How was your experience with Yelena Dondik at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York?
Dr. Dondik does a good job at looking at the individual rather than throw you into a routine because that is how it is usually done. For example, I make excellent progesterone. I make it each month and don't need help making it or keeping it elevated. Because of this, Dr. Dondik suggested I do a cycle without synthetic progesterone at all. I felt confident in this decision because it not only addressed my need but also allowed me to take a more "natural" path (as natural as IVF and FET can get, anyway). Dr. Dondik is also very understanding and considerate. She talks through options with me based on her recommendations and also what I can do realistically financially. She is kind and compassionate. For example, because I suffer from recurrent miscarriage she comes into every OB ultrasound so that she can tell me right away if there is a problem. I appreciate this because there isn't a pause where the ultrasound tech has to go get her. Dr. Dondik is also supportive during difficult times (like my miscarriages). I was having a lot of pain and was struggling to cope with it. She walked me through different pain management plans and let me choose the one that sounded the best for me personally. I do wish Dr. Dondik did all of my procedures (such as egg retrieval and FET). However, my clinic is set up so that doctors take turns rotating on the OR and it depends on which day you need for which doctor you get.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Yelena Dondik at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York?
Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself with challenging questions, ideas, or concerns. Also, don't be afraid to show your emotions. Dr. Dondik is capable and handles it all with grace and care.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Yelena Dondik at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York?
Dr. Dondik is very kind and takes her time to explain everything to me and answer all of my questions. I do a lot of research and bring ideas and concerns to the table based on my research. She never feels threatened or annoyed by this. Rather, she engages me on my ideas or concerns, and walks me through her recommendations and shares research as to why she recommends specific things. I have had four transfers and so far four miscarriages. When she diagnosed me with the last miscarriage, she actually got a little bit teary herself. It showed me that she really cares for me as a woman who is struggling - not just as a name on a chart or as a statistic. Also, during my egg retrieval cycle, there was some frustrating news that came up with my blood work. Dr. Dondik took the time to call me herself and make sure I understood what it meant and my next steps. I felt very respected and seen.
Describe the protocols Yelena Dondik used in your cycles at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York and their degree of success.
Dr. Dondik had be doing an agonist protocol. It started with birth control for about two weeks. Then I started injections of Gonal-F and Menopur. In my previous cycle, my estrogen level got too high too fast so she started me on a much lower dose. This helped with my estrogen. Over the course of 13 days my doses increased slightly. On my last day of stims, my estrogen jumped from about 2000 to 5500 overnight. She called to tell me that with estrogen that high before a trigger and retrieval, I was at serious risk for OHSS and that we would move this cycle to a freeze all. I appreciated her being so upfront with me so I could prepare myself for a freeze all. Dr. Dondik had be trigger with lupron to help avoid the estrogen spike that would come with an hcg trigger. On the day of retrieval I had 21 eggs retrieved, 17 mature, and ended up with four 5 day blastocysts. One was "good" and the other three were "fair".
Describe your experience with your nurse at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York. (Assigned nurse: Elena )
Elena is calm, caring, and extremely efficient. At first, she can come off as a little cold and distant. However, when you need her to be there for you she is as warm, kind, and caring as possible. She is supportive of schedules (I am an educator and need early appointments and she does that whenever possible and explains to me when she can't and why). She knows me and my history and is extremely delicate with beta hcg results. She is also good at answering my many questions, calls me back (or sends a portal message) within 24 hours (but almost always the same day), and never minds me taking care of my needs (whatever they may be). I trust her with my information, my medicine, and my treatments whole heartedly.
Describe your experience with NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York.
My clinic is the smaller offshoot office which means it is generally the same staff each and every visit. I love this about the RSNY Brooklyn office. It feels like a family. Everyone knows me, that I am a teacher, my history of pregnancy loss, my husband, etc. They know this and are considerate and kind. They get me appointments ASAP and always help me book them in the early mornings so I can make it to my school and classroom on time. Because it is so small, sometimes it can run very behind (especially if the usual nurse or doctor is away). Other than that, it is always a wonderful experience.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Yelena Dondik at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York.
I have insurance that covers monitoring appointments, some tests (not PGT or sperm fragmentation), and two retrievals (but not transfers). So out of pocket costs for me in total is around 14,000$. This includes diagnostic cycles, three IUI, two retrievals, embryo/embryologists costs (including insemination, freezing, storage), and four transfers.
Describe Yelena Dondik's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York.
Dr. Dondik recommends one embryo if they are tested and test normal. However, in my two cycles I did not do PGT testing becuase my insurance didn't cover it. My first transfer with her I did one embryo. It resulted in a chemical pregnancy. In my second transfer I transferred two untested embryo. It resulted in a singleton pregnancy that miscarried at around 7 weeks (but it wasn't viable from the first scan at 5 weeks).