How was your experience with Thalia Segal at UCSF?
While I didn't see Dr. Segal much, every encounter in person or on the phone was pleasant. She answered every question I had, made sure I knew the benefits and the risks and was empathetic and informative. Overall really professional. The only complaints I had was that she wasn't aware of the conversation topic for a couple phone consults that were scheduled. Not sure if this was an issue with her team, but it didn't make for a great experience for those calls.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Thalia Segal at UCSF?
Be clear about your goals, ask a lot of questions.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Thalia Segal at UCSF?
In person and on the phone, Dr. Segal (and every other person at UCSF CRH that I've been in contact with) is kind, informative and very helpful. While our diagnosis is unexplained infertility, Dr. Segal seemed to create a plan that made sense and explained anything I had questions about.
The process at UCSF, however, is very flawed. It's not clear where you are in the process, who you are supposed to be in touch with, it takes on average 3 calls to get a phone call/email back. Expect for this to take longer than you think it will. I had my first appointment early April and was planning to do my first egg retrieval starting end of May and one day before cycle day 1, they called to tell me that they had to push to the next cycle. Needless to say I was quite unhappy about this as we were trying to get all this done as my insurance plan year is coming to a close. Apparently UCSF is working to fix some serious issues, but be warned - you must be an advocate for yourself and push them along. Maybe other teams are more organized but it really sounds like it's a UCSF thing not a team/Dr. specific issue.
Describe the protocols Thalia Segal used in your cycles at UCSF and their degree of success.
Skipped estrace priming, 4 days Menopur 150 IU/ Gonal F 150 IU, 5 days Ganirelix 250 mcg and Menopur 150 IU / Gonal F 75, cotrigger with 4mg Lupron/2500 units HCG.
I had 2 lead follicles early in the process so skipping the estrace priming was probably a mistake and will be added to the next egg retrieval cycle. My estrogen level was a bit high so changed to cotrigger Lupron with HCG instead of only HCG.
16 eggs retrieved, 9 mature eggs, 7 fertilized, 6 grew to day 6 for biopsy + PGS, 1 euploid embryo
Describe your experience with your nurse at UCSF. (Assigned nurse: Teona)
I spoke to the nurse very rarely. Two issues happened - the nursing team couldn't call in my prescriptions in time for the first scheduled egg retrieval in early June. This was the reason my cycle was pushed out.
Second issue, is that no one called with my 2nd blood draw numbers and so I didn't change my dosage. It's unknown whether a dosage change would have been needed but I was instructed after my 3rd blood draw that if I hadn't heard from anyone that day to call (even to ER line after hours) the day of a blood draw to confirm the dosage amounts.
Describe your experience with UCSF.
My understanding is that UCSF has very good technology, research and reputation. Their equipment is state of the art and we were able to be a part of a study that had low risks but saved us about $2500 that we would have spent anyways. That is why we chose UCSF.
The issue here seems to be process and perhaps that they have WAY too many patients to manage. For instance, there are multiple forms that you must sign with a witness and no one makes sure that you have all of them at once and gets every single item signed at the same time. They are very disorganized and seemingly quite unaware of the issues. They are supposed to be fixing it and I hope they will so other people don't waste time and money.
Make sure to advocate for yourself. Try your best to get an understanding of the bigger process and deadlines if you're on a tight timeline.
Self pay medications with them are extremely affordable. I think friends that went to private clinics paid a lot more.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Thalia Segal at UCSF.
$15k fertility services charged to BCBS insurance, paid $8k out of pocket.
$5k fertility prescriptions charged to BCBS insurance, paid $2500 out of pocket
Describe Thalia Segal's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UCSF.
UCSF always talks about the goal being a singleton pregnancy so I believe they will only implant 1 at a time. I'm also high risk due to autoimmune conditions so implanting 1 has been my expectation from the beginning.
What specific things went wrong at UCSF?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Lost results
- Failed to convey critical information
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error