Shady Grove Fertility VMA

10 doctors work here

Rated 8.4
Strongly recommend: 65%Neutral: 19%Don't recommend: 16%8.4
65% strongly recommend
106 reviews
Operations
8.9
8.9
Operations

Ratings of 1 indicate that a clinic was poorly operated.

Ratings of 10 indicate that a clinic operated very well.

Scheduling
8.8
8.8
Scheduling

Ratings of 1 mean it was difficult to schedule appointments with this clinic.

Ratings of 10 mean it was easy to schedule appointments.

Billing Department
7.1
7.1
Billing Department

Ratings of 1 indicate an unsatisfactory billing department.

Ratings of 10 indicate an excellent billing department.

Nursing Team
8.9
8.9
Nursing Team

Ratings of 1 indicate an unsatisfactory nursing team.

Ratings of 10 indicate an excellent nursing team.

Attention to Detail
7.8
7.8
Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is on a 1 - 10 scale, and is scored based on the rate, and severity, of errors committed by the clinic according to the patients.

For example, a severe error might be failing to inform a patient of critical information, while a small error might be failing to call a patient with results.

CDC Success Rates

This is the most recent data from the CDC. The CDC cautions that it should not be used to compare doctors and clinics. This data represents the outcomes of IVF cycles when using a person's own eggs.

For more information please see our FAQs.

Where you see a “?” on the chart, a clinic has done fewer than 20 cycles in this category and age range, so the CDC says showing percentages from this small data set would be misleading and unreliable.

Annual Cycles
?
National Avg
738
This Clinic
National Avg
00%
20%
40%
60%
<35
35-37
38-40
>40

Available Resources

Genetic counseling
Genetic counseling
Acupuncture
Acupuncture
Mental health counseling
Mental health counseling
Nutrition counseling
Nutrition counseling
Administration of shots
Administration of shots
Coordinating at-home nursing
Coordinating at-home nursing
Selling medication
Selling medication
Providing backup medication
Providing backup medication

This clinic has 5 offices

Fairfax
8501 Arlington Blvd., Suite 500
Fairfax, VA 22031
Fair Oaks
12011 Lee Jackson Mem. Hwy., Suite 302
Fairfax, VA 22033
Fredericksburg
200 Executive Center Pkwy., Suite 102
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Leesburg
19500 Sandridge Way, suite 280
Leesburg, VA 20176
Woodbridge
13580 Groupe Drive, Suite 105
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Show 3 more

106 patient reviews

Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2023 - 2024, Successful
NPS
10
NPS
9
Age 31 - 32
1 IVF
Male Factor
European
Income $100K - $199K
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr. Levens is a compassionate and knowledgeable doctor...stays up to date on the latest research...doesn't recommend costly or unnecessary procedures...was optimistic without overpromising results...has an incredible bedside manner...severe male factor infertility...frozen embryo transfer...medication continued through week 10 of pregnancy.
SGF's strength is also it's weakness...is large with lots of staff, patients, and moving parts...an asset during our treatment because we were able to get a lot accomplished quickly...there was always a nurse (maybe not your nurse) available to assist...nurse team was always really responsive to messages and phone calls
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is a compassionate and knowledgeable doctor. He stays up to date on the latest research and doesn't recommend costly or unnecessary procedures. He was on the same page as my husband and I as far as how we wanted to go about our treatment. He was optimistic without overpromising results. He has an incredible bedside manner. I don't have any complaints about him.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
At Shady Grove the doctors often rotate various responsibilities - where possible I would schedule appointments with Dr. Levens and not just take whoever is available.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
While under the care of Dr. Levens I felt both the "treated like a number" feeling and treated like a human. SGF is a large clinic that deals with many patients. I think this has a lot of upsides. They were able to do all the procedures I needed during my treatment (I didn't have to go to an outside facility) and with them and things moved quickly. I was able to be seen quickly due to the large number of staff they have and my treatment was based on my cycle, not their schedule. So for moments like getting my blood drawn, I didn't necessarily feel like there was a lot of human connection, but it was efficient. Where I did really feel like I was treated like a human was when it mattered most. One of my cycles ended in a MMC. At SGF the doctors rotate on the surgical floor and Dr. Levens was not supposed to be working the day I had my procedure. He went out of his way to be there for me and was incredibly sympathetic. The entire staff was kind and I could tell they genuinely felt for me and my husband. The nurses were also very good about calling to check in on me physically and mentally afterwards. I really appreciated this.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
We began seeing Dr. Levens after another doctor at SGF informed us that my husband had severe male factor infertility (MFI) and we knew that IVF was going to be our only option. So we were all on the same page about starting the IVF process when we met with him. All my test results were very normal so Dr. Levens used what I imagine is kind of the basic IVF ICSI protocol at SGF. For my egg retrieval I was put on Gonal-F and Menopur for about 10 days. I started taking Cetrotide on maybe day 7 and then I took Lupron as a trigger shot when I was instructed to by staff. I started taking estrogen the day of the retrieval and progesterone in oil (PIO) injections the day after. We ended up with 5 embryos and did a fresh transfer 5 days after the egg retrieval. That resulted in pregnancy but ended in MMC. After that cycle when my body got back to normal we went to do a frozen embryo transfer (FET). The FET protocol was 2.5 weeks of birth control then 10 days of estrogen pills, a uterine lining check, the following day I added PIO injections. The FET was 5 days later and medication continued through week 10 of pregnancy.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Alli Tupper)
Dr. Levens has a nurse team assigned to him and these nurses share responsibilities. I mention Alli Tupper because I worked with her often and she was really great! The nurse team was always really responsive to messages and phone calls. None of my messages were ignored and usually I received a response within an hour (if I messaged within business hours). Phone calls were usually returned within about 30 minutes. The one downside of talking to the nursing staff is that you cannot call them directly, you can only leave a message on the nurse line. That said all my interactions with them were great and when I was concerned about a part of my treatment they were quick to call (even though I messaged) to talk me through all my concerns. I should also mention that you can reach an SGF nurse at any time of day. They have an emergency nurse line for off hours and the weekend, which I needed more than once. The nurses rotate in this role so you may be getting in touch with someone from a different office but they are all qualified.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
SGF's strength is also it's weakness. As I've mentioned many times throughout this review, SGF is large with lots of staff, patients, and moving parts. I found this to really be an asset during our treatment because we were able to get a lot accomplished quickly and there was always a nurse (maybe not your nurse) available to assist. I could see this also being their weakness if you have an unusual or complicated case where you need more individualized care. This was not our situation so I don't feel like I could ding them on that. I would say to anyone who is undergoing fertility treatments at SGF or anywhere else to take an active role in your own care - do research, ask questions, take initiative. No one is going to care as much about your outcome as you will.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I was very fortunate that my employer offers fertility benefits. All of my testing/procedures at SGF that were not a part of treatment cycles were billed to my insurance as if I was going to any other doctor. Usually my appointments (bloodwork, saline sonogram, monitoring, etc.) just required I pay a specialist copay of $40. These appointments did not dip into my fertility specific benefit. For my treatment cycles (egg collection, embryo transfer) my fertility benefit covered 90% of the cost after my deductible (lifetime max 25K) and we paid the other 10%. We paid under $900 for my egg collection/fresh transfer and around $850 for my FET because we hadn't met our deductible for the year yet. We also had a fertility medication benefit (lifetime max 15k) that covered 90% of our specialty fertility medication (only needed for my egg retrieval). We paid around $600 for all the medication.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Dr. Levens follows the ASRM guidelines for the number of embryos transferred. He recommended that we transfer 1 at a time which is what we wanted. I'm not sure how he would respond if you had strong feelings about transferring 2+.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
4 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
4 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
4 of 5
9
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
5 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2023, Unknown Success
NPS
7
NPS
7
Age 36
1 Fertility Medications
Male Factor
Unexplained
East Asian
Income $100K - $199K
Operations
2nd of 2 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Having only seen Dr Levens twice, I have limited experience with him. From what I can tell, Dr Levens cares deeply about his patients but can be quite blunt and direct in his recommendations for a course of action/fertility treatments. He may not be that interested in becoming his patient's confidante or friend, but he is very much interested in securing favorable outcomes for his patients and sets realistic expectations for new patients
[Shady Grove Fertility] Strengths: I found some aspects of this process to be very efficiently run. I was able to easily reschedule an appointment via text, and I found the financial overview they sent me highly useful. The financial overview doc provided a breakdown of what is covered specifically under my health insurance, the cost of each service, and the cost of procedures and labwork. Weaknesses: I found it slightly odd and off putting that at least in northern VA, each SGF location operates like its own little fiefdom or unit. It's apparently difficult (when it's even allowed) to go to another SGF location for monitoring/other services. Administrative and nursing staff were not helpful when I asked about the option of seeing a 2nd endocrinologist or doing monitoring at a different location.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Having only seen Dr Levens twice, I have limited experience with him. From what I can tell, Dr Levens cares deeply about his patients but can be quite blunt and direct in his recommendations for a course of action/fertility treatments. He may not be that interested in becoming his patient's confidante or friend, but he is very much interested in securing favorable outcomes for his patients and sets realistic expectations for new patients. He reminds me of my grad school advisor, a professional academic who is focused on results, and while not he's not necessarily warm or effusive, he is effective in his way.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
I would not mistake Dr Levens's somewhat cold manner or his directness as lack of caring. He seems to care deeply about his patients and wants to help them achieve their goals of having or growing a family.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
I have seen Dr Levens two times this year, once for the initial consultation, and once to go over my bloodwork and other results. I feel that Dr Levens is mostly no- nonsense; in both appointments, he delved right into my previous lab results (or more recent lab test results) and told me exactly what he thought - which is that my results/hormone levels looked mostly normal, but that the AMH and FSH were trending away from normal levels, and that as a patient in her mid 30s, I needed to take action *now* if I wanted to have a family. I appreciated his directness in this situation and found that he could relate to my and my partner's situation, as a veteran himself. I received follow-ups from his head nurse/assistant, and felt that she responded to my calls in a timely manner.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
Following initial appt: - Vaginal ultrasound, bloodwork for hormone level testing - Infectious disease (?) testing for self and partner - Semen analysis - partner Following completing of lab tests: - Ovarian stimulation protocol (Take Clomiphene citrate/Clomid) - Monitoring, timed intercourse. This was unsuccessful so now I am exploring the option of IUI.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Shady Grove was highly recommended by my primary care doctor, and of course it helped that they took my insurance. I scheduled my initial consultation through the website with a SGF location in northern VA. I've met with my doctor twice overall. Strengths: I found some aspects of this process to be very efficiently run. I was able to easily reschedule an appointment via text, and I found the financial overview they sent me highly useful. The financial overview doc provided a breakdown of what is covered specifically under my health insurance, the cost of each service, and the cost of procedures and labwork. Weaknesses: I found it slightly odd and off putting that at least in northern VA, each SGF location operates like its own little fiefdom or unit. It's apparently difficult (when it's even allowed) to go to another SGF location for monitoring/other services. Administrative and nursing staff were not helpful when I asked about the option of seeing a 2nd endocrinologist or doing monitoring at a different location.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Most if not all costs for my experiences so far with SGF -- appointments, lab tests/bloodwork, and medication -- has been covered in part or entirely by my insurance. My out of pocket costs have been about $200. However, that may change soon if I start IUI/IVF, neither of which is covered by my insurance. I also don't live in a state with an infertility mandate so I expect that those treatments will result in much higher out of pocket costs
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Not applicable
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to send your chart to another clinic
7
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
3 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
2 of 5
Trustworthiness
4 of 5
Compassion
3 of 5
Explained risks
3 of 5
Adaptability
3 of 5
7
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
4 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
4 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
4 of 5
Educational Resources
5 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2018, Successful
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 25 - 26
1 IVF
Anovulation
Male Factor
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Income $100K - $199K
Nurse or HC Services
3rd of 3 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Don’t wait too long because his [Dr. Eric Levens] appointments fill up fast...When the second transfer ended in another m/c, he suggested uterine septum removal before doing next transfer. This resulted in successful pregnancy. He made sure to do a extra ultrasound because initial HR was low. At this time he was realistic with us and therefore, we knew our chances. Thankfully it was successful and next an revealed higher HR...
When we had issues with our nurse [at Shady Grove] almost making a medication error and us calling to voice our concerns about her sloppiness with our care to office manger, he [Dr. Eric Levens] was the one who called us instead. He immediately switched our nurse and again made us feel at ease...their financial department is one of their worst departments. They are very wishy washy and not clear as to what you need to pay and what your paying for. We actually overpaid by a couple thousand and had to be reimbursed but I had to fight to get them to send the check and finally had to speak to financial manager. The coordinator I was assigned was terrible and I felt like I was constantly fighting to get in contact with her. When I did, I felt like she didn’t know what she was talking about and certainly wasn’t making things very clear.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
He is very good at explaining the process, the good, bad, and ugly. He makes sure you leave his office understanding everything. Several times he called us himself after hours to check in on us whether it was after our retrieval, when I got OHSS, and after each of our losses. He is hard to schedule with because he is sought after which makes booking difficult but when you are able to see him, the wait is worth it.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Schedule now. Don’t wait too long because his appointments fill up fast.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
He would call us on his way home from work. He explained everything in detail. When we had issues with our nurse almost making a medication error and us calling to voice our concerns about her sloppiness with our care to office manger, he was the one who called us instead. He immediately switched our nurse and again made us feel at ease. He was realistic with us and very thorough. He was personable and genuinely upset along with us when we list two out our first pregnancies.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
Lupron Antagonist Protocol. I produced 30 eggs. We did ICSI due to make factor. He suggested a frozen transfer due to me showing signs of OHSS, and my medical history. When the second transfer ended in another m/c, he suggested uterine septum removal before doing next transfer. This resulted in successful pregnancy. He made sure to do a extra ultrasound because initial HR was low. At this time he was realistic with us and therefore, we knew our chances. Thankfully it was successful and next an revealed higher HR.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Danielle Kelly)
To be honest she was disorganized from the start. She was very disconnected from the process and took forever to return our calls. At first, she was attentive to emailing but in reality she would read it seems the first paragraph of my email and then fail to answer the rest—so I would find myself having to email her several times to get answers to original email. The final straw was when she got the doses wrong for one of our transfer medications and almost compromised my lining being thick enough for our third transfer. I’m a nurse so I caught it. But we switched nurses after that to Mary. And she was a breath of fresh air.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Their front desk is sometimes clueless and it at times takes several times to get through. However, their after hours line is very responsive. I would keep on top of your financial responsibility because we had to advocate a lot for ourselves to be reimbursed and make sure we were really paying what we were supposed to. Otherwise the clinic is good. They do have a rule to not bring your kids in which we LOVESD because who wants to see a persons child that you can’t seem to have yourself in a place where your paying thousands to have a kid? Just loves that they were sensitive toward that. It’s also renovated and clean. I’m not sure if it’s up and functioning yet but when we left they were building a procedural suite next door for retrieval’s, transfers, etc. which was much more convenient than going to their facility in Rockville. It was working to get accredited by insurance companies first at the time so we couldn’t use it. But still pretty neat! Also parking is terrible. They have one parking garage that services 4 office buildings. So arrive early to make sure you get a spot on time.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
We were lucky. Our treatment was covered partially by insurance. So our max OOP was $3500. However, their financial department is one of their worst departments. They are very wishy washy and not clear as to what you need to pay and what your paying for. We actually overpaid by a couple thousand and had to be reimbursed but I had to fight to get them to send the check and finally had to speak to financial manager. The coordinator I was assigned was terrible and I felt like I was constantly fighting to get in contact with her. When I did, I felt like she didn’t know what she was talking about and certainly wasn’t making things very clear.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
He actually works with NIH to prevent cases of negligence where fertility doctors are allowing transfers of 3 embryos (for example) and having sextuplets. He is advocate for only transferring one (based off our personal history) because we already had high risk factors for pregnancy.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Lost paperwork
  • Lost appointments
  • Failed to order appropriate test
  • Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
This all had to do with our first nurse Danielle Kelly. She lost paperwork, ordered wrong doses of medications and sent wrong prescription to pharmacy (that we had done legwork to find I must note because medication was special script), she also seemed to always be out of office. This all contributed to mistakes that were made. I don’t think it was the other staffs fault.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
3 of 5
Billing Department
1 of 5
Nursing Staff
3 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
2020 - 2022, Successful
NPS
9
NPS
10
Age 39 - 41
3 IVF
Uterine Fibroids
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Unexplained
Business Executive
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Use Dr Garde if you want someone matter of fact and willing to explain things fully. I don't require a ton of empathy or bedside manner, someone who needs a high level of warmth may not get it from her simply because she's busy and direct... has many patients and is booked fully and isn't always the one to reply to emails or even do all the procedures...she was there for the at the times that mattered.
SGF is a well-run operation with great amenities (offices, online portal, etc). They have a strong and big team and it shows. I was lucky to "find" a normal embryo by my 3rd IVF cycle (age 40). I get the sense SGF runs a pretty standard set of protocols. For women / couples requiring highly custom protocol or who want to do things that are more off the normal path, another clinic may be preferred.
How was your experience with Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Shady Grove, and Dr Garde, may not be for everyone but they were great for me. They run a big operation, and some people may not like the feel. For me, there was always someone there to respond or see me on a moment's notice, bloodwork is run quickly, etc. Dr Garde clearly has many patients and is booked fully and isn't always the one to reply to emails or even do all the procedures (her nurse team and other doctors assist). This doesn't bother me - They were always well-coordinated and she was there for the at the times that mattered.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Use Dr Garde if you want someone matter of fact and willing to explain things fully. I don't require a ton of empathy or bedside manner, someone who needs a high level of warmth may not get it from her simply because she's busy and direct.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr Garde, along with SGF, see a lot of patients. However, she always knew me and knew where I was in my treatment. She was direct while also being empathetic to my scenario. She gave me advice when I asked for it. She wasn't always the person to see me when I went in (that's the way SGF works), but she did make an effort to accommodate doing my transfers when I wanted her to, and she once stopped in to see me even when she wasn't my scheduled doctor.
Describe the protocols Rachana Garde used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
We did 3 egg retrievals, all with the same drugs (gonal-f, cetrotide) but varied amounts. I produced a high number of eggs for my age but after my first retrieval it became clear that quality could be my issue. I did genetic testing in my first two cycles and decided not to in my 3rd cycle (then eventually came back and did genetic testing on 2 frozen embryos from that 3rd cycle - now my daughter!).
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
SGF is a well-run operation with great amenities (offices, online portal, etc). They have a strong and big team and it shows. I was lucky to "find" a normal embryo by my 3rd IVF cycle (age 40). I get the sense SGF runs a pretty standard set of protocols. For women / couples requiring highly custom protocol or who want to do things that are more off the normal path, another clinic may be preferred.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I don't recall exactly, but my insurance covered the vast majority (I was very lucky for this) but not genetic testing, which I recall being about $5000 per attempt.
Describe Rachana Garde's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
SGF policy is pretty strictly adhered to. If embryos are genetically tested and normal, then only one can be transferred. They won't transfer abnormal embryos. And in the case where we didn't do genetic testing, I was allowed to do multiple and I chose to transfer 2 embryos at once in consultation with Dr Garde (I did this twice - once was fresh and I failed to get pregnant; once was frozen and I miscarried).
9
Doctor
Rachana Garde
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
2 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
4 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019 - 2020, Unknown Success
NPS
8
NPS
9
Age 40 - 41
1 IVF
Black or African-American
Income $100K - $199K
Only Doc Seen
Neutral
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
His [Dr. Levens] knowledge and competence is without question. ... Because he was not available without an appointment, it was difficult to speak with him about questions or concerns. This was frustrating because it was my first cycle. He is thorough and compassionate if the news is not as hoped as was our case. He has adjusted treatment based on our specific results and explained the next steps.
The clinic [Shady Grove Fertility] overall is doing a great job however we noticed a lack of consistency in result reporting in dealing with the nursing staff. My nurse would call and not give the details of my monitoring appt or test results unless I asked specifics while others nurses would give me the results without prompting. After talking with my doc the day I was scheduled to trigger another nurse was trying to get us to buy more meds! She had not looked at my chart really and we could tell she had no idea but it did cause some confusion that day.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
His knowledge and competence is without question. As a doctor myself, I had to remind him that I wanted to know every detail without the sugarcoating or layman's optimism. Because he was not available without an appointment, it was difficult to speak with him about questions or concerns. This was frustrating because it was my first cycle. He is thorough and compassionate if the news is not as hoped as was our case. He has adjusted treatment based on our specific results and explained the next steps.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Patients have all different backgrounds and those who want to know more detail should be treated accordingly within reason.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
It was at times difficult to speak directly with him, however, I understand that he is extremely busy as the medical director of the clinic. When I did leave questions, he definitely would call back with an answer within a day or two. He was well versed with my record when we did talk.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
Based on AMH, FSH, it was determined that my ovarian reserve was more than adequate and similar to someone approximately 5-6 yrs younger however quality was still unknown. The protocol was about 15 days and began with gonal f 150iu and 75iu of menopur. The menopur was increased up to 225 in the last week. I took doses of Cetrotide and used Leuprolide as the trigger. 17 eggs were retrieved, 13 of which were mature. 9 embryos were fertilized with 2 making it to day 6. Embryo testing of the 2 showed chromosome 21 trisomy and chromosome 21 monosomy. My husband and I were sent out for karyotype testing and awaiting results.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Courtney Schmidt)
She was very responsive and willing to go the extra mile if needed. She was always accessible which was a plus considering that I could not always reach my doc. She would pass along any message or question so that I could get an answer quickly.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The clinic overall is doing a great job however we noticed a lack of consistency in result reporting in dealing with the nursing staff. My nurse would call and not give the details of my monitoring appt or test results unless I asked specifics while others nurses would give me the results without prompting. After talking with my doc the day I was scheduled to trigger another nurse was trying to get us to buy more meds! She had not looked at my chart really and we could tell she had no idea but it did cause some confusion that day.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
We did a multicycle package with a military discount and paid additional 5k for blast genetic testing. Altogether the services were 18k without medication.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Given our age and no children, we will be transferring more than 1 blast if available.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Previous box discussed this conflict.
8
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
4 of 5
Communication
3 of 5
Frequency Seen
2 of 5
Trustworthiness
4 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
3 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
9
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
4 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2018 - 2019, Unsuccessful
NPS
5
NPS
6
Age 37 - 38
1 IUI
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
1st of 3 Docs
1 IVF With Other Docs
Doesn't Recommend
Doesn't Recommend
Unsuccessful
Dr. Levens is soft spoken, but has a great bedside manner. He is not aggressive, so if you are looking for someone who will take a more proactive/aggressive approach, then he is not the doctor for you. He does explain things in great detail if you have any questions...Since his methods are very much cookie cutter and slow/methodical... He is good for someone young and just starting out in the process. If you are older, I would suggest seeing a different doctor.
Strength: At Shady Grove, everything is in one place, so you don't have to go to multiple locations for treatment. Appointments are relatively easy to get, and you can get your bloodwork and ultrasounds done early in the morning before work. Weakness: Shady Grove is just a body shop, and you are just a number there...The coordinator was great when you had her attention. However, getting in touch with her was not easy.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is soft spoken, but has a great bedside manner. He is not aggressive, so if you are looking for someone who will take a more proactive/aggressive approach, then he is not the doctor for you. He does explain things in great detail if you have any questions.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Since his methods are very much cookie cutter and slow/methodical... He is good for someone young and just starting out in the process. If you are older, I would suggest seeing a different doctor.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Cookie cutter treatment. It was incredibly difficult to talk to a person when you had questions.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
His approach is the typical cookie cutter approach from Shady Grove. Remember, you are just a number here.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The coordinator was great when you had her attention. However, getting in touch with her was not easy.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Strength: At Shady Grove, everything is in one place, so you don't have to go to multiple locations for treatment. Appointments are relatively easy to get, and you can get your bloodwork and ultrasounds done early in the morning before work. Weakness: Shady Grove is just a body shop, and you are just a number there.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
IUI: $1,800; IUI with injectables: $2,400; IVF: $10,500; FET: $4,600
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
He is focused on getting one healthy baby at a time.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The only bad experience I had at Shady Grove was being able to get in touch with nursing staff. Results took a while to get; questions took time to answer; and if I wanted to make changes to my protocol, it was difficult to convince the doctor to proceed in a more aggressive or catered fashion.
5
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
2 of 5
Communication
3 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
1 of 5
6
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
3 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
3 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2019, Successful
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 36 - 38
3 IUI
5 IVF
4 Embryo Freezing
Anovulation
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Poor Egg Quality
European
Income $200K - $499K
Consultant
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Despite having a very busy practice and being its medical director, Dr. Levens frequently goes the extra mile to answer detailed and numerous questions, calling ahead of and after treatments, and being available to do procedures himself whenever possible. He listens carefully and attentively so I have never felt rushed during consults or even with middle-of-the-hallway questions during monitoring. Dr. Levens encourages patients to be engaged in their care and always invites follow-up inquiries as needed...he has a terrific bedside manner. Infertility treatments can make male partners feel marginalized yet Dr. Levens' attitude and soft-spoken nature are very approachable to men as well and he puts them at ease.
I liked the flexibility of being able to go to any of [Shady Grove Fertility's] numerous locations (even in several states) as medical records are linked. Overall, getting an appointment is easy especially for monitoring, which can be done in different centers across town rather than needing to be at one's primary clinic every time. Having said this, I found it necessary to book a post-treatment follow-up appointments with my RE weeks out (typically at the start of a cycle) if my goal was to not miss any time due to scheduling availability. While getting a phone consult to regroup was an option, in-person consults had to be scheduled further out. Even though one has to medically qualify, SG's programs such as Shared Risk allow for a certain sense of security to the stress of many unknowns associated with IVF cycles.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
From the first time I met Dr. Levens, it was very clear that he makes a personal investment in the care and well-being of his patients. I tend to have a lot of intricate questions and he regularly engages in answering these in sufficient detail. While Dr. Levens has a game plan with treatments, he is open to patients' input and, if so desired, will discuss the pros/cons of what one might have found in researching the latest protocols or merits of various options. I have recommended Dr. Levens to numerous friends and acquaintances as he has a terrific bedside manner. Infertility treatments can make male partners feel marginalized yet Dr. Levens' attitude and soft-spoken nature are very approachable to men as well and he puts them at ease. Although this stage of the relationship deepened with IVF (and was less so during the TI/IUI phase of my treatment), Dr. Levens frequently calls ahead of procedures if he isn't the one on-call that day and even after to offer support/encouragement. As the complexity of my clinical situation expanded, Dr. Levens' personal attention to my case increased and he communicated updates to me much more often rather than relying on the nursing staff. When one egg retrieval went particularly awry, he updated me regularly on what was going on. It was clear that Dr. Levens was as interested in the outcome of my medical care as my husband and I--further, he even commented on how personally took this clinical setback so Dr. Levens is definitely in the trenches with his patients. Through my several years as his patient, I particularly appreciated how Dr. Levens sought to keep as many options open for his patients as possible (e.g., endometrial prep for a fresh transfer just in case we decide to go for this option on day 5 vs do a freeze-all, go/no go options on PGS testing, etc.). The language a person chooses to use can say a lot about one's true take on a situation and Dr. Levens speaks of 'we' vs 'you' as in 'we are in this together' and that shows up in every aspect of the care I received to date--infertility really is a team sport.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Although he has a very caring nature, Dr. Levens tends to have a more pessimistic/realistic view of the situation so be mindful of this. For instance, Dr. Levens regularly subtracts 10% from assorted success statistics I've seen (e.g., chance of implantation, odds of pregnancy from procedure, etc.) so consider this when hearing both good news (it's likely better) or bad news (it might not be as bleak). Dr. Levens is also really approachable so do take him up on the offer of reaching out with questions in between consults and/or during monitoring as he will make time to speak with you. As with any infertility treatment, be your own advocate.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Despite having a very busy practice and being its medical director, Dr. Levens frequently goes the extra mile to answer detailed and numerous questions, calling ahead of and after treatments, and being available to do procedures himself whenever possible. He listens carefully and attentively so I have never felt rushed during consults or even with middle-of-the-hallway questions during monitoring. Dr. Levens encourages patients to be engaged in their care and always invites follow-up inquiries as needed.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
I did 2 medicated timed intercourse cycles with Clomid, an IUI with Clomid and supplemented with Gonal-F, 2 non-consecutive IUIs with Gonal-F, an antagonist IVF (Gonal-F and Menopur with Cetrotide followed by HCG trigger), an agonist IVF (Lupron, Gonal-F, and Menopur with HCG trigger), an antagonist IVF with a dual trigger (Gonal-F and Menopur with Cetrotide followed by HCG and Lupron triggers), and 2 estrogen priming antagonist cycles (i.e., estrogen is used to prime follicles mid-luteal phase ahead of a stim cycle the following month). After 5 IVF stim cycles, I finally got pregnant from my 2nd estrogen priming cycle. During this time and ahead of the FET, I also used CoQ10/ubiquinol (~6 months), acai berry (~2 months), and acupuncture (~5 weeks ahead of transfer). For the FET, I was on PIO, vaginal Estrace, low-dose aspirin, and Lovenox. In terms of rationale for stim protocols, we were working on reaching greater levels of egg maturation by various mechanisms in hopes of making more embryos. My last cycle yielded 2 AA blasts (a personal record) of which 1 became my daughter.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Layluma and Chelsea)
I've been in treatment for so long that managed to have 2 nurses. Layluma was fantastic--very sweet and caring--both as my primary nurse (for TIs and IUIs) then we kept in touch upon her promotion to leading the surgical team. Chelsea took over as my primary nurse thereafter and has been great about answering my many questions promptly and patiently. During a particularly stressful time during my doctor's rare day off, she even went the extra mile of getting timely guidance on protocol modifications from an RE late on a Friday afternoon. As a testament to her approach to patient care, I decided to stay with Chelsea even after she switched to another office. Since most of your clinical relationship is with the nurses, I was fortunate to have had a positive experience with a responsive team.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Shady Grove's (SG) strength is in its reputation and size as apparently the biggest fertility clinic in the nation. With experienced REs across multiple centers, the within network expertise is available to guide treatment plans in difficult cases. I liked the flexibility of being able to go to any of its numerous locations (even in several states) as medical records are linked. Overall, getting an appointment is easy especially for monitoring, which can be done in different centers across town rather than needing to be at one's primary clinic every time. Having said this, I found it necessary to book a post-treatment follow-up appointments with my RE weeks out (typically at the start of a cycle) if my goal was to not miss any time due to scheduling availability. While getting a phone consult to regroup was an option, in-person consults had to be scheduled further out. Even though one has to medically qualify, SG's programs such as Shared Risk allow for a certain sense of security to the stress of many unknowns associated with IVF cycles. While I haven't used SG's Shared Risk program, either party (clinic or patient) can choose to withdraw at any time in which case the patient receives a full refund. Although I learned of this too late to fully benefit when first seeking care, SG provides a free consultation for would-be patients who attend a free seminar. This is a terrific idea since some insurance companies make women jump through multiple hoops before being allowed to see a specialist yet timing of early diagnosis is so critical to improved outcomes. SG's major weakness is that patients do not see an RE at every appointment (far from it) and unless one really tries, it's possible--likely even--to have very little interaction with the clinician overseeing your medical care. I had to specifically work on getting attention from my RE between consults since SG is nurse-centric-in patient care, which is admittedly to a detriment relative to competing clinics. For instance, I had to actually ask to receive attention from my RE between consults via call-backs by request through my nurse or run-by Q&A during monitoring if we happened to intersect (his idea & willingness, by the way, for mid-hallway dialogue). Admittedly, my RE was quite open to grant the extra time and even came in purposefully early on numerous occasions to do my egg retrievals himself. Were it not for my RE taking an interest in seeing me succeed in having a baby, I would have left SG for one of the several competing clinics offering more ready access to its REs. I further think that much can be missed by having REs only analyze images rather than being there to see results firsthand and would urge SG to restructure its practice towards a greater fraction of direct patient care.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I am fortunate enough to have had insurance coverage for infertility treatments. With BCBS for IVF, my costs were usually $5k-$7k for medications, and $2.5k+ for procedures. Via this insurance, patients could bank embryos up to a $25k ART procedure max and $15k medications max (medications coverage was charged at a much higher rate by the pharmacy such that this sum only lasted for 0.5 of an IVF cycle). With my new insurance through Aetna, coverage of procedures and medications varied by whether met the high deductible ($2.8k for family) but then medications and procedures were a reasonable copay. After hitting the OOP max ($4.3k for family including deductible), then everything became free for the remainder of the year. However, this insurance plan has a 4 IVF cycle lifetime max and the insurer directed whether patients were covered for each procedure (e.g., no embryo banking possible). Overall, we spent $25k+ in fertility treatments and medications to have our daughter.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
As most REs, Dr. Levens would recommend transfer of a single blastocyst especially following PGS testing although is willing to consider multiple embryo transfers when clinically indicated (e.g., untested embryos, following past implantation failures, advanced maternal age, diminished ovarian reserve, etc.).
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to order appropriate test
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
While overall treatment plans ran smoothly, there were a few instances with room for improvement. The front desk staff didn't always have accurate information on which RE was scheduled to do a particular procedure even a day or two out. As a planner, this kind of information was important to me especially since infertility is a process where patients have so little control over anything. When my RE ordered the use of a dual trigger protocol, I received conflicting instructions from the weekend nursing staff of when the two triggers needed to be done relative to each other and the dosing. Although this got resolved because the day of trigger ultimately fell on a school night, if I were not the type of patient to self-advocate and seek out answers then that cycle may have been jeopardized. For one of my embryo transfers, I did not get notification ahead of the procedure how many embryos survived or their status (e.g., morula, blastocyst, etc.) until we were already in the procedure room. The RE on-call even already prepared paperwork with her plan before indicating to my husband and me what were our options. The RE did end up giving us some time to figure out what to do without pressure but I would have appreciated being informed the morning of about the status and grades of my embryos so that could be in a better place to make a clear-headed decision. Further, calls to inform of bad news were on a few instances saved until the end of the day or even after hours. While one has to admire the fact that my RE wanted to give difficult news himself so as to be available to provide better guidance than the nursing team, the wait was excruciating and unnecessary. A better approach would have been for a nurse or even the front desk can do an initial call or even send an email to say that the RE will call to discuss the results. Lastly, the financial department is very much hit or miss so incorrect information was provided on a few instances. For instance, I was told that PGS testing was covered for at least the biopsy; however, this ended up being denied about 9 months later by insurance. In another instance, I was given the green light to start an IVF cycle despite the fact that the financial department could not confirm whether my insurance had enough to the max coverage sum to fund another IVF cycle. Instead, I had to piece together this mystery myself and then pull out of stimming upon having started the cycle because--to the best of my understanding after many, many calls to all responsible entities--insufficient insurance coverage funds remained. Although it has been over a year, this situation still unsettles me greatly as this could have cost me the opportunity to have another child. In speaking with others, discrepancies of various kinds with SG's financial department are not a rare occurrence.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
4 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
3 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2019, Successful
NPS
9
NPS
10
Age 35 - 37
2 IVF
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
European
Income $50K - $99K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
He [Dr. Eric Levens] is a compassionate, patient, soft spoken and hardworking doctor. He gave me hope all along the way even when I was experience loss or complications. He gave me options but respected my decisions based on the information he provided...He reassessed after each miscarriage which led to slightly different protocols, PGStesting and using an implantation protocol (lovenox, baby aspirin, prednisolone)...
My primary nurse [at Shady Grove Fertility] was kind and compassionate but seemed to forget a lot of my unique needs. I learned to constantly remind her what was going on and also learned that I would need to advocate for myself...We were part of a shared risk program so paid an upfront fee. We paid for PGS testing of our embryos and also paid for medications which were not part of the shared risk program. Some medications were covered by insurance.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
He is a compassionate, patient, soft spoken and hardworking doctor. He gave me hope all along the way even when I was experience loss or complications. He gave me options but respected my decisions based on the information he provided.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Listen, ask questions, advocate for yourself but trust his experience and recommendations.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
He took time to talk to us, explain everything in as much detail as we needed and called whenever there were important results or decisions to discuss.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
He reassessed after each miscarriage which led to slightly different protocols, PGStesting and using an implantation protocol (lovenox, baby aspirin, prednisolone).
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Mary Hartman)
My primary nurse was kind and compassionate but seemed to forget a lot of my unique needs. I learned to constantly remind her what was going on and also learned that I would need to advocate for myself.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
My clinic has very good hours to accommodate my work schedule. They have excellent administrative staff included those at the front desk. I never had difficulty making the appointment I needed. They were very efficient at getting patients in and out for morning monitoring. I did feel that they had a large number of patients to manage but we knew that when we chose to use them for our fertility needs.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Approximately $25,000. We were part of a shared risk program so paid an upfront fee. We paid for PGS testing of our embryos and also paid for medications which were not part of the shared risk program. Some medications were covered by insurance.
9
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
3 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2019, Unknown Success
NPS
8
NPS
7
Age 33 - 35
4 IUI
1 IVF
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
European
2nd of 2 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
On all but one occasion, I've felt positive about the direction I was headed after speaking with or meeting with him [Dr. David Saffon] I've been seeing him for almost 2 years, and I've learned that he is an eternal optimist. I struggle with his seemingly endless optimism sometimes...Be prepared for data-driven analysis. He will make his decisions based on the data...IUI cycle with Follistim. My response was better than any other so it was converted to IVF. 6 eggs were collected. 1 day 6 embryo that didn't take. I took more time off then went for another IUI, this time with Menopure. It was unsuccessful.
I wouldn't be at the clinic [Shady Grove Fertility-Fairfax] if it wasn't for their doctors. The clinic is updated, and the now has an IVF facility. The front desk is typically a mess and sometimes doesn't answer the phones. Most of the non-nurse, non-doctor staff, not all but most, treat you like a number. My financial advisor is nearly impossible to reach. You have to be proactive and stand up for yourself in an office that sees so many patients.
How was your experience with David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Saffan shows he cares his patients. On several occasions he called late in the evenings or on weekends to check in on me. He explains the procedures, risks, and makes recommendations based on specific situations. On all but one occasion, I've felt positive about the direction I was headed after speaking with or meeting with him. I've been seeing him for almost 2 years, and I've learned that he is an eternal optimist. I struggle with his seemingly endless optimism sometimes.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Be prepared for data-driven analysis. He will make his decisions based on the data. Also, if he seems overly optimistic, question why.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Saffan is invested in his patients. He often goes out of his way to make sure they are looked after. He has called me several times late in the evening and on weekends to check in. I've learned to be proactive when it comes to care at SGF though because it is easy to feel like a number there. I set up face-to-face meetings with Dr. Saffan when needed.
Describe the protocols David Saffan used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
For my first IUI, I was put on Follistim. This resulted in pregnancy and miscarriage. Dr. Saffan then recommended IVF. We jumped right into that after waiting a month. I was put on birth control for less than 3 weeks. I was put on typical medications. The cycle was converted to IUI due to only 1 follicle. After a negative test, I went right back into round 2 (no birth control). This had the same result. I took time off then went back to a Clomid cycle to see how I would respond. Same result on a side with no tube so we did TI. I took time off then started another IUI cycle with Follistim. My response was better than any other so it was converted to IVF. 6 eggs were collected. 1 day 6 embryo that didn't take. I took more time off then went for another IUI, this time with Menopure. It was unsuccessful.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Danielle Kelly then Mary Hartman)
Danielle Kelly was great. She was a great communicator, and she had been through infertility herself so she could relate. Mary Hartman is okay at communicating but has failed to show compassion on numerous occasions. At one point, she told me that I had children (I do not). Another time when I asked about my 2 embryos, she told me "They've been thrown away".
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I wouldn't be at the clinic if it wasn't for their doctors. The clinic is updated, and the now has an IVF facility. The front desk is typically a mess and sometimes doesn't answer the phones. Most of the non-nurse, non-doctor staff, not all but most, treat you like a number. My financial advisor is nearly impossible to reach. You have to be proactive and stand up for yourself in an office that sees so many patients.
Describe the costs associated with your care under David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Each monitoring appointment is about $200-$300 but was covered by my insurance. IUI was covered with insurance. One cycle of IVF is about $11,000 not including medication.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Lost paperwork
  • Lost appointments
  • Failed to order appropriate test
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
On more than one occasion, I've shown up for blood work and/or ultrasounds and my order has not been put in. I don't know where the failure occurs but it does.
8
Doctor
David Saffan
NPS
Humanity
4 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
4 of 5
Compassion
4 of 5
Explained risks
4 of 5
Adaptability
4 of 5
7
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
3 of 5
Scheduling
4 of 5
Billing Department
3 of 5
Nursing Staff
3 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019, Unknown Success
NPS
9
NPS
8
Age 37
1 IVF
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Male Factor
Unexplained
European
Income $100K - $199K
2nd of 2 Docs
1 IVF With Other Docs
Strongly Recommends
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr Levens spent a lot of time with my husband and I during the few consultations we had with him. He answered every question we had and was empathetic to the difficult time we were going through. I built trust for him over the process of our IVF cycle since I saw that he intervened when it was important to do so and made sure to call or email during critical times.... Dr Levens is a good doctor and wants to do best for his patients. He is open to listening if you want to try something new or tweak your protocol
The clinic does feel like a factory.... Shady grove has good results and Dr Levens is a good doctor so I am willing to deal with being a number in the system of the larger operation if it gets us closer to our goal and I continue to speak up for myself.... The first nurse seemed unavailable and annoyed with my questions and follow-up. At one point when the lab did not run all of my tests and I needed to go back, my nurse would not rerun the script for the tests I needed
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr Levens spent a lot of time with my husband and I during the few consultations we had with him. He answered every question we had and was empathetic to the difficult time we were going through. I built trust for him over the process of our IVF cycle since I saw that he intervened when it was important to do so and made sure to call or email during critical times.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr Levens is a good doctor and wants to do best for his patients. He is open to listening if you want to try something new or tweak your protocol within the parameters of what is safe and reasonable. Make sure to advocate for yourself and speak up when you feel necessary.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr Leven's was very empathetic toward my husband and I and was always there when it was important. He counseled us during a traumatic early loss which required methotrexate to resolve. I did, however, feel that the larger Shady Grove operation made me feel more like a number than a human compared to my previous clinic. But Dr Levens made it worth staying.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
We did one IVF cycle with Dr Levens. He did an antagonist protocol with the highest doses of Gonal F (450) and a medium dose of Menopur based on my AMH and FSH. He also had prior information from my first cycle we undertook at a different clinic with a different Dr (GW) and tweaked my protocol based on the outcome of my first cycle. The one thing that I asked him about and he rightly investigated was sperm factor issues. The first clinic did not follow-up on the male side after our embryos stopped growing after day 3 on the first cycle. Dr Levens recommended a sperm DNA fragmentation test for my spouse and it came back with a large percentage of fragmentation even though his standard test parameters all came back normal. The DNA fragmentation test is not a part of the standard work up for men during their fertility testing. We were coached on a number of things we could do to try and improve it. We think some of those things helped. We got better results with Dr Levens in terms of the number of 5 day blasts we ended up with vs the first clinic (4 vs 0). We have yet to achieve a viable pregnancy but I have no doubt he will do everything in his power to try and help us get there.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
We had two nurses. The first nurse seemed unavailable and annoyed with my questions and follow-up. At one point when the lab did not run all of my tests and I needed to go back, my nurse would not rerun the script for the tests I needed, as the first one was outdated. She said I could just cross off the labs I didn't need instead of her generating a new script. I took this as either laziness or maybe patient overload. I got to the lab and told the phlebotomist that my nurse told me to just cross of the labs I didn't need and she looked at me dumbfounded that any nurse would tell their patient to do that. She said it was a legal document and I couldn't just cross off tests and that she would need to draw the blood for all of the tests again. When I told Dr Levens about this he assigned me to a new nurse. The new nurse, whom I'm rating here, I don't feel has always provided sufficient explanations of the process and seems to always tell me what I can't do instead of being on my team and helping me to make it happen. I've had to go around her to schedule appointments. And when I was waiting for directions on my trigger shot, and was told by clinic staff that it would be sometime that evening, I waited and waited and no one called that evening even as their closing time approached. I called the helpdesk line 5 mins to closing and they told me my nurse was out on leave and they'd get another nurse to call within 10 mins. And if they didn't call within 10 mins to call their desk line back. Well, no one called in 10 mins and when I called the deskline back it was no longer functioning because it was after 5- their closing time. At this point, I was in a panic thinking the entire cycle was ruined because I wouldn't have done the trigger shot on time. I wrote Dr Levens asking what to do and he wrote back right away, and someone called shortly after. No one explained the process to me nor did my nurse give me a heads up that she was on leave and who to contact or who would be reaching out and when. I also didn't get the sense that she understands the gravity of what women go through every day in this process and feels more annoyed than empathetic when you are trying to make difficult decisions and sometimes you change your mind. Part of this I believe is the way shady grove is structured and the number of patients each nurse covers. I have heard this isn't the case for all of the nurses, but it has felt like it for me with the two who have been assigned to us.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The clinic does feel like a factory. At the smaller clinic I went to for the first cycle it was more intimate and everyone knew you. You could reach out to a number of different people if anything went wrong or you had questions. And some of the staff had experienced fertility treatments themselves so they spoke to you in a way that was healing and understanding. Shady grove has good results and Dr Levens is a good doctor so I am willing to deal with being a number in the system of the larger operation if it gets us closer to our goal and I continue to speak up for myself.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
We purchased the shared risk program at $22k and medications are all out of pocket costing $5k each fresh cycle.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Dr Levens recommends the appropriate number of embryos for transfer based on age, embryo quality, and past cycles. He recommended a transfer of two embryos for our FET (to happen in a few months) after the first round with one embryo ended in a chemical pregnancy and I am turning 37.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Lost paperwork
  • Failed to call with results
  • Failed to order appropriate test
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I've explained in earlier sections
9
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
2 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
4 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
8
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
3 of 5
Scheduling
2 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
3 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
5 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019, Unknown Success
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 35
Tubal Blockage
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Black or African-American
Income $0 - $49K
Nurse or HC Services
2nd of 2 Docs
2 Fertility Medications With Other Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Doctor Garde is one of the most patient and understanding doctors I have ever meet in my life. She is so nice and always loving and caring, more then willing to help or get me help. I could not have made a better choice in a doctor ever.... She is always very good at coming up with a plan and always making sure me and my husband are comfortable. She is very good at listening concerns and always will to try and coming up with a solution.
The team here [Shady Grove] is very good. Patience, understanding and effective. Your comfort and emotions are always taken into consideration. Making sure that you're comfortable and you understand is always key.... I'm a self pay so paying was not a problem. I was always told how much my next appointment payment would be. Most of the time it's a estimate price.... I had some blood work done at my Kaiser Permanente provider. Unfortunately no one from shady Grove called to explain the results.
How was your experience with Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Doctor Garde is wonderful I can't believe how understanding and patience she is with me. I'm a strong person and even Dr.Garde has a was of bring the best out of a tuff day. She is always very good at coming up with a plan and always making sure me and my husband are comfortable. She is very good at listening concerns and always will to try and coming up with a solution. There are no words to describe her she is one of the best doctors I have ever had. Doctor Garde is truly my blessings and I can't wait to continue our journey. I truly believe that if any Doctor can help me with having a little angel it would be Doc.Garde.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Be honest, trust her judgment and everything will just fine. Trust that she always has your best interest at heart.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Doctor Garde is one of the most patient and understanding doctors I have ever meet in my life. She is so nice and always loving and caring, more then willing to help or get me help. I could not have made a better choice in a doctor ever. There are no words to describe the kind of doctor Dr.Garde is I'm more then happy to call her my doctor. She is a true blessing.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Rachel Kelly)
Daniell Kelly is the best ever ❤️❤️ I was so sad when I got my new nurse I cried. I will truly miss Danielle Kelly
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The team here is very good. Patience, understanding and effective. Your comfort and emotions are always taken into consideration. Making sure that you're comfortable and you understand is always key.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I'm a self pay so paying was not a problem. I was always told how much my next appointment payment would be. Most of the time it's a estimate price.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I had some blood work done at my Kaiser Permanente provider. Unfortunately no one from shady Grove called to explain the results. But the doctor Garde did make sure the other doctor from Kaiser did explain to me my blood results.
10
Doctor
Rachana Garde
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
5 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
4 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2016 - 2018, Unsuccessful
NPS
7
NPS
7
Age 39 - 41
1 IUI
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
European
Income $50K - $99K
Only Doc Seen
Neutral
Neutral
Unsuccessful
Dr. Levens is supportive and shows empathy when you have a miscarriage. Dr. Levens is kind when you have 1 on 1 with him. However, it is hard to find him outside your scheduled consultations and it may take several days for him to return a call. When your case is not very promising he also loses interest to you.... If you need to talk to him personally in tn the middle of the cycle, you need to push the front desk staff or the nurse for that.
They [Shady Grove] are well organised and even though they have a big number of patients most of the time their system allows you not to feel like a number. Most of the nurses and technicians are nice, the front desk staff not always. They have certain protocols that if you don't fit in them they would not agree to do IVF with you but would push for IUI which may be a waste of time and money.... She [nurse] was careful and was quick to respond to e-mails and return calls.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is very kind and compassionate if you have losses. He spends time with you and explains things eventhough sometimes I would prefer to know more. However, when your case doesn't anymore look promising, he loses interest and may make you feel abandoned. He doesnot reply his e-mails but will usually call back few days later.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
If you need to talk to him personally in tn the middle of the cycle, you need to push the front desk staff or the nurse for that. Better schedule a specific time if you don't want to miss his call.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is supportive and shows empathy when you have a miscarriage. Dr. Levens is kind when you have 1 on 1 with him. However, it is hard to find him outside your scheduled consultations and it may take several days for him to return a call. When your case is not very promising he also loses interest to you.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
I had one IUI with 300 mg Follistim. I had one dominant egg and two smaller. I htink the timing of IUI was not correct as I started ovulating on my own and they did it on the day right after the trigger shot.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Lischa Tolbert)
She was careful and was quick to respond to e-mails and return calls. She was kind and understanding
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
They are well organised and even though they have a big number of patients most of the time their system allows you not to feel like a number. Most of the nurses and technicians are nice, the front desk staff not always. They have certain protocols that if you don't fit in them they would not agree to do IVF with you but would push for IUI which may be a waste of time and money.
7
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
4 of 5
Communication
3 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
4 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
4 of 5
7
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
3 of 5
Billing Department
3 of 5
Nursing Staff
4 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2018, Unsuccessful
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 33 - 34
1 IUI
1 IVF
1 Egg Freezing
Male Factor
Tubal Blockage
Income $100K - $199K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Unsuccessful
Dr. Levens is an amazing man and doctor. He cares soooo much! I am so glad that I have him on my team. I feel so lucky.... Dr. Levens is truly one of a kind! It has been such a long and rough road, we had a miscarriage 6 days ago. Things have been really hard but when Dr. Levens told us there was no heart beat at 8 weeks you could tell how sorry he was for us. This whole process is so scary but I know Dr. Levens has our best interest in hand.
Strengths- everyone [Shady Grove] really does care! They offer everything you need in one location which is amazing. Weakness- billing/insurance! Stay on top of everything!!!!! The community is great, lots of people to feel connected too and also the office is very new and clean which is amazing.... Each appointment seems like its at least $200 and that does not include meds. There have been many tears when dealing with the money part.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens level of caring is beyond what we could ask for. I am so happy with him and my nurse. The other staff is amazing too. Dr. Levens is truly one of a kind! It has been such a long and rough road, we had a miscarriage 6 days ago. Things have been really hard but when Dr. Levens told us there was no heart beat at 8 weeks you could tell how sorry he was for us. This whole process is so scary but I know Dr. Levens has our best interest in hand.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
It has been a long journey for us- and I hope its not for you but just trust in the process and stay strong! Cry and yell when you need too. Take care of yourself. Dr. Levens cares he really does!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is an amazing man and doctor. He cares soooo much! I am so glad that I have him on my team. I feel so lucky.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Mary! )
I LOVE MARY!!!! She is like family now. So lucky to have her. Truly amazing!
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Strengths- everyone really does care! They offer everything you need in one location which is amazing. Weakness- billing/insurance! Stay on top of everything!!!!! The community is great, lots of people to feel connected too and also the office is very new and clean which is amazing.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
It was very easy! Sometimes you waited but for the most part it was in and out. Made it a little better trying to get to work. They do a great job!
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I am not sure, it been so much money. Each appointment seems like its at least $200 and that does not include meds. There have been many tears when dealing with the money part.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I am happy that he suggested eSET...he said it was our choice but felt strongly about one for our situation.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
4 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
1 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2018, Unsuccessful
NPS
7
NPS
5
Age 40
2 IVF
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Male Factor
Poor Egg Quality
Tubal Blockage
European
Income $100K - $199K
Teacher
Only Doc Seen
Neutral
Doesn't Recommend
Unsuccessful
Dr. Levens is always very thoughtful in his approach. He explains everything as thoroughly and simply as he can and also takes the time to answer any questions. He keeps up with all of the latest research and gives his honest opinions about IVF treatments. We were slightly disappointed that he was so focused on the medicine side of things and didn't entertain any thoughts we had on a more holistic approach. Though he wasn't involved in all of our procedures, due to scheduling constraints, he was thoughtful enough to call afterwards.
[Shady Grove] Strengths: multiple locations; beautiful facilities; IVF costs slightly cheaper than some of the other options; large staff; up-to-date equipment and procedures; wellness center (providing nutrition, counseling, and acupuncture); talented doctors, nurses, embryologists, etc; shared risk program. Weaknesses: their size can make them come across as impersonable, the nurses have so many patients that they can get information wrong; before the new facility in Fairfax
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is always very thoughtful in his approach. He explains everything as thoroughly and simply as he can and also takes the time to answer any questions. He keeps up with all of the latest research and gives his honest opinions about IVF treatments. We were slightly disappointed that he was so focused on the medicine side of things and didn't entertain any thoughts we had on a more holistic approach. Though he wasn't involved in all of our procedures, due to scheduling constraints, he was thoughtful enough to call afterwards. However, the calls usually came later in the evening, and if you missed one the only number given was the general office number, which made getting a hold of him frustrating. When our last cycle failed he set aside adequate time so that he could be sure to answer all of our questions and let us grieve. The only fault we found with this session was that he assured us that I had responded well to the updated protocol when we actually retrieved fewer eggs than the first cycle. When I asked what he would do with a third cycle, he responded that he would go back to the initial protocol and push the trigger medication at the end. This made us feel that the protocol didn't actually do what he had hoped, and it almost felt as though he was trying to save face.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Do your research and go in with questions. Make sure you find out everything that you need and want to know.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Our in-person discussions/interactions as well as phone calls with Doctor Levens were always very friendly, informative and in depth; however, our interactions with nurses and office staff often left us feeling frustrated and neglected.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
Antagonist - Vivelle Protocol. No birth control pills due to my Factor V Leiden's (heterozygote) disorder. Priming cycle: Vivelle patch, ganirelix First cycle: Follistim and Menopur; Pregnyl for "Trigger"; Zithromax taken day before retrieval; Progesterone in oil taken pre-transfer. This resulted in 10 retrieved eggs, 6 mature, 5 fertilized, 1 embryo. Embryo was biopsied for pre-genetic screening and came back normal. Embryo resulted in a chemical pregnancy. Second cycle: Gonal F, Menopur, and microdose Lupron (to hopefully aid in producing more eggs); Pregnyl for "Trigger"; Zithromax taken day before retrieval; This resulted in 6 retrieved eggs, 5 mature, 5 fertilized, 0 embryos. Dr. Levens commented that several of the follicles didn't have viable eggs to retrieve which is why if he did a third cycle he would attempt to push the trigger harder with Pregnyl as well as Microdose Lupron.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Most of the nurses I came in contact with were very capable, helpful, and compassionate, but there were several mishaps that made the process much more stressful than we hoped for. I had two primary nurses during my care. The first nurse was very personable but we had several instances where I had to correct her or ask for more detailed information on protocol. It could also be frustrating getting an answer from her in a timely manner because she was out of the office quite frequently. Eventually she left the company for another position. The second nurse was definitely better at getting back to us and helping us to feel looked after; however, there were still times we still felt like the amount of money we were paying didn't match the service we received. One of the biggest mishaps that we think is important to share was during the embryo development stage of our second cycle. The team had decided to push our embryos to day 7 because they were right on the edge of the blastocyst stage. On day 7 we waited the entire day to hear our results, holding out hope that no answer could be a good thing. By 4:00pm we finally had to call the after hour line because no one had called us. The after hours nurse called back and said that Dr. Levens had wanted to call us personally but that she could give us the results. She then proceeded to tell us that our embryos had stalled in their progression and had been discarded. When I told her we had waited all day by the phone, she replied, "Really?" So after waiting all day we heard the most devastating news we could hear from someone we didn't know and who didn't seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. Dr. Levens called back very quickly after that and apologized profusely; however, we can't help but feel we were misused. We understand that there were good intentions but feel it was a very insensitive thing to put us through.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Strengths: multiple locations; beautiful facilities; IVF costs slightly cheaper than some of the other options; large staff; up-to-date equipment and procedures; wellness center (providing nutrition, counseling, and acupuncture); talented doctors, nurses, embryologists, etc; shared risk program. Weaknesses: their size can make them come across as impersonable, the nurses have so many patients that they can get information wrong; before the new facility in Fairfax, all of my procedures were done by doctors other than mine. We also think it is important to note that at the time of our contract signing, the shared risk was only for those 38 and younger, making me at 39 ineligible to participate. Three weeks after treatment began, they updated the program to include 39-40, but did not make us aware of the upcoming changes.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Because I was 39, I was ineligible for their shared-risk program. Our insurance doesn't cover infertility so we paid everything out of pocket. Precycle costs (hysterosalpingogram, sperm testing, genetic testing, blood hormone tests, etc): At least $2,000 2 cycles, unlimited transfers: $18,500 (we only had 1 transfer) $5,000 PGS for up to 6 embryos (we only tested 1 embryo) Sedated transfer: $500 Discounted medications for 2 cycles around $12,000
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to call with results
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I've already shared several things above; however, here are a few more things that made the process stressful: Wrong information. For example: My nurse left a voicemail telling me to start my birth control pills. I have Factor V Leiden's which makes me more susceptible to blood clots and I should never take birth control. She called later with the correct information but instances like that can make you feel like just another number. The medications coordinator called the pharmacies with the wrong insurance information so I had to call the pharmacies myself and figure out what was/wasn't covered and what the price difference was. She also left some of my prescriptions off the email to the pharmacy. Luckily I was able to spot the error and correct her list. All of this may sound simple, but when all of this is new to you and you're paying someone to do the leg work for you but don't feel like you can trust them, it can be very stressful. I could list more but you get the idea. While there are many positive things I could say about the program, if someone asked me about my experience, I would say, "It could have been less stressful." It's hard to be so vulnerable, financially and emotionally, and feel like that investment isn't appreciated.
7
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
3 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
4 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
5
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
3 of 5
Nursing Staff
3 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2018, Unknown Success
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 30 - 31
1 IVF
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Income $100K - $199K
Engineer
2nd of 2 Docs
2 IUI With Other Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Not sure
Dr. Levens is a great doctor who is to the point, yet in a caring way, and has a background in research. We never felt like he didn't know what he was doing. He called us a few times during the stimulation phase of our cycle to give us updates, or see if we had any questions.... Dr. Levens started us on the protocol we wanted. During the stimualtions he adjusted the dosages as needed. In general SGF does not really do out of the box protocols, they do take a more cookie cutter type approach for protocols.
SGF does use a cookie cutter approach for their protocols. Nothing is outside of the box. SGF is a large clinic, but we didn't really ever feel like we are just a number there. The Fairfax office was great!... There are many options at SGF and they use "global" fees, which is nice because monitoring is included in this. They have a single cycle package, and multi-cycle package, and a shared risk program.... Sarah our IVF coordinator was great.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is a great doctor who is to the point, yet in a caring way, and has a background in research. We never felt like he didn't know what he was doing. He called us a few times during the stimulation phase of our cycle to give us updates, or see if we had any questions.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Make a list of questions, discuss any doubts you have with Dr. Levens.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is very personal and caring. If you have any questions about why he is doing something, just ask, he will explain it in detail. SGF sees a lot of patients and yet the care still feels personal.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
Dr. Levens started us on the protocol we wanted. During the stimualtions he adjusted the dosages as needed. In general SGF does not really do out of the box protocols, they do take a more cookie cutter type approach for protocols. However, this doesn't mean it can't work.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Sarah)
Sarah our IVF coordinator was great. She replies to emails and calls very promptly and gets to the point. The monitoring in the morning was fairly orgainized and quick. There were a few hiccups but nothing major at all.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
SGF does use a cookie cutter approach for their protocols. Nothing is outside of the box. SGF is a large clinic, but we didn't really ever feel like we are just a number there. The Fairfax office was great!
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Well run - a few hiccups but nothing to complain about.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
There are many options at SGF and they use "global" fees, which is nice because monitoring is included in this. They have a single cycle package, and multi-cycle package, and a shared risk program.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
4 of 5
Billing Department
3 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2015 - 2018, Unknown Success
NPS
7
NPS
7
Age 43 - 46
3 IVF
Donor Eggs
Unexplained
European
Income $50K - $99K
Only Doc Seen
IUI With Other Docs
Donor Sperm
Neutral
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Not sure
Dr. Guarde is excellent in person and on the phone, and very relatable. My concerns are that she never informed me in advance when she would be unavailiable.....she was on vacation or otherwise not working during two of my three "own egg" transfers, which was very upsetting to discover in the moment... She was always very supportive, but I feel like almost too gentle without providing solid recommendations for the next step, ie when to move on to donor egg.
Multiple times I had to call the emergency care number [at Shady Grove] to get results and be provided the correct dose of meds or timing of my shots/appointments because they failed to follow instructions on which number to call. Admittedly, my schedule was unique, but I provided very clear instructions on which phone number to leave results but they often failed to read the notes in my file and called the wrong number which I could not reach remotely to verify the next step in my protocol. Fortunately, no cycle was ever lost due to the comms error, but it did cause extra stress that I did not need.
How was your experience with Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Garde is very personable and relatable, and is the only woman that practices at the clinic I was at. In hindsight she was a little too optimistic and her hopes for a pregnancy with my own eggs ended up costing me a lot more than I thought I would expend to get pregnant, finally only having a viable pregnancy through donor egg (and two separate donors at that). I only saw her in person twice, once for my initial consult and once during an early ultrasound with my first pregnancy. The rest of the time all comms came through the nurse. I did have several phone calls with Dr. Garde to discuss the outcome of my miscarriages and the way ahead. She was always very supportive, but I feel like almost too gentle without providing solid recommendations for the next step, ie when to move on to donor egg.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Ask her the hard questions, because she will not tell you unless you ask. If you ask, she's very forthcoming.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Guarde is excellent in person and on the phone, and very relatable. My concerns are that she never informed me in advance when she would be unavailiable.....she was on vacation or otherwise not working during two of my three "own egg" transfers, which was very upsetting to discover in the moment.
Describe the protocols Rachana Garde used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
I did 3 cycles using an "antagonist" protocol, each with increasing doses of menopur and gonal F. My first cycle rendered the most eggs and embryos, but none of the cycles ever ended up producing a PGS-testable "blastocyst" and so embryos were implanted without testing, resulting in miscarriage or BNF. First cycle implanted 3 embryos resulting in week 11 miscarriage. Second cycle implanted 2 embryos resulting in week 7 twin miscarriage. Third cycle implanted 2 embryos resulting in BNF. Dr. Garde never explained the rationale behind the protocol or the increase in dosage or why she didn't want to use a different protocol. After the third cycle I moved on to donor egg.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Ashley (forget last name))
Ashley was very caring and supportive when providing the results of my blood tests.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Shady Grove Fertility is very much a baby making factory that is interested in outcomes and not so much the care and treatment of the individual. But they get results....they just might not be the results you hoped for (pregnancy via donor egg instead of your own eggs) and the way you hoped (seeing your doctor verses the "on call" doctor).
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rachana Garde at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I was a self-paying patient (no insurance coverage) and was provided a 25% discount for being active duty military. First 2 cycles were purchased as a group for ~$17000 (with discount) and 3rd cycle was purchased separately for ~$12000.
Describe Rachana Garde's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
We discussed very early on my desire for a singleton, but was convinced that due to advanced age that more embryos needed to be implanted, and my decision was helped because the embryos were not of freezable quality, so it was either implant or destroy, so I did the multiple embryo transfers.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Lost appointments
  • Failed to call with results
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Multiple times I had to call the emergency care number to get results and be provided the correct dose of meds or timing of my shots/appointments because they failed to follow instructions on which number to call. Admittedly, my schedule was unique, but I provided very clear instructions on which phone number to leave results but they often failed to read the notes in my file and called the wrong number which I could not reach remotely to verify the next step in my protocol. Fortunately, no cycle was ever lost due to the comms error, but it did cause extra stress that I did not need.
7
Doctor
Rachana Garde
NPS
Humanity
4 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
1 of 5
Trustworthiness
4 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
4 of 5
Adaptability
4 of 5
7
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
3 of 5
Billing Department
5 of 5
Nursing Staff
4 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
3 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
2018, Unknown Success
NPS
10
NPS
N/A
Age 34
4 IUI
PCOS
Unexplained
European
South Asian
Income $100K - $199K
Graphic Designer
Only Doc Seen
Fertility Medications With Other Docs
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Not sure
We did 4 total IUIs. We did letrozole and ovidrel with all of them. Prior to seeing Dr. Levens, I did 3 unmonitored rounds of Clomid and timed intercourse with my OB (with no success) so Dr. Levens wanted to try letrozole instead since side effects were less severe and sometimes has better response. I started on 5mg and 250mg ovidrel. I responded "perfectly" with 2 mature follicles but it didn't work. Repeated the protocol for round 2 and my follicles were slow to mature so he added a small dose of Menopur to speed up growth, but we were still unsuccessful. For round 3 we upped the letrozole to 7.5mg and ended up adding estrogen supplements to help thicken my lining. That cycle ended in a chemical pregnancy. We repeated that protocol (but without the estrogen bc they said my lining looked fine) and that cycle was negative. We're now in a break before starting IVF.
They [SGF] have what seems to be a decent patient portal but don't use it for anything other than scheduling appointments and messaging. No lab results or anything. You're sometimes read your numbers over the phone by the nurse but there's no central place for the patient to see all test results. Also, finance is not easy to get a hold of. They don't return phone calls or emails quickly and payments are really slow to process. Strengths are its size, in my opinion. I like that it's a team of many doctors, their hours are convenient for before work monitoring, and it's only ever crowded on weekends for monitoring (it's the only one in the area that does it), but otherwise not at all.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
My experience with Dr. Levens has been great! When I see him, he's incredibly informative, will honestly answer all of my questions, and really empathetic. He seems willing to spend as much time with us as we need. I never feel rushed out of his office like I can feel with other doctors.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Feel free to ask any questions you have, even ones that seem silly or that you read about on the internet. He'll give you his honest opinion, which I appreciate, without dismissing your concerns.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
When I would see Dr. Levens it was clear that he knew details of my cycles and was getting personalized treatment, but also didn't see him very often and he can be hard to get a hold of.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
We did 4 total IUIs. We did letrozole and ovidrel with all of them. Prior to seeing Dr. Levens, I did 3 unmonitored rounds of Clomid and timed intercourse with my OB (with no success) so Dr. Levens wanted to try letrozole instead since side effects were less severe and sometimes has better response. I started on 5mg and 250mg ovidrel. I responded "perfectly" with 2 mature follicles but it didn't work. Repeated the protocol for round 2 and my follicles were slow to mature so he added a small dose of Menopur to speed up growth, but we were still unsuccessful. For round 3 we upped the letrozole to 7.5mg and ended up adding estrogen supplements to help thicken my lining. That cycle ended in a chemical pregnancy. We repeated that protocol (but without the estrogen bc they said my lining looked fine) and that cycle was negative. We're now in a break before starting IVF.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Layluma, then Chelsea)
Layluma was so helpful and always felt like she did everything possible to make sure I had what I needed or answered any questions I had quickly. Sadly she left and was replaced by Chelsea who is just as organized and prompt as Layluma. I don't have the same rapport with her, but Chelsea is always quick to return phone calls or emails, she's awesome. And the nursing staff! I see them the most often when I go in for monitoring. I have tricky veins but they're always so kind, patient, empathetic, and professional. Love them!
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
They have what seems to be a decent patient portal but don't use it for anything other than scheduling appointments and messaging. No lab results or anything. You're sometimes read your numbers over the phone by the nurse but there's no central place for the patient to see all test results. Also, finance is not easy to get a hold of. They don't return phone calls or emails quickly and payments are really slow to process. Strengths are its size, in my opinion. I like that it's a team of many doctors, their hours are convenient for before work monitoring, and it's only ever crowded on weekends for monitoring (it's the only one in the area that does it), but otherwise not at all.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
4 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
2 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
2015 - 2018, Successful
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 33 - 36
1 IVF
Unexplained
European
Middle Eastern
Income $100K - $199K
Accountant
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
I have nothing bad to say about Dr Levens. Everything about him is what you look for in a doctor for sensitive treatment such as this. He is soft spoken, kind, informative, reads patients well so understands when there’s hesitation and doesn’t push, he’s super knowledgeable and and trustworthy.... We had unexplained infertility, so we weren’t terribly agressive with the treatments. I was on birth control for 3 weeks, then stimulated meds for about another 3, retrieved 10 mature eggs, only 4 fertilized, and only 2 graded high enough for transfer or freezing.
There was a bit of quick expansion at the clinic [Shady Grove], and a disconnect with the clinical office and billing, so while things USED TO work like a well oiled machine, in 2018 all that stopped and things were pretty chaotic. I was glad to have had treatment prior to their expansion because I got great service then... The nursing staff was a hit or miss. I prefer more information. Over less, and it was sometimes tough getting all the information needed, and in the timeline needed.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
I have nothing bad to say about Dr Levens. Everything about him is what you look for in a doctor for sensitive treatment such as this. He is soft spoken, kind, informative, reads patients well so understands when there’s hesitation and doesn’t push, he’s super knowledgeable and and trustworthy.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have because he will answer everything!!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
I never felt like a number to Dr Levens. He always recognized me by name when passing me by in the clinic, he was incredibly caring and always looking out for our best interest and what we were hoping to achieve. He was incredibly patient and explained everything in detail because I like a lot of information.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
We had unexplained infertility, so we weren’t terribly agressive with the treatments. I was on birth control for 3 weeks, then stimulated meds for about another 3, retrieved 10 mature eggs, only 4 fertilized, and only 2 graded high enough for transfer or freezing. Levens recommenced any future retrievals we will do ICSI to increase odds for fertilization. Levens also recommended transferring only one embryo for the first cycle, because there wasn’t any reason to believe implantation was an issue, and chances of twins drastically increased with the transfer of two embryos. The first fresh cycle, I transferred one, which resulted in a Live birth Singleton, and the second frozen embryo I am currently 33 weeks pregnant with no complications. The second was a frozen embryo transfer, and everything went very smoothly, birth control for 3 weeks, then progesterone in oil for a couple more weeks plus vaginal suppository of estridol pills. Continued with a few more weeks of PIO after positive beta, and then finished last few weeks with vaginal suppository of endometrin.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The nursing staff was a hit or miss. I prefer more information. Over less, and it was sometimes tough getting all the information needed, and in the timeline needed. Also there was a quick expansion at the office, so I got shuffled around to various nurses which was tough. Dr Levens was my doctor throughout, but the nurses changed a few times, sometimes not having a nurse assigned at all, and that was hard to get information sometimes, like protocol, prescriptions, timing for meds, random questions, etc.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
There was a bit of quick expansion at the clinic, and a disconnect with the clinical office and billing, so while things USED TO work like a well oiled machine, in 2018 all that stopped and things were pretty chaotic. I was glad to have had treatment prior to their expansion because I got great service then, but now it’s tough and I hope they work out their kinks soon.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The costs included treatment only, I purchased meds separately.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Failed to call with results
  • Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
4 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
3 of 5
Scheduling
4 of 5
Billing Department
2 of 5
Nursing Staff
3 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
2015 - 2018, Unknown Success
NPS
9
NPS
10
Age 35 - 38
3 IUI
Unexplained
East Asian
Income $200K - $499K
Accountant
Only Doc Seen
IVF With Other Docs
Embryo Freezing With Other Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
That was our last IUI as Dr Levens thought that too many IUI cycles with clomid would thin my lining. Now we are moving onto IVF with PGS testing as I respond well to clomid but had troubles getting pregnant/ keeping a pregnancy. He felt that because I was creating a good number of follicles, and because the baby we miscarried had chromosomal abnormalities that PGS would be a good option for us to determine which embryo would be the healthiest.
I thought I might have a thyroid issue (based on terrible internetting) and she [the nurse at Shady Grove] without question added it to my bloodwork to appease me. The nurses who do the bloodwork are all very gentle and nice. I think they must know I experienced a miscarriage and now that when I get my blood drawn to see the HCG levels are going down, they’re very delicate with me.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
During what is a very stressful time, Dr Levens was always candid but caring and compassionate. He gave us positive and negative feedback and it was always welcome. I felt very comfortable with him. He was always encouraging and was direct when I told him about the things I had read on the internet. He was never condescending or rude. I truly feel as though he is on this journey with us.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
You won’t always see Dr Levens at every appointment but at the big ones you will (IUI, follow ups). He stayed late with us one evening to answer all our questions. He truly cares about his patients.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
He has a very gentle bedside manner. When we got pregnant he was genuinely so happy for us. When we lost our baby he was so empathetic and caring.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
We have undergone 3 IUI cycles with two cancelled cycles due to over stimulation. When I responded too well, he adjusted my clomid dosage (from 75 to 50mg). We were able to get pregnant with our last IUI cycle but unfortunately lost the baby at 8.5 weeks. Dr Levens was at the appointment where we learned there was no longer a heartbeat. That was our last IUI as Dr Levens thought that too many IUI cycles with clomid would thin my lining. Now we are moving onto IVF with PGS testing as I respond well to clomid but had troubles getting pregnant/ keeping a pregnancy. He felt that because I was creating a good number of follicles, and because the baby we miscarried had chromosomal abnormalities that PGS would be a good option for us to determine which embryo would be the healthiest.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Lisha Tolbert, Sarah Conron )
We had a change in nurses as one left for personal reasons. Our new nurse is very nice and I’m still getting to know her (and she’s still getting to know us). I thought I might have a thyroid issue (based on terrible internetting) and she without question added it to my bloodwork to appease me. The nurses who do the bloodwork are all very gentle and nice. I think they must know I experienced a miscarriage and now that when I get my blood drawn to see the HCG levels are going down, they’re very delicate with me.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I really like that you don’t feel like a cog in the machine. The Annandale office has moved to fairfax just a mile or two away and their surgical facility has opened which makes things much more convenient (you won’t necessarily have to go to Rockville anymore).
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I’m very lucky that so far my insurance has covered all IUI. My husband’s insurance will cover our ivf.
9
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
4 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
4 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017, Successful
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 26
1 IVF
Male Factor
Nurse or HC Services
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
I had the most amazing experience with Doctor Levens, and I truly have no complaints at all about him. He made you feel like you were the only patient, he made sure you were getting the most recent research-based practice, and he was amazing at individualizing our care based on our needs.... Dr. Levens met with my husband and I on his lunch break to help us. We saw him almost every appointment, and when we weren’t going to see him, he let us know ahead of time and gave us the option to reschedule if timing permitted. He gave us every single detail we needed to know and answered all of our questions perfectly. He made sure we fully understood our options before doing anything....
Strengths- they [Shady Grove] make you feel like you are the only person there. They worked so well with your schedule and preferences. The workers were so sweet and supportive. Weaknesses- Very large clinic, so they see lots of patients, which makes it crowded. Even though it was crowded, they were very efficent.... [Nurse] She was amazing. Every time I called, she answered all the questions I had. If she wasn’t sure about something, she would get back to me immediately once she found out.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
I had the most amazing experience with Doctor Levens, and I truly have no complaints at all about him. He made you feel like you were the only patient, he made sure you were getting the most recent research-based practice, and he was amazing at individualizing our care based on our needs. The only thing I could maybe think of—not about the doctor, but about the clinic— is that they are a very large clinic and have lots of patients. Our first two transfers that we did, we were unable to have Dr Levens do them because of timing, BUT we were given the option to wait until our doctor was available, which was very nice. We chose to trust the other doctors for our first two transfers, who were still awesome, and made us feel very comfortable— although they were unsuccessful. We chose to wait and have doctor Levens do our third transfer—which was successful— but it was awesome to have the option to wait, or continue treatment. IVF is all about timing, and they truly do the best they can to have your doctor at everything, and when they can’t be there, they make sure to communicate with you, and follow up immediately. They are amazing at giving you all the facts and allowing you to choose what you feel is the best plan of care for you.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Use him!! Ask him all the questions you can. He is super knowledgeable and research-based, so he will give you the best possible care! When a cycle was unsuccessful, he laid out every possibility and tweaked something he felt would improve outcomes. He was the perfect mix of brutally honest and personable.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
So many reasons. He was AMAZING. Dr. Levens met with my husband and I on his lunch break to help us. We saw him almost every appointment, and when we weren’t going to see him, he let us know ahead of time and gave us the option to reschedule if timing permitted. He gave us every single detail we needed to know and answered all of our questions perfectly. He made sure we fully understood our options before doing anything. He gave us factual information and cited it, so we knew it was the most recent research findings. He celebrated with us, and grieved with us. He got back to our emails as soon as possible, even after hours. When it was time for our trigger injection, I was at work and my husband was at work, and the medication was at home. There was no way I could have made it back in time for the injection, and Dr. Levens drove to my work to drop off the extra medication he had at his office so it didn’t ruin my cycle. This was all after hours! I had a moment in my pregnancy when I thought I was miscarrying, and Dr Levens saw me the morning I called him and he made sure I was able to get an ultrasound as soon as possible. I can go on and on about how amazing he treats his patients.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Sarah Conron)
She was amazing. Every time I called, she answered all the questions I had. If she wasn’t sure about something, she would get back to me immediately once she found out. She was very compassionate and knowledgeable! She had been through fertility treatment herself, which I felt helped a ton!
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Strengths- they make you feel like you are the only person there. They worked so well with your schedule and preferences. The workers were so sweet and supportive. Weaknesses- Very large clinic, so they see lots of patients, which makes it crowded. Even though it was crowded, they were very efficent.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
4 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
5 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2016 - 2017, Unknown Success
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 29 - 30
Anovulation
European
Income $100K - $199K
Nurse or HC Services
1st of 2 Docs
1 Fertility Medications With Other Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr. Levens was kind, understanding, and compassionate about the stresses we were going through to start a family. He was soft spoken during our initial meeting, stayed calm and listened when I explained all my worries, concerns, and fears. He evaluated the lab results I had already had done and that I was concerned about.... He was concerned about my husbands genetic disease. He did follow up by phone call and provided potential steps for process.
Shady Grove is clean, organized, and well managed. It is a scary process so feel confident in your hopes and dreams! The clinic does have several clinic locations that you can get blood work done if your primary doctor is not close to your house. They have weekend hours to get the blood work done in a timely manor.... The nursing team was hard to get a hold of at times due to the holidays but otherwise I was able to get most of the information I have needed when I was a patient but once moving out of state it has been harder to get the information I have requested of my previous lab results.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens was kind, understanding, and compassionate about the stresses we were going through to start a family. He was soft spoken during our initial meeting, stayed calm and listened when I explained all my worries, concerns, and fears. He evaluated the lab results I had already had done and that I was concerned about.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
He is nice and kind but make sure all your questions are answered before leaving his office.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens is very nice and soft spoken. He was concerned about my husbands genetic disease. He did follow up by phone call and provided potential steps for process.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
Our first steps were to get all blood work for each my husband and I, have my husband do a semen analysis, blood work for specific dates of my cycle.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
The nursing team was hard to get a hold of at times due to the holidays but otherwise I was able to get most of the information I have needed when I was a patient but once moving out of state it has been harder to get the information I have requested of my previous lab results.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Shady Grove is clean, organized, and well managed. It is a scary process so feel confident in your hopes and dreams! The clinic does have several clinic locations that you can get blood work done if your primary doctor is not close to your house. They have weekend hours to get the blood work done in a timely manor.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
We coordinated with the billing team and they provided several payment options for IVF. As well as options for the number of cycles we could choose.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
unable to provide comment.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
1 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
3 of 5
Billing Department
3 of 5
Nursing Staff
4 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2015 - 2017, Successful
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 26 - 28
5 Fertility Medications
PCOS
Income $50K - $99K
Nurse or HC Services
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Any fears, he [Dr. Levens] would talk me through...We were not comfortable with a newer medication, and therefore traded that out for a more tried and true medication. He heard our comments and concerns about various plans and made adjustements with us...Dr. Levens always helds a calm & gentle demeanor. He spoke with gentleness & compassion. He always acknowledged me in the office (even outside of a patient room.) He never made our time feel rushed, he was extremely thorough, answered all my questions with patience.
They [Shady Grove] were Organized, extremely helpful, and easy to work with. It is a large organization, but this element I loved, they knew what they were doing. There was no reinventing the wheel! I could always call and get through to the proper department, they would solve insurance & medication problems for me, rather han tasking me with phone calls & problem solving...[nurses were] Very communicative, compassionate & fun. To me, personally, this was a helpful element through the process of high stress
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens always spoke in the most gentle and compassionate manor. We felt like we were walking into an old friends office the first time we met him. He was so kind, and that never wavered during our time with him. He listened and gently asked questions. He was extremely thorough in explaining my diagnosis, helping us understand the medical rationale for our infertility. Every step of the way, he would meet with us to review our plan, listen to any concerns and even adjust our plan based off our combined communication. I was always able to have a conversation with him, whether in the office, or over the phone. A handful of times my nurse set up a phone call with him, so I was able to discuss my fears or questions. Knowing he was accessible along the journey, was significant to me. He rejoiced with us in our two pregnancies, and I was sad to "graduate" from him both times we were with him! I couldn't recommend him more.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Communicate communicate communicate. He is the doctor, and a wonderful, wise one at that, but this is your journey too. We were not comfortable with a newer medication, and therefore traded that out for a more tried and true medication. He heard our comments and concerns about various plans and made adjustements with us. Any fears, he would talk me through. But any doctor doesn't know to discuss or help if those things aren't communicated!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens always helds a calm & gentle demeanor. He spoke with gentleness & compassion. He always acknowledged me in the office (even outside of a patient room.) He never made our time feel rushed, he was extremely thorough, answered all my questions with patience. He listened to concerns and would work with us & any concerns to adjust our treatment as we went through each cycle. I couldn't have asked for more, he was fantastic.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Danielle kelly)
Very communicative, compassionate & fun. To me, personally, this was a helpful element through the process of high stress
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
They were Organized, extremely helpful, and easy to work with. It is a large organization, but this element I loved, they knew what they were doing. There was no reinventing the wheel! I could always call and get through to the proper department, they would solve insurance & medication problems for me, rather han tasking me with phone calls & problem solving.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I don't remember specifics enough to break it down.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
N/A
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Lost or damaged samples
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
My husbands sample / slide was broken in transport. This was during our pre treatment testing/diagnosis. As the office transports them to an outside location for testing. It was handled extremely professionally, with many appologies, and no defensiveness. We received multiple phone calls from varying people apologizing & asking how they could make it easiest for us to re submit the sample. We understood that accidents happen & my husband had to repeat the sample. It my opinion, they could not have handled the situation any better than they did.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
5 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
5 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
6 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2016 - 2017, Unknown Success
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 33 - 34
3 IUI
1 IVF
Anovulation
Male Factor
European
Income $100K - $199K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Not sure
When my IVF cycle later resulted in a chemical pregnancy, he [Dr. Eric Levens] personally called to give me the sad news and encourage me to remain hopeful about moving forward to frozen embryo transfer. He understands the emotional toll of fertility treatment, and conveys information in an honest yet caring manner that demonstrates his respect and concern for each patient as an individual...Eric Levens is the best doctor I've ever worked with. He takes his time during appointments, genuinely cares, explains things thoroughly, and instills confidence that he is an expert in his field and will do all that he can to help his patients succeed. I feel fortunate to have him directing my treatment during a long and emotionally difficult fertility journey.
I had no insurance coverage beyond the initial diagnostic testing, doctor consultations and some basic medication (birth control pills, for example). Each of my IUIs [at Shady Grove Fertility] cost about $1,500-$2,500. For IVF, I was able to enroll in the Shared Risk program, which provides up to six fresh IVF rounds and unlimited frozen embryo transfers for a refundable fee of $20,000+. Medication costs were, on average, $500 for IUI and $3,000 for IVF.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Eric Levens is the best doctor I've ever worked with. He takes his time during appointments, genuinely cares, explains things thoroughly, and instills confidence that he is an expert in his field and will do all that he can to help his patients succeed. I feel fortunate to have him directing my treatment during a long and emotionally difficult fertility journey.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr. Levens' schedule can fill up quickly, so if you are hoping to begin treatment within a certain timeframe, don't wait until the last minute to make an appointment. Prepare your questions in advance, and take full advantage of your consultation time. While your treatment plan will likely depend upon the outcome of initial diagnostic testing, it helps to go in with a general understanding of the treatment options available and financial commitment for each.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
While many doctors don't make themselves readily available or communicate well with patients, Dr. Levens does. Whenever I was in the office for a monitoring appointment, he would take the time to say hello and ask how I was doing. He was quick to call me back whenever I had a question or concern, and within half an hour of my egg retrieval surgery, Dr. Levens was already on the phone with me, making sure I was OK and reporting the number of eggs retrieved/how many of them were mature. When my IVF cycle later resulted in a chemical pregnancy, he personally called to give me the sad news and encourage me to remain hopeful about moving forward to frozen embryo transfer. He understands the emotional toll of fertility treatment, and conveys information in an honest yet caring manner that demonstrates his respect and concern for each patient as an individual.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
We started out using the lowest tech and most affordable options available. My first IUI involved the use of Clomid. The second, a combination of Clomid and injections, and the third, injections only. After it became obvious that we would need to move on to IVF, Dr. Levens implemented an antagonist protocol and recommended ICSI instead of traditional IVF due to some specimen-related inconsistencies on my husband's end. Sure enough, it ended up being a good thing we opted for ICSI, since otherwise, we would have ended up with a very low fertilization rate. In the end, we had 15 eggs retrieved and five embryos that made it to the five-day blastocyst stage.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Sarah Conron)
My primary nurse, Sarah, was incredibly well-organized and quick to respond whenever I had a question or needed a medication refilled. She made sure my medication orders were submitted to a pharmacy that would give me the best rate. She even provided some extra medication that had been donated by another patient when I ended up needing more than anticipated. She was flexible in communicating either via email or phone, which I appreciated. Another nurse, Gail, who performed one of my IUIs and some of my ultrasounds, was also friendly and funny, making me laugh and helping me relax, even when I was stressed.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Shady Grove's Annandale and Rockville offices both run like well-oiled machines, and most everyone we've encountered has been friendly and helpful. Wait times can vary, depending upon how busy things are that day, but are typically not excessive.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I had no insurance coverage beyond the initial diagnostic testing, doctor consultations and some basic medication (birth control pills, for example). Each of my IUIs cost about $1,500-$2,500. For IVF, I was able to enroll in the Shared Risk program, which provides up to six fresh IVF rounds and unlimited frozen embryo transfers for a refundable fee of $20,000+. Medication costs were, on average, $500 for IUI and $3,000 for IVF.
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Given my age and prognosis, Dr. Levens advocated for the transfer of a single embryo and the freezing of any remaining high-quality embryos. He made sure my husband and I were in agreement with this decision, and provided information about the risks associated with carrying twins.
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
4 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
5 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
4 of 5
Educational Resources
7 of 5
Verified
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017, 20 Eggs Frozen
NPS
10
NPS
9
Age 32
1 Egg Freezing
PCOS
Black or African-American
Income $50K - $99K
Consultant
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
His [Dr. Eric Levens] strengths were in knowledge and communication. He does a great job making the science relevant to your condition. It was comforting to know that he previously worked at NIH and understands all the protocols that went into the development of the definition for PCOS. He is very knowledgeable in working with patients who has PCOS. His area of improvement could be in being more responsive to phone calls.
This clinic [Shady Grove] is very pricey. Looking back, I would have saved up money before this procedure so that it was more affordable and less of a financial burden. Although it was pricey, it was worth the money. The main strength was in the expertise of the staff members. Dr. Levens was excellent and very professional...His [Dr. Eric Levens] strengths were in knowledge and communication. He does a great job making the science relevant to your condition. It was comforting to know that he previously worked at NIH and understands all the protocols that went into the development of the definition for PCOS. He is very knowledgeable in working with patients who has PCOS. His area of improvement could be in being more responsive to phone calls.
How was your experience with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
His strengths were in knowledge and communication. He does a great job making the science relevant to your condition. It was comforting to know that he previously worked at NIH and understands all the protocols that went into the development of the definition for PCOS. He is very knowledgeable in working with patients who has PCOS. His area of improvement could be in being more responsive to phone calls.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Do your own research on your genetic background by using a test like 23andme
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
He was very personable from the moment we starting talking. He did an introduction of himself and his background. He then explained my test results and whether I am a good candidate for egg retrieval. I felt very informative walking away from the initial consultation and moving forward to the egg retrieval.
Describe the protocols Eric Levens used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
I used oral contraceptives and low dosage antagonists through the 6-week process. I have PCOS and am under the age of 35 so I was fine using the lower dosage. The reason why we used this strategy is to avoid OHS. The end results was extraction of 30 eggs, of which 20 were frozen.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Layluma)
She was very helpful and knowledge. She always called me back to answer my questions.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
This clinic is very pricey. Looking back, I would have saved up money before this procedure so that it was more affordable and less of a financial burden. Although it was pricey, it was worth the money. The main strength was in the expertise of the staff members. Dr. Levens was excellent and very professional.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Levens at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
For me, it was about $15,000 with all the costs the medication
Describe Eric Levens's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I was sufficiently educated about embryo transfer. I plan to do the transfer in the next several years.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Lost or damaged samples
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
FedEx somehow broke the vials of my blood in transit. I had to re-do the bloodwork
10
Doctor
Eric Levens
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
5 of 5
Frequency Seen
4 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
9
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
4 of 5
Scheduling
4 of 5
Billing Department
4 of 5
Nursing Staff
4 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
5 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5
2015 - 2017, Successful
NPS
10
NPS
10
Age 38 - 40
6 IUI
1 IVF
Unexplained
European
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $100K - $199K
Nurse or HC Services
Only Doc Seen
Donor Sperm
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr Saffan gave me honest answers and didn’t sugarcoat anything— I appreciated his candor and dry humor and really came to enjoy having him as my doctor.... I appreciated having Dr Saffan direct my care even if I didn’t see him in person very often.... While I was one average patient in a very large clinic and usually didn’t see my own doctor for procedures, I still received care that I felt was thoughtful and individualized.
Shady Grove is a huge practice but there are plenty of advantages to that— yes, it’s big but it’s a well oiled machine. Lots of resources. There is always someone to talk to, always another doc or nurse available, always another location to go to and many locations to be able to get appointments that work for your schedule.... Issues with some clinic staff not being familiar with processes for a patient using frozen donor sperm.
How was your experience with David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
While I was one average patient in a very large clinic and usually didn’t see my own doctor for procedures, I still received care that I felt was thoughtful and individualized. I appreciated having Dr Saffan direct my care even if I didn’t see him in person very often. I knew that that would be the case in a very large practice so I didn’t mind. When I did see him in person, each visit made me like him more and more. If my initial consultation appt made me feel like a number, bu the end I felt like I had truly received individualized care unique to my needs. I appreciate his dry humor and very matter of fact manner, and I felt he respected my level of knowledge and health care professional background
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Keep seeing him— he grows on you:)
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
Dr Saffan gave me honest answers and didn’t sugarcoat anything— I appreciated his candor and dry humor and really came to enjoy having him as my doctor. While I would have liked to be able to email him directly, it was obvious any time I had questions that my nurses were consulting with him before answering me. Even tho I wasn’t an unusual patient, I felt like I received good, thoughtful care with attention to my particulars.
Describe the protocols David Saffan used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility VMA and their degree of success.
38-39 years old thruout treatment. Perfectly healthy with great lab numbers and using donor sperm as a single mother by choice. Polycystic ovaries but not pcos. Ovulation induction with clomid and trigger for iui x3, then tiny dose clomid and a bit of Gonal F plus trigger for iui #4. Chemical pregnancy. Then letrozole plus Gonal F plus trigger for iui #5. Just Gonal F for iui#6. On to Ivf: down regulation with bcps. Stimmed with Gonal F plus menopur, add cetrotide, trigger then egg retrieval. 19 eggs, all mature, 15 fert with icsi, 9 blasts sent for PGS. 4 normal. Pregnant after first FET and delivered a healthy baby boy!
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility VMA. (Assigned nurse: Perri then replaced by Toni diLeomardi)
I disliked how my first nurse, Perri, delivered bad news — as soon as I said hello on the phone I could hear her tone as she started speaking. She left the clinic and my next one, Toni was much better and I appreciated her compassion and willingness to find answers to my many questions. Other nurses I interacted with were fine for the most part, with an occasional dud. Kim was fantastic also
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Shady Grove is a huge practice but there are plenty of advantages to that— yes, it’s big but it’s a well oiled machine. Lots of resources. There is always someone to talk to, always another doc or nurse available, always another location to go to and many locations to be able to get appointments that work for your schedule. Fantastic support groups for free, I highly recommend attending. I met some good friends at my group! Who else would have a support group just for single women??? A practice large enough to have seen the trends and the need for this! I appreciated all of that. Downside would be that I mostly saw my doctor at just a few appointments and not for procedures. But I expected that and wasn’t surprised. Some people are more used to having ‘their’ personal doctor for visits or have a different expectation for fertility treatment. One drawback I experienced as a single woman was very surprising-- some of the staff not being familiar with instructions for someone using frozen donor sperm. This was true for my experiences during both iui and ivf. I learned the hard way to ask repeated questions until I had confidence in what I was being told. I found this problem very surprising for such a large practice as I clearly was not the first woman doing this here! And I made sure to voice my concerns.
Describe the costs associated with your care under David Saffan at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Huge. Costs were huge. But I received m, with much gratitude, a professional discount as I am an RN. And the discounts at their preferred pharmacy were significant also. It was super to have a specific person to reach just for my financial and insurance needs, who could tell me a lot more about my insurance coverage than my actual insurance could. For six iuis and an ivf package and medication and all the little things, over the course of a year, I spent around $30K. I had some insurance coverage for some of the iuis and for a few meds.
Describe David Saffan's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
I knew eSET was strongly supported by my clinic and had read about it and the results, numbers etc. I was fine with transferring one embryo so it wasn’t much to discuss. Dr Saffan recommended eSET but it wasn’t an in depth discussion because I was in agreement and understood the risks of multiple pregnancies
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA?
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility VMA.
Issues with some clinic staff not being familiar with processes for a patient using frozen donor sperm. Once or twice for iui trigger instructions the nurse (not my nurse, whoever was there for that day’s monitoring) walked into the room with a sample cup and instructions for my nonexistent partner to produce his sample! Hmm- read the chart, please! For my first iui I also was caused a LOT of unnecessary stress by being given incorrect instructions on where and when I had to provide my frozen donor sperm. After many phone calls and questions I figured out the right process. After that I knew what the correct steps were so the next time it happened before another iui I could correct the staff. But it still happened again. Unacceptable. And, before ivf there was also confusion about when I had to have the frozen sperm at the location where my egg retrieval would take place. My nurse totally owned that error and we made it right. Some of those issues relating to the sperm may have been because I used a local sperm bank and picked it up and dropped it off myself, instead of having it shipped to the clinic ahead of time.
10
Doctor
David Saffan
NPS
Humanity
5 of 5
Communication
4 of 5
Frequency Seen
3 of 5
Trustworthiness
5 of 5
Compassion
5 of 5
Explained risks
5 of 5
Adaptability
5 of 5
10
Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility VMA
Fairfax
NPS
Operations
5 of 5
Scheduling
5 of 5
Billing Department
3 of 5
Nursing Staff
5 of 5
Clinic Atmosphere
4 of 5
Educational Resources
6 of 5