How was your experience with Wael Salem at CCRM Minneapolis?
Dr. Salem has a breadth of knowledge about all things fertility and assisted reproductive technology, from more traditional approaches and opinions, to new research that's coming out. CCRM has a list of vitamins they recommend for female patients, and after giving that to me, Dr. Salem told me about a study that's being conducted at CCRM in Colorado where they've found improved success rates in IVF cycles for patients who took acai berry. He said their proprietary blend wasn't for sale, but that if I could get my hands on some acai berry to give it a try. I really appreciated the personalized recommendation.
Dr. Salem has also customized our IVF protocol based on my issues (low AMH) and he's been good about explaining why he recommends this or that. With my former RE, I was always second-guessing things and feeling like I needed to do my own research. With Dr. Salem, it feels so good knowing we can trust him and that we are in good hands.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Wael Salem at CCRM Minneapolis?
Ask all the questions! He's so good giving his opinion and backing it up with scientific evidence, but he will explain everything in a way you can understand. I honestly would recommend Dr. Salem to anyone, 10/10.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Wael Salem at CCRM Minneapolis?
Right at the start of our consultation, it was clear the Dr. Salem had reviewed all of our history/paperwork. He was so thorough in explaining his opinion on why we're struggling to conceive. I went into the meeting with lots of questions, and he answered each one with patience, honesty, and scientific evidence. We've since had additional meetings with Dr. Salem in preparation for IVF, and his bedside manner has remained the same. Never once have we felt rushed or like we were just a number. Moreover, he's recommended certain supplements and tweaks to our IVF protocol specifically for me. Dr. Salem is compassionate, and we feel we can trust him to do what's in our best interest.
Describe the protocols Wael Salem used in your cycles at CCRM Minneapolis and their degree of success.
Because I have low AMH, we are doing estrogen priming instead of birth control. I am taking 2mg of Estrace (oral), twice a day for about 2 weeks. With my next cycle day 3, we will do baseline ultrasound and blood work, and everything looks good we will start stims. I will be doing 2 vials of Menopur (injection) in the morning, and at night I will do 300 units of Follistim (injection), plus 100 mg of Clomid (oral), and Dexamethasone (oral). Again, since I don't have a lot of eggs, we are pretty much doing max stims to try to recruit as many as possible. At some point I will start Cetrocide/Ganirelix (injection) - not sure what dose, I think this is to prevent me from ovulating before the retrieval.
Because we hope to have 2-3 children, we are doing CCRM's family building program, which was recommended to us by Dr. Salem. This means we will do 3 freeze-all retrievals and after the last retrieval all of the embryos will get genetic testing (this saves $ because you're only paying for genetic testing once rather than 3 times). Then we will do a single FET, and any remaining healthy embies will stay on ice for future use.
Describe your experience with your nurse at CCRM Minneapolis. (Assigned nurse: Taylor)
The nurses are really kind. I just get the sense that they might be overwhelmed. Just know that you might be the one who needs to reach out, ask questions, pay attention to dates and details on your IVF calendar, etc. We do have a primary nurse, but it seems like whoever is available is who helps us, which is fine. I wish they would automatically upload test results into your portal, but so far I have had to ask for my results every time.
Describe your experience with CCRM Minneapolis.
CCRM is a well known, reputable clinic not only in Minneapolis, but also around the nation and maybe the world. They also have an amazing discount program (20% off all the services they provide/bill for!) if you or your spouse are active military, which was a big draw for us. We also really appreciate the opportunity to do the family building program, where we will do 3 retrievals at a discounted price in an effort to bank embryos. Not all clinics have this!
One thing that is not ideal is that CCRM is often very busy, probably because they're so popular! But the waiting room is often full (which can be kind of awkward) and appointments tend to book out, especially the appointments you have early on. They do have cancellation lists though so don't be shy to ask!
Describe the costs associated with your care under Wael Salem at CCRM Minneapolis.
Costs are comparable with our former clinic. Because we are doing the family building program which is discounted, plus we get a military discount, the cost of 3 retrievals and 1 FET will be about $40k I think.
Describe Wael Salem's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at CCRM Minneapolis.
Dr. Salem definitely seems to lean towards eSET, at least in our case. He said he would only recommend transferring 2 embryos if I had two miscarriages with a singleton (though I think he probablyyyy would be open to transferring 2 after only one miscarriage).
What specific things went wrong at CCRM Minneapolis?