How was your experience with Joe Massey at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services)?
Dr. Massey is kind and he gave me plenty of time. I never felt rushed with him. He was present for all of my monitoring appointments. However, he is not great at communicating. I did not always feel like my questions were thoroughly answered. I did a LOT of research on my own. If I had not asked specific questions I am not sure that I would have been provided much of any information at all.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Joe Massey at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services)?
Do your own research and be prepared to ask questions related to your protocol, your plan, what to expect, what he thinks your likelihood of success is and WHY he thinks that your success may be better/worse than the average. Dr. Massey will answer all of your questions and he will explain things to you with patience, but you have to know what to ask in the first place. If you don't ask you are unlikely to be told.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Joe Massey at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services)?
Dr. Massey's Office is relatively small in terms of the number of patients that are being treated at one time. I think there were 4-5 other women on the same cycle as me. I never had to wait more than 10 minutes at my "first come first serve" monitoring appointments. The staff knew my name and my details. The IVF coordinator was great. I never felt like they were pushing people through like cattle.
Describe the protocols Joe Massey used in your cycles at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services) and their degree of success.
In 2015 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometriosis following a laparoscopy to determine the cause of our infertility. We also have male factor infertility though my husband's numbers were not low enough to fully explain our inability to conceive. My AHA was 1.5 which was low for my age (31). My sonohystagram did not show many follicles during a natural cycle. All of our issues combined led Dr. Massey to recommend ICSI. Going in I was told that he did not expect me to respond very well to the stimulation medications due to the lower AMH and the endo. I was told from the start that it was unlikely that I would produce enough viable embryos to have a frozen cycle.
I was put on relatively high doses of the drugs due to the expectation of a low response. I took 225 Gonal-f and 1cc of Menopur each day along with .5 units of Lupron. I triggered with Ovidrel on the 10th day of meds. I did produce 11-12 follicles and I think that I responded much better than initially expected. My estrogen level was at 4000 on trigger day.
Dr. Massey retrieved 6 mature eggs on ER day. Four fertilized successfully with ICSI. Unfortunately 3 of the 4 arrested before day 3 and our fourth also stopped maturing before it made it to day 4.
At our post IVF consult we were advised that the embryo qualify was likely poor due to the rapid stimulation. I was given high doses due to the expectation that I would not respond well, but I did respond OK and it is possible that the eggs were fragile due to the drug protocol.
I don't think that could have been helped. The protocol was chosen based on the parameters the Dr. had to work with. I guess I had an atypical response. The plan for cycle 2 is to do lower doses of the drugs over a longer stimulation phase to try and produce more hearty eggs.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
There are two primary IVF nurses at this clinic. One is AMAZING and if I could request her services for all parts of my next cycle then I would have zero hesitations about continuing treatment at this clinic. The other nurse is not bad. She is kind, but her communications skills are not great. She delivers information poorly, she is not good at explaining procedures, she sometimes seemed unable to answer questions which left me with a lot of uncertainty.
Describe your experience with Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services).
Strengths: The clinic is small and provides personalized services to patients. I never felt like "a number" to them. They are one of only a very few IVF clinics in the United States that provide low cost IVF. That alone makes them a HUGE blessing. My husband and I would have had to wait another 18-24 months to save enough money for one round at one of the big name clinics in Georgia. After the first failed cycle, I can't even imagine how we would begin to afford a second chance. Servy Massey's lower cost services allow us to be in a position to try again within the next 12 months. The clinic also works with medication providers to get discounts for patients on the stimulation medications as well as some of the pre-cycle blood and genetic testing. This doctor and his staff are there to help people build their families. It is very clear that Servy Massey is not doing this for the money and that is very comforting.
Weaknesses: Some of the nursing staff and the office staff don't seem very knowledgeable. I was constantly left with the feeling that some of the people didn't really know what they were doing which is not a great feeling to have at any doctor's office. I will say that I experienced this primarily with support staff (billing/reception/etc.) I only had unease with one of the nurses. The rest of the medical staff and the doctor himself were great.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Joe Massey at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services).
Dr. Massey offers low-cost IVF. It is the reason that we went with this clinic over others whose services may have been rated higher. IVF/ICSI is $7,725.00. That includes all blood work, monitoring, retrieval and transfer. Pre-screening tests and blood work are also available at a reduced rate if your insurance won't cover those procedures. Dr. Massey's office was able to get me a reduced rate on the genetic testing for me and my husband. My total out of pocket expenses for my fresh cycle (including pre-screening blood work, sonohystagram, IVF cycle, cryopreservation, and medication) was right at $14,000.
Describe Joe Massey's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services).
We were initially told at consultation that Dr. Massey would go with eSET. The goal was a healthy singleton and that he wanted to avoid multiples. However, given our circumstances it had been his intention to transfer two if we had multiple day fives available. He changed his approach to give us the best chance of conceiving. I greatly appreciated it. We were not "multiple averse." We would have welcomed twins or triplets if he had transferred multiples and they all took. Unfortunately, we didn't even have one decent day 5 to transfer. I think that Dr. Massey is very willing to alter his cycle/transfer plans to give the couple the best possible chance of conceiving.
What specific things went wrong at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services)?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Pathways Fertility (FKA Massey Fertility Services).
I only got notified of the results of one of my blood tests. My first blood test was to measure my AMH level. I called the nurse who drew the blood at least twice and never received return calls from her. I didn't find out the results of my AMH until I called to schedule my Day 1 appointment with the IVF Coordinator two months later. I asked her to look it up for me which she did. I was called with the results of my first blood test during monitoring, but was not notified of the results of any subsequent levels.
At consultation we were told that we would have one embryo transferred as the goal was a healthy singleton and multiples were considered an adverse outcome. We went through the entire stimulation phase thinking that one was the goal. However, at egg retrieval our nurse mentioned in passing that we would have "2 or 3 put back." I questioned why she was saying 2 or 3 and she said it was in our chart from the doctor. That was never discussed with us. We were certainly not opposed to having multiples put back, but the change in plans was never mentioned. The nurse said the doctor would discuss his plan with us prior to transfer. However, that did not happen. Our transfer was on a Monday and as of Saturday we had not heard from anyone about what the plan was. I had to call the on-call number to ask what to expect on transfer day. It ended up not mattering what the plan for transfer was, because we didn't even have one viable Day 5 to transfer, but the lack of information caused me to fret quit a bit for the entire 5 days after ER.