How was your experience with Natalie Crawford at Austin Fertility Institute?
She is incredibly knowledgable, up to date in the latest research/technology/procedures, personable, and upbeat without giving a false sense of hope. Please see my comments under why I felt like a human for more specific examples.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Natalie Crawford at Austin Fertility Institute?
Trust her. I didn't want to have the saline sonogram that she recommended because I had recently had an HSG performed elsewhere. While she was willing to work with me for 1 cycle without doing the sonogram as I was concerned about costs, I ultimately decided to trust her. Very glad I did as we found 2 uterine polyps that the HSG had not detected.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Natalie Crawford at Austin Fertility Institute?
Dr. Crawford remembered exactly who we were each time we saw her - including what my career is and the fact that it might mean needing to schedule appointments at very specific times. She greeted us with a smile every time we saw her except for the times when we it was more appropriate to greet us with compassion during a difficult time in our treatment. I ended up being one of the "lucky" folks to suffer from severe OHSS (even though my #s did not indicate I would be at risk), and she did not rest until I was feeling better, including communicating with me at 6am.
We always came in with a list of questions which were pleasantly answered, and yet Dr. Crawford managed to schedule her appointments with enough time inbetween to be respectful of our other time commitments - I rarely waited more than 15 minutes to be seen. They built their practice to recognize people have lives outside of this endeavor, making it possible to have blood drawn at their office rather than running around town.
In addition to Dr. Crawford's incredible bedside manner, her support team was equally up to the task, answering questions with a pleasant demeanor, recognizing my severe needle anxiety and walking me through administrating it without judgment.
Describe the protocols Natalie Crawford used in your cycles at Austin Fertility Institute and their degree of success.
I forget the name of the protocol, but it included starting with birth control, then using Gonal F and menopur, later adding ganirelix, and using ovidrel as a trigger. This had to do with the fact that I ovulated regularly and she thought this would produce the highest quantity of eggs within a safe range. We ended up with 18 eggs harvested, 18 embryos being fertilized with ICSI, with 9 of them making it to day 5/6. We did a freeze all because even though my estrogen was below 3000, I still developed severe OHSS. We then elected to do a SET starting with Estrogen pill and patch and progesterone pill and crinone, switching to PIO after my progesterone levels were borderline (she likes them higher for IVF patients than what one might see if one conceived the old fashioned way to lower the risk of miscarriage.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Incredibly friendly. Sometimes the blood draw was more painful than how I've experienced it elsewhere, but the folks were very friendly and the convenience was worth it. Calls were always returned within 24 hours, paperwork requested for financial assistance filled out in a timely manner, questions pleasantly answered.
Describe your experience with Austin Fertility Institute.
Scheduling appointments and billing were super easy. Never felt like I was being upsold. The clinic they partner with is just next door and the team there was equally amazing, compassionate, and kind. We are incredibly grateful to the team at Viviere for how we were treated during my OHSS episode.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Natalie Crawford at Austin Fertility Institute.
Procedures and Physician Fees: Follicle Monitoring- $1500, Oocyte Aspiration- $1500, Embryo Transfer- $750. ICSI included. Storage for first year included; $500 year after that.
Vivere Health: Lab fee- $5250, Anesthesia fee- $500, Oocyte Retrieval- $1250, Embryo Transfer- $1250
Frozen Embryo Transfer- Ultrasounds and labs- $750, Embryo Transfer- $750
Austin Fertility Lab fee- $500
Facility Fees- $1250
Meds were approximately $6k for retrieval cycle and approximately $2k for FET.
Describe Natalie Crawford's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Austin Fertility Institute.
She didn't seem to have a strong preference; she explained the statistical likelihood of different outcomes. We felt fairly strongly about only transferring 1 embryo given my age, size, and the statistics she presented to us.