How was your experience with Lauren Roth at Shady Grove Fertility?
Lauren is supportive, empathetic and professional. We've had three treatment consultations with her. In each meeting, she clearly stated where we were in the treatment process, what the next steps or options were, and any risks associated with procedures. She would check in with us to make sure we understood everything and was able to do this without us feeling patronized. We asked many questions and Lauren always made sure we had as much information as we could before making any decisions. We felt/feel that she gave us her honest opinions and she supported us in each decision we have made thus far. Whether that be opting in or out of genetic testing, choosing to continue IUI after our miscarriage and switching to IVF, Dr. Roth has been supportive of each decision. She has also been quick to respond to any messages or emails we have left with questions. She never makes you feel ashamed or stupid for asking questions, even if they are as silly as "is it okay to dye my hair?"
During procedures (we have done multiple IUI's and one fresh embryo transfer with her and will be doing a frozen transfer at the end of October), Lauren talks through the procedure as it's happening. This was especially helpful and comforting for my wife and me. I know my wife would have been asking a million questions if she had not been walking us through it.
After our miscarriage, Dr. Roth was sympathetic and gentle about asking when we wanted to proceed to the next step. We have never felt rushed or pushed in a certain direction. She allowed us to make our own decisions about our treatment plan and it does make us feel like we are a team.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Lauren Roth at Shady Grove Fertility?
Don't be afraid to ask all your questions and voice your concerns. She will listen.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Lauren Roth at Shady Grove Fertility?
Lauren is extremely considerate. She is empathetic and encouraging. She is very knowledgeable and checks in with us to make sure we understand everything before proceeding. During procedures, she is vocal about what is happening so we have a better understanding of how things are going in real-time. She has a comforting nature and I feel like she has supported us in every decision we have made along the way.
Describe the protocols Lauren Roth used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility and their degree of success.
We started this journey without medications. The first two cycles of IUI were natural. At the time we started the process I was 29 and had no health issues that would indicate the need to use anything else. We also used at home Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK) to track my LH level and predict my ovulation window. We used the Ovidrel trigger shot starting in cycle 2. On the third cycle, we started doing monitoring through Shady Grove, meaning bloodwork and ultrasound to track ovulation and introduced 50mg of Clomid to the cycle. After this cycle was not successful, Dr. Roth suggested we do an HSG test to make sure there were no blockages in my fallopian tubes and that my uterus was normal. After getting normal results back from that test, we started our 4th IUI cycle. This cycle resulted in a chemical pregnancy. 5th IUI we also introduced an FSH injectable (Follistim AQ, can't remember the dosage). On the 6th IUI cycle, we continued with Clomid and Follistim, increasing the dosage slightly on the Follistim. We were successful in this attempt and found out we were pregnant on New Year's Eve. I made it 14 weeks and had a miscarriage in March of 2019. We used April as a recovery month and did a saline ultrasound in May to confirm that all the tissue was removed and my uterus was clear to try another IUI. We continued with the protocol that we used in the 6th cycle except I used Letrozole 2.5mg instead of Clomid because of a national shortage. This protocol was successful for us so Dr. Roth felt that we didn't change it. After this cycle was negative, we discussed our options with Dr. Roth and ultimately decided to try IVF. I began the cycle taking birth control to suppress natural ovulation. We also used Menopur (75 IU), Follistim AQ (200IU), and Ganirelix (250MCG). We used Lupron (1mL) for the trigger before egg retrieval. After the Fresh Embryo Transfer, I began taking Estradiol (2mg tab) twice daily, and Endometrin (100mg tab) 3 times a day. This transfer was not successful. I have just started taking birth control again for the frozen embryo transfer and will begin Estrace/Estradiol 2mg tab 3x a day soon.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Toni Benjamin)
We've had 3 nurses over the course of our treatment at Shady Grove. Allison Catalani was our initial point of contact and she was organized and helpful. She was only our nurse for a few weeks (staffing changes). Throughout the IUI process, our nurse was Jody DeRaimo. Jody was friendly and knowledgeable, however, I did feel that she could be unorganized at times. She would ask me what medications I was taking and what kind of cycle I was doing or say she was going to send something to the pharmacy that day, but it didn't get sent. It felt like she had too much on her plate. In comparison, our IVF nurse, Toni Benjamin is "on the ball." She is very organized, and she has been able to answer all of my questions without having to ask or confirm with someone else. She reminded us to get our sperm shipped to the clinic, and then followed up with the Rockville office to make sure it got there. She sent medications to 3 pharmacies so we could get the lowest cost. She has been very nice to work with thus far.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility.
Shady Grove Fertility - Frederick as a clinic is welcoming and clean. The staff is friendly and professional. It is a little bit of an inconvenience that the Frederick office is only able to do bloodwork and/or ultrasound and I have to travel for any other type of procedure. Initially, when we started this process over a year ago, they were rearranging their staff and we went through 3 nurses before we landed with Janine. That was a bit confusing because it felt like we didn't know who we should be talking to, and when we did talk to someone, they weren't always sure what our protocol was. I think, now that they have figured out the staffing changes, that both nurses we have dealt with are doing their best to make us feel like patients and not just numbers. Overall, our experience has been a positive one.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Lauren Roth at Shady Grove Fertility.
We were lucky in that our insurance covered 6 IUI cycles. However, we had a $50 copay for any visit to the clinic regardless of the type of appointment, and the IUI's were only covered after we met our deductible. Medications were partially covered as well. The HSG test was not covered, and that was $350 up front. The billing for this was a bit confusing because Shady Grove's system was a few months behind, so even though we paid up-front for the HSG exam, they applied that money to other charges on our account. In the course of the IUI treatment, we spent $16,000 (not including sperm). As we moved to IVF treatment, nothing is covered by our insurance. We opted for Shady Grove's Shared Risk Program, which is $19,500.00 plus the cost of medications (so far $2,331.00).
Describe Lauren Roth's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility.
When we asked about the number of embryos, Dr. Roth explained to us that because of my age (30) if we did multiple embryos we would only be increasing our chance of twin rather than increasing the chance of pregnancy. She felt that the odds were good to transfers only one since the rate of pregnancy for someone my age is around 50%.