Last week we met with three REs at different IVF clinics. Two were in person, one was over the phone. I was little overwhelmed with the information each RE was giving me and they were all slightly different. I summarized as best as I could with the information I thought was most important on making our final decision.
RE #1 – Dr. MyWay
This is the one that was over the phone. It was definitely limiting but it went better than I expected.
His office is close to DH’s work but far from mine. He is a strong advocate of acupuncture and immunology. Immunology is, from what I have read, a debatable subject in the infertility world. Some doctors, like this one, thinks it has everything to do with fertility. Others think it’s a BS science and will disregard it completely. He requires that all his patients are getting acupuncture while going through IVF.
His diagnosis of our issue is that it’s a mix of my stage 3 endometriosis and male factor. He believes with DH’s low motility, we should be definitely doing ICSI. This didn’t sit well with me since he wouldn’t even consider doing half natural and half ICSI. It sounded like my way or the high way. Hence, his nickname, MyWay.
RE #2 – Dr. Knowledgeable
This doctor is at the big university hospital near our house. He teaches there as well and he knows my OBGYN, Dr. R when Dr. R was studying there. He was the most knowledgeable when it came to different options we had. He explained things scientifically and DH and I liked that a lot. He gave us numbers and odds.
This hospital is also the only one that will be in-network for us. If we went with him, a lot of the treatments including the medication will be covered under my insurance. I would be able to do 3 or 4 cycles without paying much out-of-pocket.
Because this is a teaching hospital, they take all patients. They are not worried about increasing their IVF numbers. Therefore they do have a very low success rate. Another issue I have is even though I like this doctor, there are a few others doctors in the department and I don’t think it’s guaranteed that I would be seeing him every time I come in.
RE #3 – Dr. Nice
This place is the one that had a wait list of 9-12 months but I was able to get in because of the referral. The office had the most high tech equipment. He did an ultrasound the day of the consult and laying down I had a monitor up on the ceiling, doctor had his own monitor and DH had his own next to his chair.
Their staff was very welcoming, all very nice. I’m calling this doctor Dr. Nice since everything about his practice was just that. The doctor was very upbeat about my outcome. My age 32 in the infertility world is considered ‘very young’ he says. His diagnosis of our issues were all me – endometriosis. He believes even though my OBGYN cleared me of any tube blockage, believes are not the ideal environment for sperm and egg to do its job. He is willing to do half ICSI/half natural so that if any of the natural ones did fertilize, we can use that instead of the ICSI eggs. I like that approach a lot. Dr. Knowledgeable suggested the same approach.
This would be the most expensive option though. He is not contracted with any insurance although they will help me get reimbursement as much as I could. I already paid over $500 for the first consultation.
At the end, he believes my chances of conceiving with the first round of IVF is 40-50%. He’s willing to do just one egg if I didn’t want the risk of twins, which I don’t. If we had good equality eggs and we had enough to freeze, I will transfer just one.
At the end, I decided to go with Dr. Nice. To be honest, I don’t like his all-too-positive attitude. I like my doctors to give it to me straight instead of sugar coding it. In that sense, Dr. Knowledgeable is my kind of doctor. But with IVF, I know numbers speak of itself.
In 2011, this doctor had live birth success at a whopping 58% for fresh cycles. Only 38% of procedures were ICSI. All of his endometriosis patients (although very very small number) achieved pregnancy, with a baby at the end. These stats are for women under 35.
So here we are. I have a RE and we are starting IVF!
AF started full flow during the family’s Christmas Eve dinner. I called the office to let them know and to my surprise, an actual person picked up the phone. On Christmas Eve! A nurse called me back in less than 10 minutes and I have my baseline blood draw scheduled for tomorrow morning.