How was your experience with Michael Slowey at Coastal Fertility Specialists?
I think Dr. Slowey is a brilliant man. So brilliant that he might ignore or dismiss simplistic items that could improve treatment results. I've had mixed interactions with him ranging from very cold and short to very compassionate. I care more about him getting me pregnant than his bedside manner. But I haven't gotten pregnant yet, so my patience is growing thin.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Michael Slowey at Coastal Fertility Specialists?
I would say expect to do things his way in the beginning. I had so many cycles cancelled because he wanted to stick to his protocol. So either be very up front in your initial consultation about wanting an individualized plan or be patient. The problem with being patient though, is that time, money, and precious embryos may be wasted in the process.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Michael Slowey at Coastal Fertility Specialists?
In the beginning, we loved Coastal, but as the months dragged on, I think their patient volume increased exponentially. One of my biggest complaints is the amount of times they said something to us that was not accurate because they didn't bother to open my chart and read it. Sometimes it feels like they are trying to get as many scans, labs, and consultations done in one day to make the most amount of money.
Describe the protocols Michael Slowey used in your cycles at Coastal Fertility Specialists and their degree of success.
IVF 1: Stimming and egg retrieval went well. We got 3 PGS tested normal embryos. The first transfer was cancelled due to my lining not thickening up and we went to transfer (just barely- again, due to lining) the following cycle. This resulted in a negative pregnancy test. We had a consult with Dr. Slowey following that failed transfer and he gave us the option to have the ERA test done, which we decided to move forward with. The ERA revealed that I was pre receptive which indicated adjustments needed to be made for the following cycle. The second transfer failed, after another two cancelled cycles due to my poor lining. I expressed my concern that I felt the protocol I was on was not working for my body, but he wanted to stick with it. We surprisingly moved directly into our third and final transfer for that round (it was our last embryo) which resulted in a chemical pregnancy. I felt so frustrated because I felt like my voice wasn't being heard and we ended up losing all of our precious embryos. In Dr. Slowey's defense, he was going off what the ERA told us and wanted to stick with the protocol that gave us that information. I understand that.
IVF 2 & 3: My husband and I met with Dr. Slowey after our final failed transfer to discuss next steps. I was very clear in that consultation that I would not do another round of IVF if it entailed the same thing we did for nearly a year. He completely agreed and apologized profusely for all the time and heartache we wasted in the process. I think perhaps his experience with me as a patient has given him a new perspective on what might work for some, doesn't work for all. We decided to batch our second and third rounds because of my age and so that we could get more embryos to work with. We ended up with a combined 9 embryos, which were PGS tested, and only 5 were normal. Dr. Slowey tried a brand new protocol for my frozen transfer prep which entailed completely different medication than the previous 3 transfers. My lining seemed to respond much better right away! We just had our fourth frozen transfer three days ago, so I'm currently in my "two week wait" to see if this new protocol worked for me or not.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Coastal Fertility Specialists. (Assigned nurse: Kelly Mollison)
I absolutely love my nurse, Kelly. We are in constant communication and over the last year and a half, she has become like family. She is always in a good mood, friendly, tries her best to say the right things to make us feel better about negative outcomes, and is very responsive to my emails.
Describe your experience with Coastal Fertility Specialists.
I love the girls that work at the front desk. They are super friendly and always joking about how they need to at least name a conference room after my husband and I because we are in there so much. I've even connected with a few of the ladies on instagram- again, these people become like family. I ADORE my ultrasound tech, Sharon. She is so precious, always upbeat and so loving. She is the greatest. The billing department however, could use a major overhaul. I am constantly getting invoice in the mail that were paid months prior, at the time of service. We call them very confused and they say "Oh, its an automated billing system" but it has been happening since we started going there in Early 2017.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Coastal Fertility Specialists.
I really like the way monitoring is set up. It is every weekday morning between 7 and 9am, so it was very flexible.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Michael Slowey at Coastal Fertility Specialists.
Our first round was approximately $10,000, which included insurance assistance. Medication was an additional $1,700, PGS testing was an additional $3,250 and we were charged a "cycle management fee" of $900 per cycle (including all the cycles that were cancelled). Plus $400/yr for embryo storage (which we had to pay right before we lost our last embryo- so messed up).
For the second and third round, we did the Attain program which cost $23,000 up front (which covered two egg retrievals, ICSI, embryology, and all frozen transfers), medication was paid for out of pocket for approximately $4,000, PGS testing was $3,250. Monitoring was not included in our Attain program, which was another $2,000-$3,000. Embryo storage $400/yr.
Describe Michael Slowey's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Coastal Fertility Specialists.
My doctor is adamant about transferring a single embryo when is PGS tested normal because it has a greater chance of splitting. Multiple pregnancies have a higher risk of preterm labor, and other health complications for the mother, and more health risks for the babies.
What specific things went wrong at Coastal Fertility Specialists?
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Coastal Fertility Specialists.
All of the mistake made we because people did not read my chart! On our second transfer, another doctor was performing the procedure for Dr. Slowey and said "congratulations on your beautiful baby girl" (referring to our previous transfer that failed- the previous transfer was in September and the second in February, so it was impossible to have had a baby and be back in the stirrups). Also, my nurse called to tell me my final beta was negative and said "I'm so sorry honey, but at least you have a ton of embryos left." I said, "nope, that was the last one." It is little things like that that can really make a negative impact. These may have all been honest mistakes, but they could have been avoided by simply READING MY CHART.