How was your experience with Sinem Karipcin at Columbia University?
Dr. K always welcomed me with a warm smile. She has a very strong bedside manner. In fact, I noticed that she greets everyone in the clinic by name when she comes in each morning. I felt like I was in excellent hands because she would tell me all of the statistics and even mentioned how some of the statistics were slightly different for African-American women (I'm African-American). At each appointment, Dr. Karipcin would explain next steps, remind me to stay optimistic. She didn't shy away from explaining potential complications that might arise due to my endometriosis and fibroids, but she would always remind me to focus on the positive and that we would deal with any complications as they might arise.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sinem Karipcin at Columbia University?
Be sure to share all of your concerns. Dr. Karipcin will address each and every one of them. At one of our first appointments, I came in with a list of questions and concerns. She didn't let me leave until I'd written down notes/answers to each one of them. At one particular appointment, I cried while waiting to get my blood drawn. Dr. Karipcin and Nurse Varda set with me to alleviate my fears while in between patients.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Sinem Karipcin at Columbia University?
Dr. K was personable, optimistic and realistic at the same time. I wrote that she treated me like a human because she always remember my name, my husband's name and even the purse I brought to each appointment. When scheduling me for morning monitoring, Dr. K and her team (Nurse Varda and Zaria) were always mindful to get me in as early as possible because I'm a teacher.
Describe the protocols Sinem Karipcin used in your cycles at Columbia University and their degree of success.
We did two round of IVF. Our regime consisted of was Gonal F, Menopur and then Centrotide. The trigger injection was Ovidrel and Lupron. Our first retrieval yielded about 8 eggs. The second retrieval yielded 15 eggs. Our IVF rounds were relatively close together (Oct/Nov 2019 & Dec 2019), the insurance company approved it and we wanted to complete them before Christmas. We did the recommended genetic testings for the embryos. So, now we have a total of 6 chromosomally strong embryos that can be transferred. Our original transfer date was postponed due to Covid. So, we did a transfer in May 2020. I am currently 16 weeks pregnant.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia University. (Assigned nurse: Nurse Varda)
Nurse Varda and Care Coordinator Zaria were extremely helpful to me. Varda was patient and answered every question in the emails I sent her. I would send emails with like 8 items and she would be sure to answer each question/concern.
Zaria was thoughtful enough to call me for scheduling during my teacher breaks or lunchtime, because she knew those were the only times I was free to talk.
The nursing staff, including ultrasound technician Rachel, Denaisha and Tanisha who took my blood during morning monitoring were also very welcoming, comforting, professional and funny. There was one appointment (in which we noticed that one of my fibroids was slightly bigger and this absolutely crushed me) and they reminded me to be positive, to pray and then got me focused on sports or some other topic so that I would stop crying, before heading to work. I was very thankful for them and their conversation.
Describe your experience with Columbia University.
Columbia University Fertility is clean, the staff is professional and they are very good at providing information upfront. Once you decide to work with them, you are matched with a Care team, given their contact information and clear understand of the procedures and protocols. The New York, NY location is also very accessible by public transportation, which was important to me. The biggest bonus is that Columbia Fertility offers a monthly support group for women undergoing fertility treatments (it was also open to non-Columbia patients), which I found helpful.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia University.
The morning monitoring hours worked well with my teaching schedule. It was very organized as well.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sinem Karipcin at Columbia University.
The majority of our treatment was covered by insurance. In fact, we didn't proceed until we knew it would be covered as "in-network." I usually only had to pay the co-payment. The cost of the IVF medications were not fully covered by insurance but they are now covered in New York State.
Describe Sinem Karipcin's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia University.
Columbia University Fertility does not do multiple embryo transfers. This is very clearly explained in the paperwork that you have to sign prior to embarking on the IVF journey. They are also clear to reiterate this around the retrieval dates. I agreed with Dr. K's approach. Due to my age at the time (36), fibroids and endometriosis, multiple embryo transfers were not recommended. Neither my OB/GYN, Fibroid surgeon, nor Dr. Karipcin recommended multiple embryo transfers.