How was your experience with Meredith Snook at Reproductive Health Specialists?
I can tell the Dr Snook cares about her patients. I like that she is rooted and reliant on evidence-based medicine and treatment practices. I will honestly say that I wasn’t sure what I thought after my initial meeting with her. I’m not sure if most patients don’t come into that first meeting as informed or researched, but I did feel a little wary at first. Or perhaps I came on a little too strong - I won’t count that out haha. But over several months, I’ve had more experience with her and I absolutely trust her. I’ve also learned that it’s okay for me to speak up and ask questions. Even if they are completely off base, it’s good to feel confident in how I’m being treated and why. Most of the communication is with the nurses, but if I feel like I need to speak to her specifically, it’s never been an issue setting up a time to speak. I think that’s super important because we should have access to our own physicians.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Meredith Snook at Reproductive Health Specialists?
Dr. Snook is quite knowledgeable and I very much trust her. But don’t feel bad taking your time to ask all your questions. I think it’s so important when we are being treated for fertility issues. She will be helpful and explain things out.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Meredith Snook at Reproductive Health Specialists?
I have had a lot of questions throughout this process. I am someone who likes to know all the details and be fully informed. Dr. Snook has spent a lot of one-on-one time with me and my husband regarding our diagnosis, treatment options, treatment evidence, and next steps. After seeing her for around 6 months or so at this point, I can tell that she is invested in our outcome and our (hopefully) future success.
Describe the protocols Meredith Snook used in your cycles at Reproductive Health Specialists and their degree of success.
I completed 4 timed intercourse cycles with Clomid 50 mg CD3-7 (2 of them were under the care of Dr Snook, the other two were under the care of my OBGYN). No positive pregnancy tests.
I then completed two IUI cycles with letrozole 2.5 mg. No positive pregnancy tests.
I just completed my first egg retrieval. Antagonist protocol with birth control priming. Gonal F 75mg + Menopur 75mg daily for 4 days, then we increased the Gonal F to 150 mg. We had originally started with the lower dose because I have PCOS and at higher risk for developing OHSS (I wanted to do a fresh transfer if possible). I ended up stimming for 15 days total. Trigger with Lupron and HCG 5,000 units. 28 eggs retrieved, 24 mature, 21 fertilized, 8 embryos frozen for future use. We ended up doing a freeze all because I got moderate OHSS after the ER (note - no issues with OHSS prior to ER).
Currently taking estradiol 1mg vaginally in preparation for FET. Will be adding PIO soon enough..
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
RHS was recently bought by UPMC. For me, the office has been a little bit disorganized. It seems like there has been quite a bit of turnover since I’ve started here. Hopefully things will calm down once everything has settled down a bit. Margie has been very helpful through the process, I think she’s been there longer than the other IVF coordinators. I’ve had a couple communication issues between getting prior authorizations and the correct medications phoned in. However, the office is just one piece of the puzzle - there are obviously other factors in play. The financial coordinator Donna is also very helpful and knowledgeable.
Describe your experience with Reproductive Health Specialists.
I like RHS. Almost every person I’ve encountered there seems to truly care about patients. The physicians there (the two I have come in contact with) have been great. I would say the only drawback or “weakness” is the turnover/acquisition that has seemed to occur recently, but this wouldn’t stop me from coming here. Just make sure to be on top of everything, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I would say this for any clinic. Healthcare is busy and complex - just keep being an advocate for yourself. The clinic itself is nice, clean, and right off the freeway. No complaints there. Although we all wish the Squirrel Tunnel didn’t exist :).
Describe the costs associated with your care under Meredith Snook at Reproductive Health Specialists.
I luckily have infertility coverage with my insurance company. Therefore, I ended up hitting my max out of pocket for 2019 ($3,700). Otherwise, I would guess that IVF plus the medications would cost around $20,000? But that of course will vary from person to person based on number of monitoring appointments and medications needed (plus any genetic testing or ICSI done).
Describe Meredith Snook's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Reproductive Health Specialists.
We are planning to do an eSET. I am still relatively young and I haven’t failed a transfer at this point (haven’t done one yet). Because of the risks associated with multiples, and my individual factors, the eSET was the best choice for us. But I have the understanding that my clinic will do multiple embryo transfers depending on the situation (I’m relatively sure on this one).
What specific things went wrong at Reproductive Health Specialists?
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Reproductive Health Specialists.
For my first IUI, no one mentioned I was supposed to use a trigger until I asked how it was determined I would not be using a trigger. A nurse checked my chart and saw that I was supposed to use a trigger.
I was told to administer 1 ml of Lupron as a trigger for my ER. After further questioning, and the nurse double checking with the supervisor, they confirmed I was only supposed to administer 0.4 ml of Lupron.