Describe your experience with High Quality Affordable Fertility Centers.
In the beginning, the clinic was very hard to get a hold of in order to schedule tests. I would call repeatedly and get no answer, or it would take them several days to call me back. I often had to wait until my next cycle to do the tests because they didn't get back to me in time to schedule them. After we paid for our first IVF cycle, they were a bit more attentive. However, they always said the patient portal was the best method of contact, but I rarely got answers in a timely manner, if at all. I will say though, the clinics financial coordinator is amazing. She always responded promptly to emails and answered any questions I had about the finances.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
My husband and I felt as if we were just a number due to the fact that on multiple occasions Dr. Magarelli couldn't remember our names (we had been seeing him for several months by this point), and the fact that he was so quick to push IVF rather than discussing other options. After we decided to move forward with IVF, we didn't see Dr. Magarelli until the morning of the egg retrieval - he wasn't at any of the numerous visits in between.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nursing staff changed quite a bit throughout the 9 months that we were at the clinic. Most of them were friendly and helpful, but others not as much. However, one of the nurses that drew blood on a regular basis (I can't remember her name) was amazing. She was one of the few reasons that I felt comfortable going through another cycle with them.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
How was your experience with Paul Magarelli?
I'm not sure where to even begin.. From the beginning I didn't have a great gut feeling about Dr. Magarelli, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and move forward as a patient of his (we were referred to him by Tricare, so our options were a bit limited). He put on a really good show at our first appointment, telling us that he would most certainly help us have "one healthy baby" - his motto. We felt hopeful that this would be the case. However, our first cycle ended with two abnormal embryos. Dr. Magarelli was less than compassionate when giving me this news, and even went as far as to get upset with me for not saying anything (I was in shock and very upset). Despite this happening, Dr. Magarelli assured us that changing my medication protocol would yield better results, so we moved forward with a second cycle. This cycle resulted in zero embryos. When Dr. Magarelli called to give me this news (I was expecting it by this time and had already started seeking a second opinion), he was joking about how he had a cold and didn't feel good.. as if that was appropriate. When I told him we'd be looking for another doctor his response was, "Sounds great, good luck!", and I never heard from him again.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Paul Magarelli?
Run in the other direction. Seriously. He might be the cheapest in town, but you get what you pay for.
Describe the protocols Paul Magarelli used in your cycles and their degree of success.
My first IVF cycle began with birth control for a few weeks, followed by Lupron, and then Gonal-F & Low Dose HCG. I was on 10 units of Lupron, 10 units of Low Dose HCG, and 75 IU's of Gonal-F morning and night. I was on a very low dose due to the fact that I have no known issues, and responded very well to it. After my retrieval however, it was clear that I had hyper-stimulated even with the low doses. We retrieved 18 eggs, 10 mature, 5 fertilized, and 2 made it to freeze. Those 2 were chromosomally abnormal. For my second cycle I was again on birth control, followed by Lupron, and then Menopur. I was on 10 units of Lupron and started out at one vial of Menopur a day. After a few days and no response, my dose of Menopur was upped to 4 vials per day. I injected the Menopur intramuscularly, for a reason that I still don't know. This cycle we retrieved only 4 eggs, 2 mature, 2 fertilized, and 0 making it to freeze. Dr. Magarelli believes that I ovulated on my own prior to the retrieval.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Paul Magarelli.
Initally, Dr. Magarelli charged $7500 for IVF w/ ICSI, plus $400 for anesthesia, plus medications. They provided a $500 military discount, but required the payment in full before the start of the cycle. However, just before our first cycle began, they lowered the price to $4500, plus $400 for anesthesia, plus medications. At this time they didn't offer us the military discount. There was also a $1000 fee for the embryo biopsy each cycle.