Describe your experience with Central Coast Fertility.
They aren't the most organized. I think it's because they are shuffling between a few different offices and are SO busy helping SO many patients. Hard to fault them for that reason, but I do wish they were more organized and polished. Also, it's great that they have a patient portal w/electronic messaging but it leaves some things to be desired. I wish the calendars were more organized (it's often hard to read and follow, day to day) and stuff like that. There are times I'm told I have an appointment, then they call and say wait I'll get back to you, etc. Again, I think it's because they are doing so much to serve so many deserving patients and I love Dr. Steinleitner for being so dedicated, there's just room for more polish on all of the details is all.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
He and his staff always remember me and my name. Ask if we need anything, are there for us if we need to call in or forgotten anything. Dr. Steinleitner clearly cares about our results and is very compassionate with us.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Some of the nurses are better than others. They are all very, very nice and kind. But I have had my issues with a couple. One made several mistakes with my medication orders resulting in last minute overnights and runs to out-of-the-way pharmacies, etc. Another has upset me a few times. Once when delivering news of negative pregnancy test and trying to "comfort" me when I was crying, said "well you know we don't make guarantees" (yes, of course I know that, how helpful of you - not!) and then promised to call the lab to see if she could find out more information about my abnormal embryos and call me back the next day. Then, proceeded to never call me back and when I tried to follow up simply said she could schedule me an appointment with the doctor. finally, when I came in she gave me false information saying oh I talked to the alb and they say all your embryos are just fine. This gave me false hope as I walked into the doctor's office thinking there was a mix up and I had embryos to use -I did not. Finally, another time I asked her a specific instructions about medication instructions and she gave me the wrong answer. I definitely do not trust her.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
How was your experience with Alex Steinleitner?
Dr. Steinleitner is a wonderful fertility doctor. It is absolutely clear that he takes great pride and has great passion for the work that he does. You can tell that he cares about and wants your success as much as you do. He works tirelessly for his patients - holidays, weekends, around the clock - various locations. It is also clear that he is extremely knowledgeable and educated. I completely trust in his guideance and care without question. There are times where I feel the conversation is very short and to the point, sometimes I may want more detail, but typically if I stop and ask questions or seem unsure he'll give us the extra time we need. I have been nothing but pleased with his attention and care. He is fairly direct, doesn't mince words or give you false hopes, which I could see some people not enjoying but I love this. I want to know the facts, I don't want any sugar coating. Overall, I couldn't recommend Dr. Steinleitner any higher. I am thankful we are in his hands.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Alex Steinleitner?
Be prepared with any questions, and if you're unsure of anything, ASK. He'll give you any answers you need! But he may overlook something you're thinking about if you don't speak up. That said, anything that is critical, he'll make sure to go over and provide in writing too, so don't worry!
Describe the protocols Alex Steinleitner used in your cycles and their degree of success.
At first, it was determined that I do not ovulate on my own. So the regimen at first was to do rounds of OI (medications to get me to ovulate, followed by a trigger shot, then we would have sex at particular times to try to get pregnant). Have 5 rounds of this it was determined that there was another issue going on, either with the egg or sperm not meeting or with fertilization not taking place.
He highly suggested that we move on to IVF after the several failed OIs. We did IVF. The medications worked well and I produced 30 follicles. 23 eggs were retrieved and things were looking up. However, all by one were inexplicably abnormal. The one remaining embryo was good and normal but not necessarily highest quality. We transferred this and crossed our fingers but I did not get pregnant. He told us that I may have an issue with my eggs, or it could just be bad luck, we simply didn't know. We did chromosomal testing to make sure that the issue did not lie there and we tested negative.
After a brief break, Dr. Steinleitner told us about INVOCell, a relatively new IVF method he added to his practice, and we opted to try this instead. This time I only produced 6 follicles and retrieved 4. I was delighted to learn that all 4 fertilized normally. It seemed that perhaps the first round of IVF was just bad luck after all. 2 embryos were "execellent" and 2 "good." we transferred the 2 "execellent" embryos and had my first beta but hcg was only 1.1. He is going to test me again to see if there is any growth but it is looking like a negative.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Alex Steinleitner.
To my best recollection I spent roughly $4000 on the OI treatments, $16000 on traditional IVF, and $6000 on the INVOCell IVF, so give or take $26000 total