Describe your experience with Northwest Fertility Center.
Strengths: Small clinic, intimate setting, direct access to the doctor, easy to make appointments.
Weaknesses: Archaic record keeping systems, poor/incomplete communication, felt like seeing a Dr. in the 1950s.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Dr. Stoelk's office is small and you see the same people on each visit. Dr. Stoelk does all the examinations and treatments himself.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
There was a new nurse named Chloe that handled most of my intakes, blood draws, and medication distribution. She did not do a good job of fully informing me how to handle the trigger shots, and I ended up panicking that I had done them wrong. When I explained what happened and said I would have liked more clear instructions, she did not do a good job of accepting responsibility or showing any ownership, compassion, or apology. The same thing happened when I did not get clear communication about when to take the pregnancy test, and I ended up with a false positive. Also, none of the nurses washed their hands or wore gloves when taking blood draws, which was concerning to me.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to convey critical information
How was your experience with Eugene Stoelk?
Dr. Stoelk was friendly and knowledgable, and I don't doubt his ability to determine a proper course of treatment. However, on at least two occasions I came away from our sessions not fully informed of what to expect, which led to some disappointing outcomes, and eroded my trust in him. My first month of treatment we were testing my progesterone levels, and I thought we should not be trying to get pregnant during that testing month. However, the Dr. left a voicemail after the test came back with good numbers that he hoped we would see a positive pregnancy test that month. It seems like a small thing, but that was month of trying to get pregnant that we missed for no reason. The next month we used gonadotropin shots and a trigger shot to try to produce more viable eggs. He never told me that I should not test early because there would likely be a false positive. I ended up testing a couple days early and thought I was pregnant, and was then told that it was just the residual hormones from the trigger shot. I was very angry and upset that no one had communicated this to me. Also, Dr. Stoelk seems unable or unwilling to say the words "sex" or "intercourse." When we talked about the timing of intercourse with my husband for the month he would say I should "be with" or "get with" my husband. It was very awkward and strange - it made me feel like I was seeing a Dr. from the 1950's. This is a medical doctor who is dealing with women's reproductive organs all day long - he should be able to talk about the act that leads to pregnancy in plain language.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eugene Stoelk?
Don't go - not enough clarity or directness of communication, which leads to confusion, misunderstanding, disappointment, and lack of trust.
Describe the protocols Eugene Stoelk used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Dr. Stoelk put me on gonadotropin shots to induce the growth of multiple eggs, monitored by regular ultrasounds, and finished with a trigger shot to trigger ovulation. He said it would not be useful to start with Clomid since I was already ovulating regularly. My issue was low AMH and high FSH, so I needed help jump-starting healthy egg production. We also did not do IUI since I had gotten pregnant from intercourse twice before. I did one cycle of shots with a trigger shot but did not get pregnant.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eugene Stoelk.
I spent approximately $1750 - it would have been much more, but I had a friend who gave me her unused medications.