How was your experience with Mary Hinckley at Reproductive Science Center?
My initial choosing of a clinician was random, and I am so glad I ended up with Dr. Hinckley. She is everything I want in a doctor: compassionate, a good communicator, and most importantly, smart as a whip and knows her research.
My care under her practice continued for about 2 years before resulting in an almost-successful. In the end, it turns out that I have a rare immunological disorder that was only discovered due to stillbirth. There is no way anyone can have diagnosed it beforehand, and is likely related to my “unexplained” difficulty conceiving.
All that is to say, I got to know Dr. Hinckley very well in that time and trust her without reservations. She was thoughtfully involved in my care every step of the way, respectfully took my ideas and opinions into account, and adjusted my care as we went along in what I thought was an appropriate and evidence-based manner.
Overall a phenomenal doctor.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Mary Hinckley at Reproductive Science Center?
This would apply to any doctor, but questions ahead of time and write them down as you think of them. Knowledge is power.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Mary Hinckley at Reproductive Science Center?
In addition to having a caring and responsive case manager, Dr. Hinckley often called me personally to discuss results and treatment planning. She was detailed and matter-of-fact in her explanations while still being sensitive to my difficult situation.
Describe the protocols Mary Hinckley used in your cycles at Reproductive Science Center and their degree of success.
I do not recall the protocol or exact dosages. However I do remember that during the first egg retrieval, I had an iffy response at first had to increase some dosages throughout the cycle. I was so grateful for the close monitoring because ultimately that cycle yielded 6 high quality embryos that we transferred one at a time. We did not PGS test them because they appeared high quality and I was still relatively young at the time (just turned 35). Unfortunately none of them stuck (besides one early miscarriage).
At various times we tried adding in immunological/blood clotting testing, lovenox and an oral steroid. When we got down to the last two, Dr. Hinckley broached the topic of transferring both embryos, doing an era, or jumping right into another cycle and PGS testing the whole batch (all good ideas that we declined for various personal reasons).
We did another retrieval on higher dose meds, got 5 high quality embryos, PGS tested them this time, which yielded 2 that wee chromosomally normal. This is pretty average for my age (36 at this point). The first one stuck! We speculated together that I had a hidden egg quality issue. Which is still possibly a contributor, there’s no way of knowing. Sadly this pregnancy ended in stillbirth due to placental incompetency (my immune system attacked it).
Describe your experience with your nurse at Reproductive Science Center. (Assigned nurse: Shanda Mildon )
My coordinator Shanda was kind, organized and knowledgeable. Great communication- she always responded quickly, and substitutes were arranged if she was out of the office. In addition, I received good care from the rest of the nursing staff.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Science Center.
This clinic is large and the medical side is well organized. They have wonderful doctors (a few stood in to do my transfers when Dr. Hinckley was unavailable) and there is always one on call. I had to use the on-call service a couple times for emergency meds or questions and they always helped me quickly. Appointments and communication always ran very smoothly, thanks largely to their system of really great coordinators.
The only downside is the billing department. I didn’t have much contact with them, but the few interactions I had were pretty disappointing. For example, I had to get my coordinator involved at one point in order to get a call back from them. Another time, without calling, they sent a letter threatening collections over a bill that was a few hundred dollars (because my card/autopay had been canceled without my realizing it), which was incredibly poor taste and insulting (after having spent tens of thousands of dollars, they didn’t have the courtesy to call). Apparently they were undergoing a system change and their policy is to call, so hopefully that won’t happen to anyone else. Still, the medical care was so good that I would tolerate the billing department.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Reproductive Science Center.
Very efficient. These were typically done in the morning, with the clinic opening very early, so I could often get in before work. I rarely had to wait more than a few minutes and the appointments were always done quickly.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Mary Hinckley at Reproductive Science Center.
I paid $35,000 to Attain for a refund program that included three retrievals and unlimited FETs. Meds and extra diagnostic testing (such as sonohysterograms, PGS, ERA) were not included. In addition to the Attain fee, I estimate we paid about $20,000 for tests and medication.
Describe Mary Hinckley's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Reproductive Science Center.
My doctor was a strong proponent of eSET.