How was your experience with Wendy Vitek at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester)?
Dr. Vitek is super knowledgeable. I'm someone who likes to know about the research and the purpose behind every medication and procedure, and she's always excited to explain things--even pulling up diagrams and pictures on the computer to illustrate different concepts. I've never felt rushed while talking to her, and she also always includes my husband in discussions and checks in with him about questions and concerns.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Wendy Vitek at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester)?
Like with any doctor, come prepared with questions and write down her answers. Sometimes we would talk through a few different possible options, so reviewing the plan at the end of any appointment was really helpful for me.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Wendy Vitek at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester)?
Dr. Vitek is very forthcoming about processes, options, and potential outcomes. She is also kind and easy to talk to. On multiple occasions she's altered my protocol to make me more comfortable or to make the process easier for me, which I greatly appreciated. I wasn't just a number that was taking medications, I was a human who needed to be able to live life while going through the treatment.
Describe the protocols Wendy Vitek used in your cycles at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester) and their degree of success.
Because of my diminished ovarian reserve, we went right to combining clomid and injectables. Unfortunately, my first IUI was cancelled because my LH surged too early. Once we knew that I'd ovulate really easily, though, Dr. Vitek was vigilant in making sure my estrogen and LH were monitored closely and that I started an antagonist early. We used that same protocol for a few cycles, but switched to letrozole as my lining didn't develop very nicely and I ended up with a few cysts after one or two cycles. Then I asked to try injectables only, which we did with Follistim, and then I asked to try Gonal F, as I knew women in another clinic often used and thought it was worth trying. I had a much better response to Gonal, and after about 5 or 6 IUIs I was thinking of IVF and asked Dr. Vitek if I could try Menopur to see what my reaction would be. I had my best cycle with Gonal & Menopur (300/150) and got a record of 4 follicles. Unfortunately, we weren't financially ready for IVF, so we just did IUI and got a negative. Once we had done about 8-9 months of IUI, it was nearing the end of the year and we switched insurance in the new year that would give us IVF coverage. We started with pretty much the same protocol as my IUI but my ovaries didn't respond, which was a surprise. We took a much more aggressive approach, in the second try, and Dr. Vitek strongly suggested a duostim, which she said had been successful with other 'poor responders'. She shared some research articles that went over the protocol. I primed with birth control and testosterone gel, and then went into using stim meds along with a steroid, dexamethasone. My first retrieval we got 3 eggs and 2 fertilized, and at my second retrieval we got 2 eggs and 1 fertilized. I went right into another stim as I had recovered quickly from the first two retrievals, but we tried a 'mini stim' with letrozole and then Gonal, but even though I grew two follicles, one wasn't mature and the other didn't fertilize. I kept going on the duostim, but had a large lead follicle and some smaller ones that didn't have time to catch up, and the one retrieved wasn't mature. I took a few cycles off and tried a transfer cycle which got cancelled because I ovulated through the Estrace. Now we are trying a more natural transfer cycle but with stim meds and an antagonist. I should transfer within 10 days!
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Overall, I like the nursing staff very much. Especially in person, they are caring and competent. The only times I have had any communication difficulties was over the phone when the nurse was communicating something that I needed more specifics on, such as when a cycle was cancelled, or information about whether retrieved eggs fertilized.
Describe your experience with Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester).
Like many clinics, the wait time to get seen initially can be pretty long. I waited 3-4 months for an appointment, and was seen by another dr and started some of my initial testing in the meantime, which helped me get started right away when I did get seen. Once I was in, though, everything was much easier and faster. They have options for communicating online or by phone, which works really well for me in terms of coordinating medication ordering during the weekdays. The staff often knows who I am and greets me, which is nice. They are super efficient, which was a little jolting when I was new, as they move quickly and sometimes assume you know where to go or what to do, so I'd recommend being really clear that it's your first appointment or asking what you should do (for example, at my first baseline appointment I didn't know they'd be doing a vaginal ultrasound and needed to get undressed--I think I assumed it would be the tummy kind since I had my period. The nurse just walked me in and said the PA would be in shortly, and when she came in she had to explain). But once I was doing a few cycles I really appreciated how efficient they were because my appointments went quickly, for the most part.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Wendy Vitek at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester).
I'm very lucky to have good insurance. My main costs were copays ($40) and then medications (~75/cycle). I switched over to another insurance that covers all my fertility treatment costs (the Empire Plan--work for NYS!), and the medication was covered separately, so I still had that cost. From my understanding, the costs are similar to other fertility clinics, and they do publish them on their website, which is helpful.
Describe Wendy Vitek's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Strong Fertility Center (U of Rochester).
Because I will be transferring 3 day embryos, my doctor recommended transfering 2. She said we could go either way but did say our success rate goes up with 2.