How was your experience with Vitaly Kushnir at Center for Human Reproduction?
I went to Dr. Kushnir after another doctor recommended egg donation and wouldn't let me try with my own eggs. Dr. Kushnir explained that the odds of getting pregnant with my own eggs were low given my low AMH, but told us that he was willing to help us if we wanted to go that route. We had 2 IVF cycles, back to back, and I got pregnant in the second cycle. He said during the follow-up conversation we had after the first one didn't result in a pregnancy that our case was reviewed by everyone at the center, and he adjusted the protocol and timing based on the discussion. We had an early retrieval in the first cycle, but he went even earlier in the second, when the lead follicle was 16 mm. With this adjustment, we got more eggs and better-quality embryos than in the first cycle, one of which resulted in a pregnancy. Throughout all this, Dr. Kushnir explained everything in detail, and we appreciated that he shared the reasoning behind the approaches he was recommending, instead of just telling us what to do.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Vitaly Kushnir at Center for Human Reproduction?
Dr. Kushnir spent nearly an hour for our consultation, while other doctors almost immediately dismissed us as too old to even try with our own eggs. After taking detailed history on us and reviewing test results, he laid out what we would be up against, told us that we'd be far more likely to succeed with donor eggs (which we knew), but was willing to do what he can to help us have our own biological child. He also responded to our innumerable questions via email during my treatment cycle.
Describe the protocols Vitaly Kushnir used in your cycles at Center for Human Reproduction and their degree of success.
I already wrote about this in response to an earlier question, but here's what we had: DHEA and CoQ10 for about 2 months (to prepare my ovaries). During that time, they were monitoring a number of hormone levels that I can't fully recall, in order to ensure that the effects of these supplements were in place before we started our cycles. We also didn't take a break after the first cycle failed, at his recommendation. We used high doses of FSH and HMG, and hCG for trigger after 7 days for the 2nd cycle (the successful one) when the lead follicle was 16mm. Dr. Kushnir said the reasoning behind this early retrieval was to keep my eggs from getting "overripe" because my ovaries were maturing eggs in an accelerated pace, which he said is typical for women with low reserve.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Center for Human Reproduction.
I was actually transferred to a second nurse after the first nurse left the center. Both were good, very efficient and clear, but I definitely jelled better with my second nurse, who was more openly compassionate than my first nurse. It's a matter of preference, though--both did a perfectly fine job explaining everything to me (I asked a lot of questions because this was my first time going through IVF, and I like to know everything), organizing the logistics and keeping me updated about results and what not.
Describe your experience with Center for Human Reproduction.
Strengths: They really seem to believe that patients should be the one to make their own life decisions with full information, which we appreciated. Lots of research going on at the center, which seems to result in strategies that don't exist at other IVF centers, like the early retrieval protocol we used. It's a small, private center. We felt like we knew everyone and everyone greeted us with our names, which felt great during this difficult time.
Weaknesses: They take very few insurances. Ours (BCBS) wasn't in network. They also require full payment upfront. Sometimes I had to play phone tag with their staff (nurses and front desk), though most things could be handled through email.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Center for Human Reproduction.
It would have been great if the monitoring hours were a bit earlier.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Vitaly Kushnir at Center for Human Reproduction.
Around $18,000 per IVF cycle plus $2,500 for medications.
Describe Vitaly Kushnir's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Center for Human Reproduction.
They don't believe in universal eSET, and let us decide what to do. We went with multiple embryos, as we were fine with twins and wanted to maximize our chances.
What specific things went wrong at Center for Human Reproduction?
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Center for Human Reproduction.
There was some miscommunication over the cost of freezing and storing the extra embryo we had. We had to speak with the billing manager and our nurse for clarification. It was annoying, but it could also be us being newbies at the time. This center treats a lot of patients with past experiences with IVF, so sometimes thought we knew something when we didn't. After this, though, they were noticeably more careful about making sure we understood everything.