How was your experience with Ursula Balthazar at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas)?
She failed to inform me of key information through out my experience. She was abrupt and cut me and my husband off multiple times when we were in the process of asking questions or explaining something. She failed to inform me of my carrier status of a genetic disorder and I believe she did no mention it because she didn't want to have an extensive conversation about the results. She never asked to test my husband, she never brought it up once. I discovered the medical error of omission upon receiving a copy of my laboratory results from the staff.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Ursula Balthazar at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas)?
Take your time. Explain everything. Go through all the options for that particular person. It would have been nice if you would have told me what the reasons are for having a low AMH. And you mentioned that my egg reserve, although low, was still 'good' because I am only 34 yo. That is not entirely the truth, is it? Because there are conditions where the egg quality can reflect the egg reserve. This was never explained to me, therefore I had to go and spend more money on someone else who would.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Ursula Balthazar at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas)?
THEY FAILED TO INFORM ME I WAS A CARRIER FOR A GENETIC DISORDER.
The quality of staff reflects the standards of the doctors running the facility. That’s where their problems begin.
I felt very rushed through the entire process, like everyone else knew what was going on, but since this was my first time discovering that my husband and I had fertility issues, no one really took the time to really explain the process at each visit. On several visits my husband or I were cut off by Dr. B when we were asking questions or explaining something. By the time we actually got to performing the IUI, I had already had an uncomfortable feeling, but since I had nothing to compare it to, I tried to push it out of my mind.
On the day of my IUI, as you can imagine, I was very nervous. The procedure went well enough, and the MA told me to lay there for 10 minutes to allow the sperm to enter the fallopian tubes. I tried to cover my eyes and I didn’t pay attention to the time because she put an alarm and it would let me know when to get up. I heard the beep and I thought it was early, but I got up and started getting dressed. I was almost finished when I heard another beep and looked at the wall, it flashed 3 minutes and was counting backwards! Apparently, it had a warning bell at 5 min and 7 min. I got scared and went back to lay down on the table, then the 10 min alarm sounded off, and I finally got up. I wish someone had informed me about this, but as with the rest of my experience it had been rushed and there was little attention to detail. I left the room and went to check-out, everything had already been paid for, but I wanted to get a copy of all my lab work to show my PCP. I took the copy and went to my car and looked it over quickly. Right on the first page, there it was, “Carrier For Cystic Fibrosis and CFTR-Related Disorders.” I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was in my car, so I called the office right away on my way home. Perhaps I was misreading the results. I was transferred to the nurse, but she didn’t answer and so I left a message at around 10 in the morning. I finally got home and I emailed a few people in the office to see if any of them would respond. Dr. B didn’t call me back until after 1 pm. Over 3 hours of hell. I was a wreck. Why had no one told me about my carrier status, why had my husband not been asked to get tested as well?? Why did I have to find out about this on the DAY OF MY IUI. The risk of both of us being carriers was very very low, but the risk was still there. I felt like it was going to be a failed attempt due to all the stress right away, and it eventually was. All Dr. B could say was she was sorry and that the Genetic Counselor was supposed to call me 3 months ago when they had the results. Apparently, they tried to call “me” 3 times, but that was incorrect. They had my husband’s phone number because he was the first one to have an appointment at the office. My husband did receive a call and he told me about it, but we had an appointment with the doctor in a few days, so I didn’t think much of it. Dr. B would tell me about whatever they were calling about. WRONG. Why did she tell me about my low Vit D and not the carrier status? All I can think of was she didn’t want to spend the time talking about it because it would have been an extensive conversation. She had treated me nicely through the process, but was not thorough, and that’s what you’re getting with this facility. There were several instances where I felt like I was just being pushed through the system. From the gaps of information and lack of attention to detail. My IUI was not successful and as we all know, stress is a huge factor. They CREATED the stress I endured after the procedure. I refused to go back to get my blood test because I got my period. It was a very painful situation to go through, and I truly believe that I’m not the only one that his happens to, I was just unfortunate to find out.
I had my first meeting today with my new fertility specialist, and she had informed me that starting the clomiphene on day 6 really didn’t do anything to improve my chances. So, when I asked the MA to inform me about the repercussions, and her stating that ‘it’s fine’ was very misleading.
I did ask for my money back because I felt like it was all a waste. Of course, they only gave me back the 160 dollars for the blood test and nothing else.
This place would probably be an acceptable place to go if you have experience with infertility or have already been through the process. If you’re new to it though, you will leave with many gaps in knowledge. I would never go back, nor would I recommend this facility to anyone.
Describe the protocols Ursula Balthazar used in your cycles at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas) and their degree of success.
She never mentioned a particular protocol. The treatment she utilized was oral FSH stimulation through the use of Clomiphene, 100mg daily for 5 days, starting on day 5 of the cycle. Her staff did not start me until day 6 of the cycle though. Three ultrasounds, beginning, middle, after IUI. IUI with frozen sperm after Ovidrel injection.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas). (Assigned nurse: Lisa Ayala)
She was very short with me and did not give me the full information about procedures. I feel that her attitude and attention to detail is reflected by the standard the Dr. Balthazar sets. She had me starting clomiphene on the wrong day and brushed it off without providing sufficient detail about what the repercussions were. Her only answer to my question was "It's fine."
Describe your experience with Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas).
Some of the staff are very friendly. Amanda C. is very nice and understanding. So is Brianna. The rest of the staff mainly treats you as a number. They perform these tasks on a daily basis and have gone through them thousands of times. It was my FIRST time, and no one took the time to be patient or inform me of all the steps in the process. I was very disappointed and feel cheated.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Ursula Balthazar at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas).
$1200 for the IUI without the cost of medication or frozen sperm.
Describe Ursula Balthazar's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas).
I have none.
What specific things went wrong at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas)?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Aspire Fertility (formerly RMA of Texas).
My genetic testing results were only partially provided to me. Dr. Balthazar informed me of my low vitamin d, and my AMH, but failed to inform me that I was a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis. She failed to inform me that my husband should be tested as well. She performed the IUI without providing this information to me, and left me to find out about it on my own on the very day that I had the procedure performed. Her reason for NOT informing me was that she wanted to protect my privacy. There is no privacy between a patient and their doctor.