How was your experience with Marcelle Cedars at UCSF?
Dr. Cedars came across as friendly, kind, and thoughtful. She is a very busy person, but when she's with you, she really gives you all her focus and never makes you feel rushed or like a burden. I felt like I could put a lot of trust in her, and that she was doing everything she could to ensure the best outcome for me.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Marcelle Cedars at UCSF?
She can be hard to get ahold of, and you likely won't see her much during your treatment
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Marcelle Cedars at UCSF?
In the few interactions with Dr. Cedars I had, she was very nice and friendly, and made me feel comfortable in conversation.
Describe the protocols Marcelle Cedars used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
I did a "mini stim" protocol due to my young age, my fertility being unexplained, and the fact that this was my first time doing IVF. It aims for quality over quantity, and results in fewer eggs maturing at once, but increases the likely hood that they will fertilize, and also increases the odds of a fresh transfer. This protocol involved taking clomid day 2-6, then starting injections on day 6 (150 iu of gonal-f, ganirelix, and 75 IU Menopur until trigger). We found out around trigger day that my uterine lining was too thin for a fresh transfer most likely a side effect of the clomid. I also had a low follicle count, and it took some finessing to get a few to maturity at the same time, and by trigger day, it looked like we had 3 good ones, and 5 small ones. We were able to retrieve 6, but given the maturity level, it wasn't much of a surprise that only 2 fertilized. Luckily, of those 2, they both made it to day 3, and were frozen for a later transfer. They were rated well, both grade 2, one was an 8 cell, one was a 6. I participated in a study for my treatment, comparing IVF to Invocell, and was chosen for IVF. The study was a mini-stim protocol, and compares day 3 embryos, so my treatment was tailored to my needs within the parameters of the study. However they wouldn't have accepted me for the study if I hadn't been a good candidate, so I trust that it was right for me.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Jill Ford)
Jill was great, she responded quickly to my emails and calls, and helped me understand what I needed to do and when.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
UCSF is amazing because its a not for profit fertility center, with a large volume of patients, meaning lots of experience, and motivation to learn more and be at the forefront of research and new treatment, while also not trying to necessarily make money, like many fertility centers do. Knowing this makes you feel very assured that they are looking out for your best interests, and not their own! They won't be pushing any treatment you don't actually need. They offer mini-stim IVF for a fraction of the price of IVF at most places, which is a big reason I traveled from MT for my treatment. Also, everyone I dealt with there was so nice. Even the people who were way overworked made me feel like they really cared about me in our interactions. The one thing I will say they fall short of is communicating and getting the ball rolling quickly with starting your care. It can take months to get your first appointment, and we had to be persistent and annoying to get things going in our treatment. Once things start though, it's a pretty smooth engine.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Marcelle Cedars at UCSF.
We had no insurance coverage, and Mini Stim IVF is normally around $5500, but we were able to participate in a study that made it $4816 (that includes anesthesia, but also is only for a set amount of appointments, so it can go up a little depending on if you need more monitoring) and then an additional $700 for a year of embryo storage. They refund you for whatever is left over, if you have to stop at any point in the process. They also have a pharmacy next door, that is discounted and it easily saved us thousands of dollars. All in we paid around $300 for all my meds combined!
Describe Marcelle Cedars's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
She originally suggested I transfer both, just out of convenience since I have to travel for my care. However I felt strongly that I only wanted to transfer 1, and not take on the risk of multiples. She was completely on board with that and supported my choice!