Describe your experience with Poma Fertility.
Colorful and pleasant
Because it was a smaller clinic, there were a lot of conversations and huddles near the waiting area between the Dr and nurses. Nothing ever specific to a patient or inappropriate, but sometimes that extra space is appreciated.
My first attempt at IVF had to be canceled due to a cyst. Because of that, I had to wait until the next round of IVF a month and a half later, rather than being able to wait out the cyst and have a personalized cycle. I am personally okay with waiting, as I have been through this all before and have prepared myself for various curve balls and unknowns, but with IVF being highly emotional as it is, for some, having to wait that long for a cycle to start can be hard.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Dr. Opsahl is the only Dr seeing patients at this clinic. By the time of my retrieval, he knew who I was by name and would always make it a point to say hi to me if he saw me in the waiting area before my appointment. He is very hands on and does not stay cooped up in his office when he isn't seeing patients. There were many times I would overhear him answering questions patients had about dosages, triggers, etc and he would stop and take the time to answer questions. I didn't give him a full positive, because during IVF months (since it's a smaller clinic, he would do 1 month on, 1 month off) he would sometimes be rushed during appointments - but a lot of Drs should be expected to be.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Unlike the our first clinic, we did not have an assigned nurse while going through IVF. There are a set of nurses that do non-ivf appointment and then a set of IVF nurses. All communication outside of the office is through a portal. They do offer phone communication, but I preferred the portal. They were always prompt in responding and were clear in their responses.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Provided conflicting information
How was your experience with Michael Opsahl?
Dr. Opsahl is a somewhat reserved Dr who you can tell internally processes quite a bit. I learned that the more questions I would ask about what he was doing, why, etc, the more he would open up. As with most Doctors, the longer I saw him, the more open and stronger the Dr.- Patient relationship became. At times though, because of his more reserved side and business, appointments would feel a little rushed, or I would have unanswered questions. There was always a nurse in the room with him who would stay behind though, which was helpful, as I was always able to follow up with them to ask any questions I had.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Michael Opsahl?
I feel that if this were my first time doing IVF, I may have felt a little overwhelmed with the whole process. Because he is the only Dr. in the clinic and they use a portal for communication, there were times that I thought to myself that if I hadn't already done IVF before, I would be anxious. I had even overheard a few different conversations in the waiting area at times with some patients asking questions that probably should have been discussed earlier. They also recommend patients watching the videos online for injection courses (although they do a run-through in the clinic too). My advice for Dr. Opsahl would be to not be afraid to ask questions. He will answer and give a great explanation if asked.
Describe the protocols Michael Opsahl used in your cycles and their degree of success.
After being suppressed with BC for 2 weeks, I was put on a 150iu Menapur and 300 Follistim to start off my cycle. By the 6th day, I increased my Follistim to 375 because I am historically a slow responder and was responding about 2 days behind the ideal schedule. From there things really picked up. I stimmed until day 12 and then triggered. They did change my plan post retrieval though because my progesterone had gotten too high before the trigger, which impacts the lining. What threw me for a loop though was that since I wasn't planning on transferring this month and was planning on doing PGS testing, I didn't think it would be a problem. What I learned though is that Dr. Opsahl essentially wants a contingency plan in case something happened to the embryos (not enough to freeze, didn't grow well, etc). So he wants the patient to be available to do a transfer no matter what. Since I was not able to transfer, he recommend that I do a day 2 freeze all, and then prep for a transfer in January. Then in January, they will thaw all embryos, let them grow to day 5 and we can choose to PGS all day 5 embryos and refreeze all, or transfer one without PGS and then PGS and refreeze the rest. Because we are in a money-back program, if we do not choose the Dr's recommendation, then we forfeit our participation in the program and don't get our money back. It was a bit odd to me, but after taking out the emotional component of expecting everything to go as schedule, I appreciate the steps he takes to ensure the most success with our embryos. Right now, we have 9 embryos frozen on day 2 and will be prepping for a transfer in January.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Michael Opsahl.
$17,000 for IVF with PGS and includes all future transfers. We qualified for the bottom tier of their program, so if we do not get a baby after this first cycle, we can do another IVF with PGS for $3500 or get 50% of our money back. This option goes on for 3 total round of IVF. If at the end of all 3 rounds if we are still not pregnant, we get back 50% of everything we invested. Drugs are not included in the $17k, neither is $650 for anesthesia or $1900 for the Genetic Clinic's fee for PGS. The $17k did cover the option for ICSI if we chose it, but we didn't. It also covered the freezing and refreezing, so we weren't hit with additional fees, which I know we would have been at the other clinic.