How was your experience with Richard Schmidt at Nova IVF?
Dr. Schmidt is one of the most caring, compassionate doctors I have ever met. Because I'd had previous IVF cycles at another clinic, he was very thorough in reviewing my chart and customizing my protocol, making recommendations based on what had happened in past IVF cycles. He always made time to answer all of my questions and explain the rationale for his recommendations. During procedures, he talked me through each step.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Richard Schmidt at Nova IVF?
From the very first minute I walked into the clinic, everyone at NOVA radiated warmth and compassion. Dr. Schmidt's first question to me at our initial consultation was, "You've been through a lot; How are you feeling?" I immediately felt at ease and that he genuinely wanted to help. He made time -- at that consult and at all of our appointments -- to answer any questions, never making me feel rushed. He and his staff have outstanding bedside manner and I always felt calm and well-informed following my appointments.
Describe the protocols Richard Schmidt used in your cycles at Nova IVF and their degree of success.
At the time of my consult, I was 37 and had been through one fresh IVF cycle and two FETs (transferring a total of 5 embroys) at another clinic and none had resulted in pregnancy. We had a diagnosis of "unexplained infertility". Because of this, Dr. Schmidt recommended PGS and ERA testing to see if there was something else going on to explain why I wasn't able to get pregnant.
I'd had mild OHSS in a previous IVF cycle at another clinic, so in my retrieval cycle at NOVA, Dr. Schmidt altered my meds (FSH/Ganirelix and Lupron trigger, rather than FSH/Menopur, hCG trigger at my previous clinic) to minimize risk of OHSS. He retrieved 21 eggs, almost the same as with my previous clinic (22) but without the uncomfortable OHSS symptoms. 15 embryos made it to blastocyst stage, and after PGS testing we had 9 normal. Following retrieval, I had a cycle where we did an ERA to assess the receptivity of my lining, and then an FET cycle (eSET) which resulted in pregnancy and my healthy, full-term baby. I saw Dr. Schmidt for an initial consult in July 2017 and was pregnant by Dec 2017 with my daughter.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nursing staff are all very professional, caring, and excellent at their jobs. Though I didn't always see the same person, they all seemed well-informed on our particular treatment protocol. I never had to inform them of what Dr. Schmidt had wanted done. Everyone was always on the same page, and this was so refreshing. They were excellent in communicating the steps of our treatment. They always did BOTH phone call and email. They would call to explain next steps, give me verbal instructions, and answer questions. Then, I would also receive an email with the same very specific instructions. It was so incredibly helpful to be able to both talk to someone and have detailed written instructions.
Describe your experience with Nova IVF.
The biggest strength of NOVA is of course, Dr. Schmidt: his excellent bedside manner, his knowledge, his willingness to think outside the box and about your particular situation as an individual. His staff all follow his lead and deliver the same caring, professional treatment.
One of the things that often goes unmentioned is the embryologist, and I am confident that NOVA's is top-notch. We worked with Fen-Chi De Falco and would not want anyone else handling our embyros. Dr. Schmidt retrieved 21 eggs and we got 15 day-5/6 blastocysts. (A previous clinic retrieved 22 eggs and got only 7 day-3 embryos and we were told they didn't want to grow the embryos to day 5 because we might not have any left.) We felt with the difference in outcome despite similar numbers of eggs retrieved, the embryologist and lab had to have played a huge role.
The biggest weakness of the clinic would be its waitlist times. We waited 10 months to get an appointment with Dr. Schmidt. However, we completely understand that to receive the level of care he delivers, he has to limit the number of patients he can see. He has recently brought on another doctor, Dr. Shah, so maybe waitlist times have improved. We did see Dr. Shah for monitoring once I was pregnant and she was also excellent.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Richard Schmidt at Nova IVF.
$19,400: two cycle IVF plan (included two egg retrieval cycles and any FETs needed within a certain time frame... we ended up only needing one egg retrieval and one FET)
$9625: PGS testing of 15 embryos
$1335: ERA test
Describe Richard Schmidt's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Nova IVF.
Dr. Schmidt told us that in our case he would only do eSET, since our embryos were PGS-tested. Had we had multiple failed FETs, I'm not sure if he would have done multiple embryo transfer or not, as it never got to that point and we never had to discuss it.