How was your experience with Peter Lu at Fertility Institute of New Orleans?
Dr. Lu's strengths include taking a thorough approach to understanding his patients' history and goals for seeking fertility treatment. He is a candid communicator and is able to answer our questions from both a statistical and a compassionate mindset. I have felt confident in every step of our treatment because Dr. Lu truly understands our specific concerns and keeps those at the forefront of every recommendation.
I have also appreciated his straightforward approach to communicating next steps and results, while still leaving room for compassion and understanding. An example of this is when he called with the Diminished Ovarian Reserve results. I was 29 at the time and this was a result we sincerely did not consider possible. Dr. Lu re-explained the testing process, the diagnosis, and his recommended treatment comprehensively, but stopped to say "I hear that you're upset, and I want you to know that it's okay. Now is the time to be upset." This was incredibly affirming of my experience as a patient. He was gentle in pushing us forward in our treatment to not waste time while also being incredibly understanding.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Peter Lu at Fertility Institute of New Orleans?
Dr. Lu is a straightforward communicator and an incredibly good listener but you should be prepared to ask questions and be clear about your concerns and goals! He answers all of our questions in full and has continued to keep our goals in mind. I would imagine that if you don't have those things ready and would like more of a coaching approach, you may not feel fulfilled in the relationship.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Peter Lu at Fertility Institute of New Orleans?
From the first appointment with Dr. Lu, I felt that he was deeply invested in my individual fertility journey. He was candid about the different infertility realities couples face and outlined his reasoning behind every single test he first administered. He has continued to be patient, thorough, and transparent throughout the ups and downs of our treatment. He has listened to what our major concerns are and has helped us to make the most informed decisions possible that are the best for our family.
Describe the protocols Peter Lu used in your cycles at Fertility Institute of New Orleans and their degree of success.
My husband and I tried to conceive naturally for 10 months before I made an appointment with my gynecologist, Dr. Sacha Wax. Due to my history of endometriosis, she moved forward with treatment and prescribed the first round of Clomid (50 mg/day), suspecting that I wasn’t successfully ovulating. My reaction to Clomid was not ideal but not uncommon. I developed a large cyst and went on birth control to diminish its size. Due to my history, reaction, and low progesterone, Dr. Wax recommended that I see a fertility specialist, and I made an appointment with Dr. Lu.
The first few appointments with Dr. Lu were likely what every couple experiences on this journey. Bloodwork, ultrasounds, more bloodwork. From the initial imaging, Dr. Lu suspected an ovulation timing issue. We tried the HCG shot to trigger ovulation when one of my follicles was just on the cusp of the right size and my lining looked great. More bloodwork and progesterone supplements followed, as well as another sizeable cyst that ruptured and resulted in a trip to the emergency room.
In the follow up conversation with Dr. Lu, he said that my bloodwork revealed my AMH results were extremely and surprisingly low for my age (29). I had an AMH of 0.677, when he expected it to be closer to 8, which meant my ovarian reserve was very low. The next step Dr. Lu recommended was another round of Clomid (100 mg/day), not to try for a successful pregnancy but instead to determine my FSH level to identify the quality of the eggs left in my limited reserve. The Clomid caused my FSH levels to almost double (from 6.8 to 11) which confirmed that both the quantity and quality of my ovarian reserve are extremely low.
From there, Dr. Lu recommended that we try one-two months of Follistim injections (October 2016) in the hopes that this course of treatment would be successful instead of IVF. We tried one month of Follistim (150 mg/day) and I developed only one viable follicle on my left ovary, with two much smaller on my right. The treatment was unsuccessful and, on November 1, 2016, Dr. Lu shared that we were now at the point where IVF was the only course of treatment he could recommend due to my poor response to Follistim.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nursing staff at The Fertility Institute is inconsistent. Some of Dr. Lu's nurses are absolutely wonderful. They respond to requests in a timely manner and when I was starting at-home injections, gave me their cell phone number just in case I forgot how to properly mix something during off-hours. This is my primary nurse with Dr. Lu. The other nurses who have supported me at random points don't feel as invested or knowledgeable of my course of treatment.
Describe your experience with Fertility Institute of New Orleans.
The clinic is extremely well organized! You can expect the same routine each time you go and the staff is efficient and mindful of your time. They are also flexible with scheduling appointments and have a very thorough financing department.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Peter Lu at Fertility Institute of New Orleans.
In total (including medications, imaging, bloodwork, special testing, and office visit fees) we have spent over $6,000 on our fertility treatment thus far. Louisiana Insurance companies are not required to cover infertility treatment so none of our visits with Dr. Lu are covered.
Describe Peter Lu's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Fertility Institute of New Orleans.
We have not gotten to this point in our treatment yet.