How was your experience with John Gililland at Reproductive Care Center?
I loved Dr. Gililland. His style of interacting is different from what I would have originally thought I would prefer, but I was surprised with how much it helped with my anxiety throughout the whole process. He was very warm and caring and attentive, and always seemed optimistic that we would be successful. Sometimes he would use physical touch to reassure me (e.g. touching my arm or shoulder). He was very knowledgeable and (in our case) was usually right on target with treatment decisions and estimates.
At some point he gave me an email address. I only used it a few times since most questions can be answered by the nurses and he appeared to answer email on his own time (early in the mornings), but it was reassuring to know I could reach him directly if I really needed to. He always answered within a day.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of John Gililland at Reproductive Care Center?
You might not see him very often depending on the treatment you need. He did my initial testing (ultrasound, HSG, etc.) but I didn't see him at all during three IUI cycles. All IUI monitoring and procedures were done by nurses. When we moved on to IVF, Dr. Gililland did all but one of the monitoring ultrasounds himself, including one on a Saturday, as well as the retrieval and the embryo transfer.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with John Gililland at Reproductive Care Center?
I felt like my needs as a patient were his first priority. He would go out of his way to help me, and would make staff go out of their way as well. When I went in for an HSG, he could tell I was nervous and took time to hold my hand and reassure me. There was an abnormality on the HSG image and he wanted to follow up with a hysteroscopy, which he offered to do right there and then so I wouldn't have to wait for another cycle. There were technical problems with the hysteroscopy machine, and he persisted to get through the problems and do the procedure even though it put them past the office closing time. On my way out I asked about next steps, expecting to be told to make a follow-up appointment, but he took me back to his office and talked to me. By the time we got done he had stayed an hour late just for me. I was very impressed with him and he continued to be caring and kind during subsequent encounters with him.
Describe the protocols John Gililland used in your cycles at Reproductive Care Center and their degree of success.
When my blood testing came back with FSH 12 and AMH .9, he recommended that our first treatment be IUI with Femara and Gonal F. We did three cycles of this treatment with the nurses. I used OPKs and got a positive the day of the ultrasound (day 12) each time, as well as my usual ovulation symptoms, so we never did a trigger shot. I responded well to the medication and the nurses kept telling us everything looked "ideal", but none of the cycles resulted in a pregnancy.
After three failed IUIs they had us follow up with Dr. G. He gave us a choice between more IUIs with the same medications or IVF. He didn't pressure us either way but just said to consider the success rates of each (while being mindful of cost, risks, etc.). We decided to proceed with IVF.
Our first attempt was cancelled due to an estrogen-producing cyst, which was gone by the second attempt. I was on stims for nine days and the dosage never changed. They had me take a lower dose of the trigger shot to reduce my risk of OHSS. We got 14 eggs, 9 mature. Dr. Gililland had said he didn't think we needed ICSI, so we didn't use it and 8 out of the 9 eggs fertilized without it. He had also said he thought we could get 4 or 5 embryos and we ended up with 3 on day 5 and 1 more on day 6 for a total of 4. Our first fresh transfer of one embryo was successful and the other 3 embryos have been frozen.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
There were three nurses at the Clearfield office and they were all nice and were very organized and on top of things, and were patient with my many phone calls and questions. They never answered the phone so I always had to leave a message and wait for a call back, which was sometimes nerve wracking when I was worried about something, but I almost always got a call back within the same day. They helped me apply to get a discount on medication which ended up saving me about a thousand dollars.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Care Center.
The nurses, MAs, and front desk staff at Clearfield were really nice and I felt like everyone genuinely wanted me to succeed. When I did get pregnant, I had an episode of heavy bleeding a week after what was supposed to be my last ultrasound with them. I called and asked what to do and they got me in to see Dr. Gililland that same day, even though I was supposed to be done with the clinic by then, which was really helpful during a scary time.
There were a few minor mix-ups (was sent a financial document for the wrong procedure, had to go in for an extra blood draw because they forgot something, test results were sent to me but didn't get to the doctor) but nothing that affected my treatment.
Describe the costs associated with your care under John Gililland at Reproductive Care Center.
IUIs were $400 for the IUI and $400 for the medication (I did injections). Our IVF cycle ended up costing about $10,000 after paying for anesthesia and embryo storage, with medication being an additional $3,000 or so. They tried to sell us on their multiple cycle discount package, but we felt our chance of success was high enough that we didn't want to risk paying for cycles we might not need, and would rather take the risk of paying for cycles individually. This ended up being a good decision for us.
Describe John Gililland's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Reproductive Care Center.
Dr. Gililland very strongly encouraged us to do a single embryo transfer, which ended up being the right choice for us. I was 30 and it was our first transfer.