How was your experience with Mousa Shamonki at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California?
Dr. Shamonki is a consummate physician, going above and beyond what you would expect from any doctor, let alone fertility doctors. He has a compassionate and warm bedside manner but at the same time is able to ensure trust with his deep experience and knowledge. I am the type of patient who likes to understand every detail and do my own research. Dr. Shamonki patiently answered every one of my questions and concerns, either during the appointments or via messaging (always a same-day response). His answers were all fact based and research supported. Also, he was open about disclosing conflicts of interest and made sure to point out both sides if any issue was controversial. Dr. Shamonki was originally recommended by a friend. Prior to selecting him, I had done consultations with 2 other fertility doctors in the Bay Area. Dr. Shamonki provided the most thorough and tailored analysis, and ultimately we picked him because of his fact-based approach, communication style, and willingness to answer our questions in advance of any treatment. Not to mention, his clinic results on SART.org are stellar (granted, SART data can be misleading and hard to understand). Despite being in the Bay Area, we "commuted" down for fertility treatments, and combined it with some local remote monitoring. We saw Dr. Shamonki every single appointment (at one of their 3 offices) since we came only for him.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Mousa Shamonki at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California?
As for any doctor appointment, prepare your questions in advance. Dr. Shamonki will always pause and give you the time, but you have to ask him the questions. Also, advice in general for fertility treatments is to be proactive and understand the process so you can follow along and track results. FertilityIQ was a fantastic resource for me as well and helped me tailor my questions for the doctor.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Mousa Shamonki at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California?
Dr. Shamonki spent the full hour with us on our initial consultation, and really tailored his recommendations to our scenario. He has a compassionate yet knowledgeable bedside manner.
Describe the protocols Mousa Shamonki used in your cycles at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California and their degree of success.
I did 2 IVF cycles and 1 FET, all back-to-back. 1st cycle was typical antagonist protocol. Midway through, my follicles were not growing evenly, and Dr. Shamonki upped the Follistim dose. This was no fault of Dr. Shamonki's - my body was not receptive to the protocol. I didn't end up with as many mature eggs, but the ones that fertilized grew to Day 5 blasts. 2nd cycle, Dr. Shamonki adjusted the protocol to Microdose Lupron. That worked well and my follicles grew evenly. I had 95% fertilization rate with this protocol. I declined the ICSI procedure both times and appreciated Dr. Shamonki being flexible and never forcing anything. Also, he checked in after every retrieval and provided results for Day 1, 3, 5 and 6. We stopped after 2 cycles as we achieved our goal for total number tested embryos. I then proceeded to frozen single transfer.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California. (Assigned nurse: Paulia (primary), and Megan)
My primary nurse was Paulina. She was fantastic in all regards - caring, responsive, thorough, knowledgeable. Paulina would respond to all my emails and questions within 1-2 days at most. Anything urgent I would call the phone lines directly and someone gets back to you within a few hours. I also worked frequently with Megan, who was also caring and knowledgeable. Each of the nurses provide helpful injection tips or other small tips to make the process just a bit easier. While I interacted the most with Paulina and Megan, the entire nursing team is professional and fantastic. There were really only 1 or 2 instances where I felt brushed off by another nurse who was doing a blood draw, but for the most part the team is all great. Finally, there were a couple instances where the information provided by the nurse conflicted with the doctor’s, in which case I followed the doctor’s approach. Nothing major, but something to be mindful of.
Describe your experience with Fertility & Surgical Associates of California.
Dr. Shamonki is one of 3 doctors in the FSAC clinic. I did not interact with the other 2 doctors, but all of the doctors share the lab facilities and embryology team. There are 3 offices (Thousand Oaks, Encino, Santa Monica). Dr. Shamonki rotates between all 3 offices. All retrievals and transfers are done in Thousand Oaks (since the lab is there). Since we commuted down to LA just for Dr. Shamonki, I saw him for every appointment and just drove to each different office. We did all our treatment during the middle of COVID, but felt safe with the clinic's procedures. All staff is masked and everything is sanitized well. We were able to speak with one of the embryologists on the phone after retrieval (I requested this), and also the day of our transfer (I think this part is standard procedure here). The embryologist (Aaron) was fantastic - experienced, data-driven, and caring. Because I like to geek out, Aaron was able to answer all my questions related to embryology and made me feel at ease right before the transfer procedure. It's nice to know the clinic is also well versed with ICSI (we opted out) and biopsy for genetic testing.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Mousa Shamonki at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California.
We paid the cash rate since we didn't have insurance - $9,900 IVF bundle (includes 1 free transfer within a year), $4,400 for genetic testing (up to 8 embryos), $685 freezing cost, $550 anesthesia for retrieval, 2nd cycle bundle is discounted to $8,900
Describe Mousa Shamonki's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California.
Dr. Shamonki recommended eSET for us since we also genetic tested the embryos. I believe it is now the recommended approach, unless the patient has a specific situation that would warrant multiple embryo transfers.
What specific things went wrong at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California?
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Fertility & Surgical Associates of California.
Very occasionally, the nurses sometimes provide conflicting information from what Dr. Shamonki recommends. In this case, I just went with what Dr. Shamonki recommended.