Martha Noel

UCSF

Rated 8.3
Strongly recommend: 59%Neutral: 16%Don't recommend: 25%8.3
59% strongly recommend
12 reviews
Humanity
9
9
Humanity

Ratings of 1 mean patients felt this doctor treated them as "a number."

Ratings of 10 mean patients felt this doctor treated them as "a human."

Communication
8.8
8.8
Communication

Ratings of 1 mean poor communication.

Ratings of 10 mean excellent communication.

Frequency Seen
5.4
5.4
Frequency Seen

Ratings of 1 mean patients only saw this doctor once or twice during treatment.

Ratings of 10 mean patients saw this doctor at every appointment.

Responsiveness
6.9
OK
Responsiveness

Scale is "poor, ok, good, excellent" and measures how responsive a care team was when patients needed to speak to them.

Education

Medical School
Cornell
Residency
Cornell
Fellowship
UCSF

How Doctor Communicates

doctor, nurse available by email
nurse available by directline
nurse available by directline
not available by personal cell phone
not available by personal cell phone
Martha Noel works at

UCSF
Rated 8.4
Strongly recommend: 67%Neutral: 16%Don't recommend: 17%8.4

At 1 office

San Francisco
499 Illinois Street
San Francisco, CA 94158
(415) 353-7475
Explore Clinic

12 patient reviews

Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019 - 2020, Successful
10
10
Age 33 - 34
IVF
Male Factor
European
Income $50K - $99K
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr. Noel has incredible bed side manner and importantly, it is natural. It's a part of who she is to be kind and compassionate. I received personal phone calls from her whenever there was sensitive information and she is always willing for follow up calls and appointments...Dr.Noel recommended to only transfer one due to my fertility. After a miscarriage the first transfer, my partner and I requested to do multiple embryo transfer and while she did not advise due to the higher likelihood of a twin pregnancy and the challenges of that, she allowed us to pursue this.
UCSF is world class. The clinic looks world class, the spacing of rooms- felt comfortable and compassionate, and you never had to wait for your appt...Olga and nursing staff were so PROMPT. They always provided results, next step info, scheduling etc exactly when they said they were going to. I never had to worry about when I would hear back - they were on top of it
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr.Noel was out second fertility doctor we saw. The first one was at another clinic and had zero bed side manner and made us feel terrible. When I called UCSF the first time, I said, can you get me an appointment with your most compassionate doctor, the one with the most bedside manner. The clinic receptionist said, oh thats dr. noel - and she was right. I always felt like I was in kind hands and, that didn't mean she sugar coated the odds or the process - but rather, she soberly gave the information with an air of collaboration and support. the first time we transferred, I miscarried, and she was graceful with my loss. The next time, she transferred two and while she shared the upside and downside of transferring two - suggesting we do not do that due to my younger age and higher likelihood of both embryos taking - she ultimately was a yes to us doing it when we requested it. I did get pregnant with both embryos and lost one at 9 weeks. I now have a healthy, beautiful baby girl!! My gratitude for Dr. Noel is endless
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Ask front desk for dr.noel is you are looking for a compassionate doctor
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel has incredible bed side manner and importantly, it is natural. It's a part of who she is to be kind and compassionate. I received personal phone calls from her whenever there was sensitive information and she is always willing for follow up calls and appointments. I felt like she was a friend, who had my best interest at heart. She never made herself the knower and me the patient - all the information was shared and then we collaborated next steps.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
We went through a round of IVF and we were able to harvest 25 eggs via the treatment protocol dr.noel followed. We ultimately got 5, five day embryos and I got pregnant on each transfer. I miscarried after the first transfer and then was pregnant and had a full term, healthy pregnancy after the second.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Olga)
Olga and nursing staff were so PROMPT. They always provided results, next step info, scheduling etc exactly when they said they were going to. I never had to worry about when I would hear back - they were on top of it.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
UCSF is world class. The clinic looks world class, the spacing of rooms- felt comfortable and compassionate, and you never had to wait for your appt. You were in when it was your time. It is super clean and you felt that people enjoyed what they were doing
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
20,000
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
I was 34 years old and Dr.Noel recommended to only transfer one due to my fertility. After a miscarriage the first transfer, my partner and I requested to do multiple embryo transfer and while she did not advise due to the higher likelihood of a twin pregnancy and the challenges of that, she allowed us to pursue this.
10
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019 - 2020, Unsuccessful
5
6
Age 34 - 35
4 Fertility Medications
Unexplained
European
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $500K+
Marketer or PR
1st of 2 Docs
Doesn't Recommend
Doesn't Recommend
Unsuccessful
Dr Noel was very warm during our initial consultation. She also called me personally when we needed to cancel my first IUI cycle because I "over responded" to the Letrazole...I don't think she was aggressive enough in my first set of treatments given my age and how many children I wanted. When I got a second option, the new Dr (who I prefer) told me she never would have started with fertility meds only without including IUI. I also had to cancel a cycle which I disagreed with (and the new Dr did also)
Communication was slow and difficult [at UCSF]. I had to write multiple portal messages to get an answer. When I had to cancel a cycle because of "over responding" to the medication and was asked to take a Plan B (which was devastating), I had to call/write multiple times to get through with advise on what to do and it was timely...is a big practice, associated with a university. They most certainly have quality doctors and nurses but because it was large didn't feel I got the dedicated, close care compared with the new clinic I am at now. For example, the nurse at my new clinic knows me by name and immediately answers my emails.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
I don't think she was aggressive enough in my first set of treatments given my age and how many children I wanted. When I got a second option, the new Dr (who I prefer) told me she never would have started with fertility meds only without including IUI. I also had to cancel a cycle which I disagreed with (and the new Dr did also)
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr Martha Noel is lovely and great at explaining things but for me she was too conservative/risk averse.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr Noel was very warm during our initial consultation. She also called me personally when we needed to cancel my first IUI cycle because I "over responded" to the Letrazole
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
Letrazole 2.5mg for 3 months, then increase Letrazole + IUI
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at UCSF.
Communication was slow and difficult. I had to write multiple portal messages to get an answer. When I had to cancel a cycle because of "over responding" to the medication and was asked to take a Plan B (which was devastating), I had to call/write multiple times to get through with advise on what to do and it was timely.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
UCSF CRH is a big practice, associated with a university. They most certainly have quality doctors and nurses but because it was large didn't feel I got the dedicated, close care compared with the new clinic I am at now. For example, the nurse at my new clinic knows me by name and immediately answers my emails.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
1st Letrazole + TIC w/ monitoring - $1800! (through Progyny and I hadn't met my deductible so I paid the crazy insurance rate) 2nd and 3rd Letrazole + TIC w/ monitoring - $450 each b/c I paid out of pocket - basically paid for one ultrasound appointment
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
n/a
What specific things went wrong at UCSF?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Failed to call with results
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at UCSF.
1) I had a progesterone blood test to confirm ovulation and came back as 0 (did not ovulate) when I know I had. I demanded they run it again and it came back 26 (did ovulate) 2) I've had to call/email to get results of tests and/or inquire about my next protocol 3) I've had to call/email multiple times to get Rx's phoned in
5
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
6
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2019 - 2020, Unknown Success
7
7
Age 47 - 48
1 Embryo Freezing
IVF
Donor Eggs
Donor Sperm
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $100K - $199K
2nd of 2 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr. Noel has a warm manner during consultations, offers good explanations and recommendations, while treating me like an intelligent partner. I'm not yet sure if she is adapting her treatment recommendations appropriately for me to get results, as I am still in the midst of treatment. Her coordinating staff and nurses, however, were always very rushed, and created additional stress in the process as they often seemed more focused on checking everything off their list than supporting me or providing information to me through the process.
I chose UCSF in large part because their donor egg program offered options that met my criteria - including some open donors (open to varying degrees to future contact with a child), and they seemed to follow relatively strong ethical practices in terms of the donor recruitment and screening. I was also attracted to their relatively strong outcomes data, and their research-based orientation. Their key weakness for me has been the support staff.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel seemed to pay close attention to my case, read my history thoroughly before my first visit, reviewed donor history in depth, and took the time to answer my many questions. She seemed to be well-informed about the latest research and thoughtful about how it applied to me. However, we have encountered some unexpected challenges in my case and it's too early to say whether she will be able to adapt her approach to those to get a successful pregnancy.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Ask to be in touch with her by email directly, as her coordinating staff is fairly unhelpful, and then reach out to her sparingly with key medical questions. She is responsive by email, but very briefly, so use that channel only to get information on a clear, specific question.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel has a warm manner during consultations, offers good explanations and recommendations, while treating me like an intelligent partner. I'm not yet sure if she is adapting her treatment recommendations appropriately for me to get results, as I am still in the midst of treatment. Her coordinating staff and nurses, however, were always very rushed, and created additional stress in the process as they often seemed more focused on checking everything off their list than supporting me or providing information to me through the process.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
Standard embryo transfer protocol: birth control pill for timing, Lupron, estradiol patches, and progesterone in oil shots in preparation for the transfer, with Medrol for a few days just before the transfer and Valium day of transfer. I responded well to the standard protocol, other than strong mood reactions to the birth control pill. UCSF's drug program is significantly discounted from other clinics.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Olga)
Olga, the nurse I worked with for two cycles, was extremely rushed every single time I spoke with her, and I grew to dread calls with her as I was always stressed after getting off of them. She shared unnecessary information that created additional stress, like telling me that there was going to be a lot of competition for transfer appointments in a certain timeframe. She also sometimes gave unclear instructions and was defensive about it when I asked for clarification on details (i.e. telling me to use estrogen patches at a certain time of day, and then when I asked a related question, telling me that she never told me that and giving a long explanation for how I couldn't possibly have heard what I heard). This same issue happened on both cycles, and I was careful in taking notes from our calls, so it was extremely frustrating to both have poor information and to then have her argue with me when I asked a non-confrontational question. Unlike a previous experience at another clinic, I never felt actual emotional support from the nursing staff at UCSF. When calling with a negative pregnancy test result, they clearly have been trained to say some of the right things, but it felt like a script. When I didn't want to schedule an embryo transfer for the day before one of my biggest work days of the year, and was feeling pressured by the nurse, she didn't show any understanding of my wanting to take my work commitments into consideration and by the end of the call, I was crying, frustrated, and anxious about the choices I'd made very quickly about scheduling such an important procedure. Thuy, Dr. Noel's coordinator, is a bit scattered and required a lot of follow-up to get my labs straight, as she would request labs she had received again, and fail to notice other missing labs. She also often seemed rushed, but was kind and responsive.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
I chose UCSF in large part because their donor egg program offered options that met my criteria - including some open donors (open to varying degrees to future contact with a child), and they seemed to follow relatively strong ethical practices in terms of the donor recruitment and screening. I was also attracted to their relatively strong outcomes data, and their research-based orientation. Their key weakness for me has been the support staff.
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
Strong preference for eSET but would have considered multiple embryo transfer after multiple unsuccessful cycles.
What specific things went wrong at UCSF?
  • Lost paperwork
  • Lost appointments
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at UCSF.
I had trouble getting all of my initial diagnostic lab results into my records. I had one phone appointment incorrectly cancelled.
7
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
7
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019, Unknown Success
10
10
Age 38
4 IUI
1 IVF
1 Embryo Freezing
Unexplained
East Asian
Investor
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr. Noel was measured and didn’t try to pressure me into IVF vs other doctors I had consulted. ... Dr. Noel is compassionate and thoughtful about each patient’s case. ... Strengths: Dr. Noel is thoughtful about her recommendations and fertility plan. She also takes the time to explain and answer questions. She’s responsive over email.
Strengths: wide range of time slots, both early morning and weekends. Very professional staff [UCSF], punctual and high quality of care. Weaknesses: hard to get into the system initially but go above and beyond once you’re a patient. ... Weekend staff didn’t update me on status of embryos as planned. ... Care coordinator: Thuy - she is very responsive and helpful with getting all of the paperwork and necessary appointments set up. Very organized. Main nurse: Olga - she is very organized and is the main point of contact for updates.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Strengths: Dr. Noel is thoughtful about her recommendations and fertility plan. She also takes the time to explain and answer questions. She’s responsive over email. Weaknesses: Dr. Noel hasn’t been as always to access since the email system got updated. Now you can only email the care team and a nurse usually responds. At least the responses are within the day.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel is compassionate and thoughtful about each patient’s case. UCSF is structured to rotate doctors and nurses for each visit. Even though you won’t have that much contact with Dr. Noel, she is making the final decisions and recommendations for you.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel is thoughtful about my case and take the time to explain everything simply, draw diagrams, provide important details and answer all of my questions. She is also realistic and kind at the same time.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
We started conservatively with progesterone treatments, then moved to IUI (4 rounds) then IVF when previous methods were unsuccessful. Dr. Noel was measured and didn’t try to pressure me into IVF vs other doctors I had consulted. So far no pregnancy but Dr. Noel mentioned it could take a few tries due to age and lower egg count.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Olga)
Care coordinator: Thuy - she is very responsive and helpful with getting all of the paperwork and necessary appointments set up. Very organized. Main nurse: Olga - she is very organized and is the main point of contact for updates. Very efficient and explains processes well. Can sometimes be curt but don’t think she means it negatively. General nursing team: all wonderful, well-informed, professional and kind.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
Strengths: wide range of time slots, both early morning and weekends. Very professional staff, punctual and high quality of care. Weaknesses: hard to get into the system initially but go above and beyond once you’re a patient.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
IUI costs $3-5k depending on monitoring and insurance coverage. IVF costs about $20-30k depending on specific procedures performed/elected.
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
The approach is meant to optimize for saving the embryos that I can produce due to lower egg count. So day of transfer and # transferred depends on how many eggs and embryos in that cycle.
What specific things went wrong at UCSF?
  • Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at UCSF.
Weekend staff didn’t update me on status of embryos as planned.
10
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2018 - 2019, Successful
10
10
Age 37 - 38
4 IUI
2 IVF
Unexplained
East Asian
Income $100K - $199K
Architect
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr.Noel is very warm and empathetic yet very straightforward and realistic in her answers. She also remembers details of my case and things I’d mentioned months ago...My case was diagnosed as unexplained infertility, so she made suggestions for changes in protocol that covered both egg and sperm quality, which alleviated quite a bit of emotional burden on my part that I may be the sole source of the problem. She also never pushed for IVF and was gentle and systematic in the progression and escalation of treatment.
Both nurses and coordinator [at UCSF] were excellent and extremely helpful. I could tell that they were very busy and usually rushed in their answers, but they were effective and efficient...Every nurse and doctor I encountered was very capable and empathetic. The appointment times are plentiful and start very early in the day. I could be monitored in the morning and be at work on time in downtown SF, which was an enormous advantage for me.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel is warm and empathetic yet manages to give all of the information—the good and the bad—in a clear and direct manner. My case was diagnosed as unexplained infertility, so she made suggestions for changes in protocol that covered both egg and sperm quality, which alleviated quite a bit of emotional burden on my part that I may be the sole source of the problem. She also never pushed for IVF and was gentle and systematic in the progression and escalation of treatment.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
As UCSF is a group practice, I didn’t see Dr. Noel very often; however, it was clear that she was following my progress through comments from the nurses. When I did check in with her, she was aware of the details of my cycle. My two retrievals and transfers were with Dr. Rosen and Dr.Siegal, both of whom were wonderful doctors as well. I wouldn’t be put off by the fact that you see quite a few doctors and nurses as they were all very knowledgeable and kind.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr.Noel is very warm and empathetic yet very straightforward and realistic in her answers. She also remembers details of my case and things I’d mentioned months ago.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
For my first round of egg retrieval, Dr. Noel recommended using ICSI for fertilization due to my unexplained infertility. She explained that sometimes a round can result in no fertilized eggs which can be emotionally devastating. Her suggestion was spot on as I lost many eggs at fertilization, and the round ended with three day 3 embryos which did not result in a pregnancy. At least going through the motions of an embryo transfer gave me some hope, whereas ending in zero embryos and no transfer might’ve emotionally discouraged me from another round of stimulation and retrieval. For the second round she suggested escalating to PICSI fertilization and adding growth hormones to my stimulation protocol due to low estrogen levels. That second round resulted in my current pregnancy as well as one frozen PGS tested embryo.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Olga)
I worked with Thuy, Olga, and Gianna. Both nurses and coordinator were excellent and extremely helpful. I could tell that they were very busy and usually rushed in their answers, but they were effective and efficient. The bills, paperwork, and email security was the most annoying part of the process, which indicates how well UCSF runs the medical aspects.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
The facilities are brand new and beautiful. Every nurse and doctor I encountered was very capable and empathetic. The appointment times are plentiful and start very early in the day. I could be monitored in the morning and be at work on time in downtown SF, which was an enormous advantage for me. They also separate waiting rooms and appointment times such that new patients, mid cycle patients, male partners coming in for sperm collection, patients scanning for a successful embryo transfer don’t wait next to one another. Parking is also easy. They took care to alleviate all of the small stressors that can compound to an already high stress situation.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
Medical procedures came to about $20,000 per round.
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
Dr. Noel was very clear that her recommended goal is for a singleton pregnancy given the risks associated with multiple pregnancies. Due to my failed multiple IUIs, she recommended the transfer of two embryos and explained that that would likely result in a singleton pregnancy.
10
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2018, Unsuccessful
9
7
Age 31 - 32
4 IUI
Unexplained
European
Income $200K - $499K
Lawyer
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Neutral
Unsuccessful
When I actually got to see or talk to Dr. Noel, I very much felt treated like a human.... Overall I feel very positiely towards Dr. Noel. My treatment with her was interrupted because she went out on maternity leave for a few months, and the few other doctors I saw in her absence really did not compare.... I wish she were more accessible (I was never allowed to email her and had to always go through her assistant, which I felt led to needless delays and games of telephone and misinformation)
It seems fairly difficult to get access to your doctor at this clinic, and you never see your doctor for the actual IUIs, and rarely for the ultrasounds checking follicle counts during IUI process. I'm very confident in the lab and the state of the art medical procedures, instruments, and capabilities at this office... During one of my IUI cycles, which I had already started, UCSF sent me a message informing me that the next time I came to the office I owed them $3000
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Overall I feel very positiely towards Dr. Noel. My treatment with her was interrupted because she went out on maternity leave for a few months, and the few other doctors I saw in her absence really did not compare. Her approachability and ability to explain what's going on in a kind, clear way are great. I wish she were more accessible (I was never allowed to email her and had to always go through her assistant, which I felt led to needless delays and games of telephone and misinformation), but that was my biggest complaint.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Beware her scheduling assistant. Nice, but not exactly competent. If receiving panicked emergency calls about forms not being in order right before your first IUI will upset you (as it did me), you might be best off avoiding Dr. Noel because you're stuck with the coordinator she has.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
When I actually got to see or talk to Dr. Noel, I very much felt treated like a human. I think she has a great bedside manner, and is exactly the right amount of direct and clear but also gentle and supportive. She seems to know her stuff, and I liked working with her. Her scheduling coordinator was unfortunately a big impediment, mixing up appointments, getting the wrong information, being slow to reply, and acted as a strong buffer / blockage between us and Dr. Noel, which put a big negative on the experience.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
Letrozol + ovidrel -- we increased the letrozol in the 3rd and 4th IUIs resulting in 2 mature eggs instead of one. no success with IUI
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Olga)
Olga was good. After a rough start initially (lacking some bedside manner / awareness of our case's history), I came to really like her and found her quite accessible and helpful.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
It seems fairly difficult to get access to your doctor at this clinic, and you never see your doctor for the actual IUIs, and rarely for the ultrasounds checking follicle counts during IUI process. I'm very confident in the lab and the state of the art medical procedures, instruments, and capabilities at this office, and that was enough for me to want to be and remain a patient there. The main weakness was a real lack of access to the doctor (it's strange to me that it was not possible to send an email to the doctor - it's not like I was expecting to get her cell number or her address, sheesh), and the extent to which the scheduling person really controls things. I assume that's very hit or miss, and in the case of Dr. Noel's person, it's a big MISS. Really too bad because I think she's excellent, but I'd consider choosing a different doctor to avoid the scheduling nightmares and unreliable ability to track documents and checklists.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
The IUI cost changed during my second cycle (described earlier) and during my 3rd/4th I was on new insurance that covered my treatment so I only had $20 copays. Unfortunately I dont remember more except that I believe initially IUIs were about $900 out of pocket, and skyrocketed to $2700 or $3000 (which I never paid because I protested them raising the price when I was literally already in the middle of treatment).
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
for our age at least (early 30s), UCSF seems pretty adament about eSET only, no multiples transfer
What specific things went wrong at UCSF?
  • Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at UCSF.
During one of my IUI cycles, which I had already started, UCSF sent me a message informing me that the next time I came to the office I owed them $3000 (or thereabouts) because that was the new price of IUIs. I had bad insurance at the time so I was all out of pocket. I had to spend hours writing emails and on the phone fighting them over changing the price MID CYCLE and even 8 months later they were still trying to charge me for a higher rate than I actually owed them. Some people in the billing office are very good, and the rest are incompetent at best.
9
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
7
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2018, Successful
10
10
Age 37 - 38
3 IUI
1 IVF
Uterine Fibroids
Unexplained
European
Income $200K - $499K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr. Noel was my point person for everything even if I was seen for procedures by other doctors in the practice. She is compassionate, kind and smart. She was responsive and answered every crazy question I could dream up. At no point did I feel unheard or uneasy about the treatment plan. ... Dr. Noel is amazing and confident in her recommendations. She is warm and understanding of the emotion that goes with infertility. She has wonderful bedside manner and truly listens to all questions and concerns.
Dr. Noel’s team [at UCSF] was wonderful and compassionate. They were also responsive and organized. They walked me through the process for each step so I was confident in My medications and use.... The clinic is the best of the best. They are organized and open daily to accommodate for all cycles. I saw many different doctors for various treatments based on my cycle and they were all wonderful. UCSF is the best hospital around and the clinic is representative of that.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel is amazing and confident in her recommendations. She is warm and understanding of the emotion that goes with infertility. She has wonderful bedside manner and truly listens to all questions and concerns. She is never rushed and is responsive to emails and calls. She directed every aspect of my treatments even if she wasn’t the doctor to perform them based on my cycle. She also adjusted my treatments when I didn’t tolerate the hormones well. She is amazing and the reason I’m expecting my daughter. I can’t recommend her enough! UCSF is the best hospital with the best doctors and Dr. Noel is an example of that. She’s wonderful.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Fertility treatments are not easy but with the right doctor you will get positive results.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
My care was thoughtful and specific to my needs. My first chemically controlled cycle for transfer of a PGS embryonwas rough (I did not tolerate the hormones well) and resulted in implantation but not proper growth. To prepare for my second transfer, we discussed at length the benefits and risks of a natural cycle and created a protocol that was easier on my body. Dr. Noel was my point person for everything even if I was seen for procedures by other doctors in the practice. She is compassionate, kind and smart. She was responsive and answered every crazy question I could dream up. At no point did I feel unheard or uneasy about the treatment plan. I can’t recommend Dr. Noel enough. She’s wonderful and because of her caring and compassion, I am 39 weeks pregnant with my daughter.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
I had a natural conception and no issues with my first child. When I had a miscarriage with my second pregnancy and trouble conceiving thereafter, I wasn’t convinced I needed to see a fertility specialist. I met with Dr. Noel unconvinced I had true fertility problems and based on my prior natural conception, she recommended I do Clomid with IUI’s. We tried 3 with no luck. Thereafter we stepped up the fertility to an egg retrieval and PGS testing as egg quality was the suspicion. The PGS was telling and I ended up with 3 normal and good quality embryos. I did a medicated cycle to prepare for my first transfer. I took a drug that is used for treatment of prostate cancer that suppresses the ovaries. I then had to do progesterone injections. The medication was very hard on my body but resulted in a positive pregnancy. The embryo didn’t show proper growth and resulted in a miscarriage with manual uterine aspiration. In discussing my second transfer, I advised Dr. Noel that the medications were very difficult on my body and she suggested we do a natural cycle. We did and it resulted in a positive test and healthy pregnancy. I used estrogen suppositories to boost the pregnancy which were easy to use. Dr. Noel followed my progress through delivery and was so kind. She was as excited that I was pregnant as I was!
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at UCSF.
Dr. Noel’s team was wonderful and compassionate. They were also responsive and organized. They walked me through the process for each step so I was confident in My medications and use.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
The clinic is the best of the best. They are organized and open daily to accommodate for all cycles. I saw many different doctors for various treatments based on my cycle and they were all wonderful. UCSF is the best hospital around and the clinic is representative of that.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
For the IUI’s and harvest and 2 transfers, we spent approxsintelt $20,000.
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
I only wanted one additional child so we planned to only transfer one embryo at a time.
10
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2016 - 2017, Unknown Success
10
10
Age 30 - 31
2 Embryo Freezing
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Unexplained
European
Income $100K - $199K
Consultant
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Not sure
I am 30 with DOR (very very low AMH and AFC 10). We did three IVF retrieval cycles [with Dr. Martha Noel], one of which we cancelled before the retrieval, all to freeze embryos. Cycle 1: Estrace for mild supression, stims of 300 IU Follistim, 150 IU Menopur, adding Ganirelix. Trigger was Pregnyl with Follistim co-trigger. 4 follicles at time of retrieval, 3 eggs retrieved, 1 mature, it fertilized with ICSI, and was frozen on day 3. (Yield: 1 embryo) Cycle 2: half dose Estrace, start with Clomid (100 mg), 300 IU Follistim, 150 IU Menopur- canceled cycle before retrieval. (Yield: 0 embryos) Cycle 3: Lupron strting 6 days after ovulation, stims of 300 IU Follistim, 150 IU Menopur, and omnitrope. Trigger was Novarel with Follistim co-trigger. 5 follicles at time of retrieval, 5 eggs retrieved, 4 mature, 3 fertilized with ICSI, 2 looked great and were frozen on day 3, while 1 was poorer quality and so was grown to dat 5 to see how it went then it didn't make it. (Yield: 2 embryos) We did not do PGS and so are very nervous about the egg quality, and 3 embryos doesn't give much "wiggle room" for failed transfers, miscarriage, aneuploidy, etc., especially since we would love 2 kids. We're hoping for one more IVF cycle to get a total of 5 embryos is possible.
They [UCSF] run very on time, I'm usually in and out very quickly for the regular ultrasound check; the staff is all very nice and professional; the office is always clean; I don't think they allow babies and children in the waiting room which is nice. I felt like they did their best to find programs to help up pay for treatment, since my insurance doesn't cover anything. It's never enough of course, but I can tell they really tried and did find us some options, especially for medication include a $100 coupon for one of the pharmacies. I wish they had a payment plan rather than having to pay up front, but I expect that that is a pretty standard policy. Overall I've been exceptionally happy with UCSF.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
She is extremely approachable, easy to talk to, is not judgmental at all about "stupid" questions (just to say there isn't anything I would be embarrassed or hesitant to ask her), she's thorough and very reasonable, she does the serious talks with kindness and gives straightforward answers, but she also is personable and will laugh with you about all of the ridiculous moments that inevitably happen throughout this process. She will talk short game and long game, and when she (very appropriately) raised the possibility we might need to resort to donor eggs and I was not emotionally prepared to talk about it, she respected that. But I know that if we got closer to that point, she would approach it again kindly (as she should). I trust her to tell me the truth in a way and at the time that I'm ready.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Nothing specific to Dr. Noel, only general advice about entering this process or seeing any doctor, like make a list of questions and be sure to write down the answers they give because you can't remember everything, things like that.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel has been extraordinarily kind and patient while we asked questions, sometimes over and over; she remembers us in detail every time we see her and it feels like we're also friends; she says things like, "I was thinking about you guys the other day, and I think we should try X" or "I asked for a colleagues advice..." just showing that she knows our case inside and out and is really thinking about whats best for us rather than following a formula or a standard treatment procedure without tailoring it to us. She emails with us directly and understands that since we live two hours away sometimes it's nice to have discussion appointments over the phone. She gives us our options AND her honest, professional opinion. She is honest when our cycle doesn't go as well as she hoped (or we hoped), and we talk about why and she helps us set reasonable expectations for moving forward, while continuing to be hopeful and find options for us. I can't say enough good things about her. And her team!
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
I am 30 with DOR (very very low AMH and AFC 10). We did three IVF retrieval cycles, one of which we cancelled before the retrieval, all to freeze embryos. Cycle 1: Estrace for mild supression, stims of 300 IU Follistim, 150 IU Menopur, adding Ganirelix. Trigger was Pregnyl with Follistim co-trigger. 4 follicles at time of retrieval, 3 eggs retrieved, 1 mature, it fertilized with ICSI, and was frozen on day 3. (Yield: 1 embryo) Cycle 2: half dose Estrace, start with Clomid (100 mg), 300 IU Follistim, 150 IU Menopur- canceled cycle before retrieval. (Yield: 0 embryos) Cycle 3: Lupron strting 6 days after ovulation, stims of 300 IU Follistim, 150 IU Menopur, and omnitrope. Trigger was Novarel with Follistim co-trigger. 5 follicles at time of retrieval, 5 eggs retrieved, 4 mature, 3 fertilized with ICSI, 2 looked great and were frozen on day 3, while 1 was poorer quality and so was grown to dat 5 to see how it went then it didn't make it. (Yield: 2 embryos) We did not do PGS and so are very nervous about the egg quality, and 3 embryos doesn't give much "wiggle room" for failed transfers, miscarriage, aneuploidy, etc., especially since we would love 2 kids. We're hoping for one more IVF cycle to get a total of 5 embryos is possible.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Olga Salamanca)
Olga is amazing too! We've been so lucky. She often gets an email from me then picks up the phone to call me to chat about my question. She likes to plan my cycle in detail ahead of time (just like me!), she's very kind and personably, like Dr. Noel, good at the serious stuff but is also quick to laugh with you. She commiserates in a totally appropriate way, and I always feel like she is on top of things and totally has my back.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
They run very on time, I'm usually in and out very quickly for the regular ultrasound check; the staff is all very nice and professional; the office is always clean; I don't think they allow babies and children in the waiting room which is nice. I felt like they did their best to find programs to help up pay for treatment, since my insurance doesn't cover anything. It's never enough of course, but I can tell they really tried and did find us some options, especially for medication include a $100 coupon for one of the pharmacies. I wish they had a payment plan rather than having to pay up front, but I expect that that is a pretty standard policy. Overall I've been exceptionally happy with UCSF.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
$27,000 for cycles $10,700 for medication
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
We will only be transferring 1 embryo at a time, for two reasons. 1) we have very very few, we can't mess around with them. 2) I'm fairly young and my uterus looks good, so we should have a higher implantation rate.
10
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019, Unknown Success
10
9
Age 36
2 IUI
2 IVF
Donor Eggs
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Endometriosis
European
Nurse or HC Services
3rd of 3 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr Noel was informative and direct while being really sensitive and gentle. She gave us information and success probability of all our options and let us decide what felt best for us. We ultimately decided to go with an egg donor because I was not up for numerous more stims and retrievals. ... Dr Noel was very patient with us. I was really emotional and stressed out during our appointment as she took extra time with us and really listened to our concerns.
Everyone runs on time, so we haven’t had to sit and wait for appointments. Parking is easy but the location is a bit out of the way for us. ... UCSF has a program to discount costs if your insurance does not have fertility coverage, which is one of the reasons we chose to use them. I think our costs for OVF including meds will end up being around 20k
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr Noel was informative and direct while being really sensitive and gentle. She gave us information and success probability of all our options and let us decide what felt best for us. We ultimately decided to go with an egg donor because I was not up for numerous more stims and retrievals.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
I think she’s an excellent option, I don’t think there’s anything specific for her. As with any RE- have specific questions written down, to make sure everything gets answered
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr Noel was very patient with us. I was really emotional and stressed out during our appointment as she took extra time with us and really listened to our concerns. I felt like she was easy to talk to and easy to connect with.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
We haven’t started yet
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Gianna)
So far she has been excellent with communication, really quick to respond to emails and phone calls. She has been efficient and concise.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
The clinic is new and beautiful, really peaceful environment. We feel comfortable there. Everyone runs on time, so we haven’t had to sit and wait for appointments. Parking is easy but the location is a bit out of the way for us.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
UCSF has a program to discount costs if your insurance does not have fertility coverage, which is one of the reasons we chose to use them. I think our costs for OVF including meds will end up being around 20k
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
We’ll be using donor eggs so eSET is required
10
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
9
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2019, Unsuccessful
6
6
Age 36
5 Fertility Medications
Anovulation
PCOS
European
Income $200K - $499K
Accountant
Only Doc Seen
Doesn't Recommend
Doesn't Recommend
Unsuccessful
I found Dr. Noel to be very kind and responsive, which was appreciated. I did feel that she formed her treatment plan for me relative to what has been statistically proven for patients my age with my diagnosis. This seemed great at first, but as cycles continued unsuccessfully I felt she was unwilling to pivot and provide me care based on my unique circumstances and condition. It was very frustrating...She responded timely to all my emails and addressed my concerns, although we disagreed on the correct course of action frequently. I did feel she was ultra-conservative in my treatment relative to friends and other women I have spoken to undergoing treatment for similar issues.
Letrozole and timed intercourse [protocol at UCSF]...$489 for ultrasound monitoring appointment...You will rarely see your actual doctor. This was surprising to me, however they do seem to be available over email (at least in my case). I would not necessarily take advice given by the sonographer as in my case it tended to go against what the doctor would have told me...I don't think you can necessarily rely on this clinic to personalize treatment to your specific conditions, so it best to ask for you want and need...Be your own advocate. Do your own research and come prepared with questions.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Dr. Noel was kind and nice to work with. She responded timely to all my emails and addressed my concerns, although we disagreed on the correct course of action frequently. I did feel she was ultra-conservative in my treatment relative to friends and other women I have spoken to undergoing treatment for similar issues.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
Be your own advocate. Do your own research and come prepared with questions. I don't think you can necessarily rely on this clinic to personalize treatment to your specific conditions, so it best to ask for you want and need.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
I found Dr. Noel to be very kind and responsive, which was appreciated. I did feel that she formed her treatment plan for me relative to what has been statistically proven for patients my age with my diagnosis. This seemed great at first, but as cycles continued unsuccessfully I felt she was unwilling to pivot and provide me care based on my unique circumstances and condition. It was very frustrating.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
Letrozole and timed intercourse
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at UCSF.
No comments
Describe your experience with UCSF.
You will rarely see your actual doctor. This was surprising to me, however they do seem to be available over email (at least in my case). I would not necessarily take advice given by the sonographer as in my case it tended to go against what the doctor would have told me.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
$489 for ultrasound monitoring appointment
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
N/A
What specific things went wrong at UCSF?
  • Failed to consider drug intolerance
6
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
6
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017, Unknown Success
9
9
Age 33
Fertility Medications
Anovulation
Latinx
Income $200K - $499K
Consultant
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Not sure
All of my appointments except one have been with Dr. Noel and the one time I saw her nurse was for a minor follow-up appointment. The only negative thing I've experienced thus far is having to wait for my appointment when she's behind schedule. When she is running late she's very apologetic...She appreciates when you're armed with information about your cycle and specific questions you have.
All of the clinic staff [at UCSF] have been very friendly and welcoming. The one negative thing about the clinic is that they don't seem to enforce the no children at the clinic policy they have listed on their waitlist. I understand that things come up but it can be very hard to sit in a waiting room, waiting to meet with your doctor to discuss struggles of conceiving, and having babies/young children around. It can also take several days and persistent calling to reach someone from the finance team.
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
I'm just starting my visits with Dr. Noel and will begin a medicated cycle next month but so far she's been really great explaining everything in a clear, concise, and straightforward manner. All of my appointments except one have been with Dr. Noel and the one time I saw her nurse was for a minor follow-up appointment. The only negative thing I've experienced thus far is having to wait for my appointment when she's behind schedule. When she is running late she's very apologetic.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
She appreciates when you're armed with information about your cycle and specific questions you have.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
Even if Dr. Noel is behind schedule she still takes the time to explain next steps and answer any questions I may have.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
All of the clinic staff have been very friendly and welcoming. The one negative thing about the clinic is that they don't seem to enforce the no children at the clinic policy they have listed on their waitlist. I understand that things come up but it can be very hard to sit in a waiting room, waiting to meet with your doctor to discuss struggles of conceiving, and having babies/young children around. It can also take several days and persistent calling to reach someone from the finance team.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
Unfortunately our insurance doesn't cover any fertility costs so we're paying out of pocket. I haven't started a medicated cycle yet so I'm not sure how much that will cost but when paying out of pocket follow-up visits are $119, a transvaginal ultrasound is $243, and I believe an SA is $80.
9
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
9
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017, Successful
10
10
Age 34
1 IVF
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $200K - $499K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
She's [Dr. Noel] the perfect combination of being realistic but still having an emotional/personal touch in everything that she does. She has made this process as seamless as it possibly could be.We came to Dr. Noel to get a second opinion. We had previously been to a private practice and had no idea if they were incentivized to tell us to do IVF. She walked us through everything and made us feel super comfortable. She never gave false promises but also didn't just state the facts and move on...
The [UCSF] clinic runs very efficiently. The entire staff is nice, courteous, and respectful. If there is any downside, I would say it's runs like a machine since there are so many patients but the benefit is that there is a process for everything and that it runs as smoothly as possible...Nursing staff was excellent. The women at the front desk could not have been nicer and everyone we worked with was great. Even if when they were quiet, they were extremely respectful...Treatment & Retrieval is about $15k, Genetic testing is about another $4k...
How was your experience with Martha Noel at UCSF?
I could not have asked for a better doctor! She's the perfect combination of being realistic but still having an emotional/personal touch in everything that she does. She has made this process as seamless as it possibly could be.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Martha Noel at UCSF?
You are in great hands and trust her expertise.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Martha Noel at UCSF?
We came to Dr. Noel to get a second opinion. We had previously been to a private practice and had no idea if they were incentivized to tell us to do IVF. She walked us through everything and made us feel super comfortable. She never gave false promises but also didn't just state the facts and move on.
Describe the protocols Martha Noel used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
I started on Lupron and then used Menopur and Gonal F. I was very happy with the results and produced more eggs than expected. We also had more make it to day 5 than expected.
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Olga Salamanca)
Nursing staff was excellent. The women at the front desk could not have been nicer and everyone we worked with was great. Even if when they were quiet, they were extremely respectful.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
The clinic runs very efficiently. The entire staff is nice, courteous, and respectful. If there is any downside, I would say it's runs like a machine since there are so many patients but the benefit is that there is a process for everything and that it runs as smoothly as possible.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Martha Noel at UCSF.
Treatment & Retrieval is about $15k, Genetic testing is about another $4k
Describe Martha Noel's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
We are genetically testing ours so it will be a single embryo transfer.
10
Doctor
Martha Noel
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
10
Clinic
UCSF
San Francisco
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources