How was your experience with Meir Olcha at New Hope Fertility Center?
I think I already covered this in the last question. But to add a little more colour, I grew up a physician's daughter and was treated in my father's medical community by his colleagues until I was an adult. I was used to doctors treating me like their own daughter. Now of course as I independently navigate the health sphere I understand just how rare it is to find a doctor who treats you like family, especially when you're a perfect stranger. Dr. Olcha loves what he does, he's extremely talented at it, but above all else he truly cares about his patients and their outcomes. He is patient, honest, thorough, and proactive. He is an excellent communicator. We feel like he is a part of our family now, and can't imagine going through any future cycles without being under his care.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Meir Olcha at New Hope Fertility Center?
Ask for him first.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Meir Olcha at New Hope Fertility Center?
Where to begin. I had seen three other doctors at the same clinic as every time I had a procedure, whoever was assigned to perform it that day sort of took me over. All of the doctors were professional and knowledgable, but it weren't a good fit for me personally, especially because being passed around lead to errors in communication, resulting in the wrong medication being prescribed, an extremely painful endoscopy without any pain medication, and other unpleasantries. I was feeling very disheartened and beginning to lose trust.
Dr. Olcha went above and beyond from day one. He immediately reassured me that things were indeed on track even though I had been given conflicting information about the status of my embryos after NICS (he is the Director of NICS so I went with his opinion in the end!). He provided his personal email and we were able to communicate as needed (though I tried to be respectful and not inundate him). He was the first doctor to call me after a procedure to check in and make sure I was feeling ok. Even on his days out of the office he was responsive to emails if they were urgent. I was really able to let go of my fears and just trust him, and I got the impression all of his patients feel the exact same way. He is a rare find and is invested in every patient and their future family as if it's an extension of his own family. He is stuck with us as long as we need a reproductive endocrinologist for as long as he is practicing!
Describe the protocols Meir Olcha used in your cycles at New Hope Fertility Center and their degree of success.
By the time I switched to Dr. Olcha, it was in time for my first transfer. There was some debate about whether to go for a third IVF cycle/egg retrieval because we hope for a large family, but ultimately we decided to do the transfer after two cycles. So far so good!
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nurses are wonderful. I had one instance of the wrong drug information being communicated which probably had more to do with different doctor's taking over my chart after an egg retrieval than a nurse error.
Describe your experience with New Hope Fertility Center.
I think this is very personal. The waiting room is extremely diverse. Infertility effects everyone and I was happy to see everyone comfortable coming to the same place for treatment. NHFC takes lots of insurances and doesn't balance bill, so they are one of the more affordable options as far as I have heard. I think there are enough doctors that no matter what you are dealing with, your background, or your concerns, you can find a doctor that is a good fit for you. I wish I had spoken to a couple doctors before getting started because I probably would have gone with Dr. Olcha right away and had a much better experience throughout. I am sure there are doctors at the clinic just as loved by others for different reasons (though I maintain he is a gem!!)
Describe the costs associated with your care under Meir Olcha at New Hope Fertility Center.
We had amazing insurance and were incredibly grateful. I honestly don't have a sense of what we spent out of pocket because the overwhelming majority was covered and then we weren't balance billed.
Describe Meir Olcha's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at New Hope Fertility Center.
I can't speak to this but we transferred one embryo.
What specific things went wrong at New Hope Fertility Center?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
Describe the specific things that went wrong at New Hope Fertility Center.
I have several drug allergies and when I was passed between doctors, it was like they hadn't even read my chart. It was clear from their questions they did not even know the cause of our infertility. I was given BC for another retrieval round even though I was headed for transfer and since I'm so drug sensitive I had horrible headaches for days for no reason. Just frustrated me at the time on top of everything else and just the general stress of all the meds and hormones.
I was never informed I had "switched" doctors (I hadn't), so when a new doctor who had been assigned to do my egg retrieval then ordered an endosee and spent all of 10 seconds explaining what was involved, I trusted them to move forward with this plan and assumed it was routine/ordered by the primary doctor overseeing my care.
I will spare you the details, but the endosee, which we could not complete, was traumatic for me and the most pain I have ever felt in my life. In my opinion, the doctor took the procedure much too far witnessing the level of pain I was struggling with, and did not even return to the room to check on me afterwards even though I was sobbing.
Given my history it should have never been performed without sedation (both my retrievals were under anesthesia) and it was clear to the primary doctor overseeing my care that I could not take vicoden or valium (allergic) which were offered to me the morning of... thus I was not administered anything for pain at all. Being offered these meds was my first tip that this was not a mild procedure (and that again important details about my medical history weren't coming up at critical times) and I felt extremely ill prepared going in. Looking back I still can't believe it happened.
You do have to be flexible because your retrievals and transfers have to be timed perfectly and you get who is assigned that day, but you really need to learn to advocate for yourself and not hesitate to ask questions, raise eyebrows, trust your gut, and reiterate things about your unique case to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Eventually Dr. Olcha performed a hysteroscopy on me under anesthesia. He discovered mild cervical stenosis, tried a water ultrasound, sono (I think), and performed a mock transfer to make sure that on the day of it would be smooth sailing. I was so grateful for his patience and it felt like he went above and beyond even though what he encountered was trickier than he expected. I felt so relieved and that he maximized the opportunity to explore my condition during a single procedure.