vanessa was extremely respectful of this. I felt really comfortable with her doing my scans.
The nurses calmed me down a lot when I had problems and were often a better source of quick information than the Internet!
Describe your experience with Houston Fertility Institute.
HFI has lots of locations and there was one ten minutes from my house on the way to my office. The offices are nice, new and comfortable. The staff is nice at certain locations. Betas and other news are communicated in a very timely manner and you can trust them to get things done on time.
All procedures are performed at the Piney Point location ONLY, so I had to travel into Houston directly every time I had an IUI. That is pretty annoying.
They are one of the more expensive clinics in Houston. A single cycle with meds and PGS will run you about $20,000 - $30,000. The payment options are meager at best.
The financial team is the most frustrating part of HFI. They mean well but come off as unhelpful and judgemental if you can't afford to pay outright for IVF or even afford a payment plan through one of their third party providers. It's extremely disheartening to deal with them.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Heather Hoff at Houston Fertility Institute.
IUIs were about $1,500 each and meds were another $300-400.
Describe Heather Hoff's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Houston Fertility Institute.
No embryo experience with Hoff.
What specific things went wrong at Houston Fertility Institute?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy