How was your experience with Michael Feinman at HRC Fertility?
At our first consultation Dr. Feinman was very straightforward, no nonsense, and felt a little rough around the edges. He was blunt about our situation and didn't offer a lot of compassion but he also seemed very confident and sure of himself and his suggested course of treatment. He answered all the questions we had very directly and matter of factly. The thing that stood out the most to us in our initial consultation was his suggestion to try FSH for my husband's NOA. We had asked previous doctors about FSH after doing our own research, but they each had told us we didn't need it. We decided that successful treatment was more important than a warm and fuzzy physician and moved forward with Dr. Feinman.
Dr. Feinman was able to get my husband's sperm count up by 40x within 30 days, something we had been unable to accomplish with 3 previous doctors. After this achievement we were candidates for IVF. Feinman had standard diagnostic procedures he wanted to do prior to IVF starting. I was a bit hesitant because we knew we had male factor and I didn't want to spend unnecessary money on procedures for myself however Feinman insisted that we rule out any other unknown issues. I am so thankful for his insistence because we ended up finding I had a partial septum during and HSG procedure. Feinman performed the HSG as well as the hysteroscopy to remove my septum, the recovery was flawless and everything went smoothly.
We moved forward with injections for egg retrieval but I didn't respond well enough and the cycle was cancelled/converted to timed intercourse. TI failed and the following cycle we started again for egg retrieval with a slightly different medication protocol. Dr. Feinman was present for every monitoring appointment, performed every ultrasound, and also performed the egg retrieval. This time it was successful and we got 23 eggs! We ended up with 11 embryos which we PGS tested - leaving us with 7 normal embryos which we froze.
Our first frozen embryo transfer was also performed by Dr. Feinman but it failed. Following the failure Dr. Feinman performed an ERA which showed that my body needed to transfer an embryo slightly later than most women. After the ERA Feinman performed another FET which was successful and we are now pregnant with our little miracle.
Overall, Dr. Feinman is an excellent doctor that is very knowledgeable in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology. he has a no-nonsense approach that may feel compassionless but as we got to know him we learned that he cared very much about us and our outcome.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Michael Feinman at HRC Fertility?
Ask lots of questions. Dr. Feinman doesn't explain the reasoning or science behind many of the procedures or protocols he implements, however if you ask him questions he will answer them and explain to you what you want to know.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Michael Feinman at HRC Fertility?
Dr. Feinman took a while to warm up, our first consultation appointment he was very direct, straightforward, and slightly cold but also told us exactly what he knew we needed to do. As time went on we built a warmer relationship and his bedside manner softened up, he began to really take an interest in us as a couple and would share personal anecdotes and get excited for us at each next step.
Describe the protocols Michael Feinman used in your cycles at HRC Fertility and their degree of success.
For my first egg retrieval Dr. Feinman put me on 225mg Gonal-F and 5mg HCG daily, after about 8 days we added in a Ganirelix injection nightly. After 10 days I wasn't responding well and only had 3-4 follicles developing appropriately. So on night 10 we triggered with a large HCG injection and had timed intercourse 48 hrs later. This attempt did not result in pregnancy.
The second egg retrieval cycle we upped the Gonal-F to 300 mg daily and continued with the 5 mg HCG, we also added in 5 mg daily of clomid for the first 5 days then after about 12 of stims we added in Ganirelix daily. This resulted in an egg retrieval where we got 23 eggs retrieved. Of the 23 retrieved 17 were mature, 16 fertilized through ICSI, 11 made it to day 5 blasts, and 7 tested PGS normal.
For our first transfer the protocol was 3 2mg estrogen pills a day for 3 weeks (I was travelling in Europe so I was taking estrogen the whole time until I could get back home for the transfer). After baseline blood work I took a .5cc injection of Progesterone in Oil in the morning and a 400 mg progesterone vaginal insert at night for 5 days. On the 6th day we did our frozen embryo transfer and continued with the progesterone until blood work on day 14 which showed I wasn't pregnant and the transfer had failed.
After our failed transfer Dr. Feinman recommended we do an ERA. The Progesterone inserts had irritated my vagina so I was permitted to do a 1cc injection of Progesterone in OIl daily instead. For the ERA I took 3 pills of 2 mg of estrogen a day for 14 days, then after blood work I started the 1cc PIO injections. PIO went on for 5 days and on the 6th day the ERA biopsy was performed. The ERA showed that I needed an extra day of injections before transfer.
For our second transfer we used the same protocol as the ERA andand transferred after 6 days of PIO instead of 5. The transfer was successful! I took the estrogen pills 3x a day until I was 8 weeks pregnant and continued the PIO injections until I was 10 weeks pregnant. I went in for weekly ultrasounds and bloodwork with Dr. Feinman until I was 10 weeks pregnant when I "graduated" to my regular OB.
Describe your experience with your nurse at HRC Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Dulce Ramirez)
Dulce was my assigned nurse coordinator at HRC Westlake with Dr. Feinman. She was very friendly, kind, and helpful. She took her time to answer all of my questions and act as a liaison between Dr. Feinman and myself whenever I had a question that would come up. She always answered the phone and quickly returned emails. She also performed all my blood draws. I was originally working with Dr. Feinman out of the HRC Encino office and was paired with another nurse coordinator named Josette. Josette failed to return calls, took 3 days to respond to emails, and even forgot to schedule/inform me necessary labs prior to my surgery. After having a difficult experience with Josette I transitioned to working with Dulce instead and it was night and day! I could have stayed at the Encino office and worked with Dulce remotely but I preferred to move offices and avoid Josette entirely. I am so happy that we made this choice because Dulce was fantastic and made me feel so taken care of.
Describe your experience with HRC Fertility.
Dr. Feinman works out of two main clinics - HRC Encino and HRC Westlake. Most of my appointments took place at HRC Westlake, however there were also several times I needed to be at the Encino location.
HRC Westlake is a smaller office with about 4-5 exam rooms, a small waiting room, and Dr. Feinman's office. The office is a bit dated but offers everything you need for regular visits (ultrasounds, ERAs, blood work, consultations, etc.) however they are not equipped for procedures like HSG, hysteroscopy, and embryo transfer. Those surgical type procedures require you go to the Encino location where they have a designated surgery center (called RSA). The staff at HRC Westlake is phenomenal. They are very friendly and warm and make sure to greet you when you walk into the office. Even though Westlake was farther from my house than Encino I far preferred to go to the Westlake location for my appointments.
HRC Encino is a larger facility and is very modernized in terms of decor. They have a large waiting room, over 10 exam rooms, consultation roms, offices, a separate payment department, and a designated surgery center (RSA). The staff at the Encino location is much colder and less friendly. The privacy partitions are always shut at the reception desk which blocks your ability to see/speak with the front desk staff. Parking is not free and HRC Encino will not validate your parking. The RSA surgery center is phenomenal and the staff there is top notch and very friendly.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Michael Feinman at HRC Fertility.
Traditional IVF (office visits, ultrasounds, labs, egg retrieval, creation of embryos): $9600
Military IVF Pricing: $5600
Natural/Mini IVF Cycle: $6400
Frozen Embryo Transfer (w/ Assisted Hatching): $3800
PGD/PGS Embryo Testing - up to 12 embryos: $5300
PGD/PGS for each embryo after 12: $250
Embryo Freezing: $800/year
Describe Michael Feinman's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at HRC Fertility.
Before transfer I had read extensively about the outcomes of single transfers vs. multiple embryo transfers on Fertility IQ. We had PGS tested our embryos. Dr. Feinman agreed with the information on Fertility IQ, that someone my age (30) with PGS normal embryos had no reason to transfer more than one at a time. He felt that transferring multiple would only increase our odds of having multiples and wouldn't significantly increase our odds for successful transfer.