Describe your experience with Texas Fertility Center.
The clinic is organized, though they tend to run late for appointments. They're great about weekend appointments for monitoring and procedures. You won't necessarily see your doctor, but someone will be there. If you have issues with sample delivery for a procedure, as we once did, the on-call nurses are wonderful about walking you through what to do and keeping you calm. Once we decided to use donor eggs at an overseas clinic, the clinic staff became much colder and much less accommodating to our needs. I told the nurse manager that it felt as though they only cared about helping build families when we were lining their pockets through large treatments, and not when we were simply giving ourselves the best chance for success.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
I felt like a human until our own-egg IVF cycle failed and we decided to go abroad for our donor egg cycle. We needed the clinic's help for monitoring, and we were paying out of pocket for ultrasounds, but they were very unaccommodating. I told them that I felt like, since they were getting the big bucks from us for a donor egg cycle and only getting a few hundred from us for some ultrasounds, we no longer mattered. We only mattered if we were building a family their way.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Laura was wonderful at communicating. Some of the other nurses showed less compassion, especially those who we dealt with less often. Once we decided to only do monitoring through the clinic to prepare for using donor eggs overseas, the nursing staff was much less friendly.
How was your experience with Thomas Vaughn?
Dr. Vaughn was overall great to work with. He seemed to truly care about helping us start our family. I was disappointed that he seemed unwilling to try something else when our own-egg IVF cycle failed. He jumped straight to donor eggs instead of being open to trying a different protocol. While donor eggs are what we ultimately proceeded with, I didn't feel listened to, and it felt like he was giving up very quickly on my 29-year-old eggs. I was also disappointed that he wasn't more disappointed or perplexed by the fact that nothing grew past fertilization. Our IVF cycle was a overall very frustrating to us, but it didn't seem that way to him. But as far as his bedside manner and his walking us through treatments during our IUIs and everything leading up to egg retrieval in our IVF, he was wonderful.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Thomas Vaughn?
Be proactive and advocate for yourself.
Describe the protocols Thomas Vaughn used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I had no trouble producing follicles and eggs, so we started with letrazole and IUIs. Three cycles of that before moving on to a single IUI cycle using an injectable medication. We did this cycle only to test my body's response to the injectable medication in preparation for IVF. At that point, Dr. Vaughn was pretty sure IUI wasn't going to work for us. For IVF, we did a fairly high dose of injectable medications to get as many eggs as possible, but by the time egg retrieval came around, we were risking too many larger follicles trying to get the smaller ones to catch up, so we called it and got fewer than we'd hoped for. After our IVF, Dr. Vaughn said he wouldn't change the protocol if we tried own-egg IVF again, despite the outcome.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Thomas Vaughn.
Insurance didn't cover much. Ultrasound monitoring was about $200 per ultrasound. The IUIs were something like $500 each, I believe. The total cost of our IVF cycle was around $15,000, but we received a refund since we didn't make it to transfer. That part was a bit confusing, but they made it as smooth as they possibly could given the circumstances.