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Good or bad - Calgary Regional Fertility Program


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#1 jzwh

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:36 PM

Hello everyone, 

 

Just want to get a sense on how everybody generally feels about RFP in Calgary. 

 

A little bit background of myself, we've decided to go down to the states in Portland based on the SART stats and hoping to do a IVF cycle there. The staff and nurses have been extremely helpful in terms of responding to your calls and emails at all time. 

 

Since the clinic is outside of Canada, we've chosen RFP in calgary to do our satellite monitoring and Jennifer the RN there, she's extremely patient. But we've heard many stories about their poor communications, and rotation of their medical staff. 

 

Is it worth to go down to the states and do my cycle there? Or should I consider the option of switching to RFP and have them help with the full cycle? I've also heard their quality of services are poor and the surgery as well as the patient care. Some people said that the failure of their cycles are because of lack of consistency of the doctors, coz they always rotate and you'll never get a doctor specifically assigned to you!!! 

 

Any comments? Also anyone with their experience at RFP of the Satellite monitoring, please share with me!

 

I'm puzzled about the medical piece for the satellite monitoring. Since it's almost impossible to meet with the doctor, how can we get the doctor to sign off any meds required by the clinic in the states????

 

Thanks a lot! 



#2 JacMac

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:12 AM

I'm not sure how monitoring would work but we didn't have a completely negative experience at RFP. I agree the communication method sucks but not having consistency in doctors didn't really other me. In fact, we didn't see our doctrine, Dr. Greene, at any point in our IVF cycle but I saw lots of the other doctors. That being said, I'm kind of a hands off kind of person and just trusted that they knew what they were doing. I didn't worry a lot during my cycle an just went in for appointments and took meds when they told me to.

The one thing I did find weird though was at our egg transfer we must have been the last patients of the day as they told me to stay there for at least half an hour and then left for the day, leaving me and my husband in the surgical area by ourselves.
They were willing to fit n my cycle even though it started over two weeks earlier than expected and the pharmacy overnighted me my required meds.
I have heard that a lot of ladies ave issues with RFP if they have any complex issues that prevent them from getting pregnant or carrying once pregnant. This clinic isn't as in to experimental procedures for things like immune issues.

That being said, we successfully got pregnant on our first IVF and despite a Bumpy few first months with OHSS (which the clinic kept uptodate with me from afar) we're now over halfway through.
Me - now 35 Him - 36
Trying to conceive since our wedding day May 25, 2008.
Started Clomid Jan-April 2012.
Referred to RFP June 2012.
First consult at RFP November 2012.
First IVF cycle on antagonist protocol (GonalF, Luveris) January 2013.
Transferred two day-3 embryos, had severe OHSS, lost one twin between 7-13 weeks but was expecting one little one October 2013.
Found out at 6 mos that our little one had died weeks earlier and had to induce and deliver stillborn, July 25, 2013.
Something found on adrenal gland at follow up ultrasound, MRI showed what seems to be a benign tumor.
Meeting with specialist Jan 8, 2014 - all fertility treatments on hold. :/
Tumor is definitely producing Aldosterone (causes high blood pressure) and Cortisol. Lucky me, only 34 similar cases recorded in the world! Tumor removed May 2014.
Approached about a possible adoption March 2014. Rush through all the paperwork and process. Charlotte Evangeline born June 27, 2014. We brought her home on July 7 and held our breath for 10 days until she officially became ours.
Surprise BFP October 2014. Due to wonky cycles, ultrasounds convince Doctors I have a blighted ovum but detailed ultrasound reveals heartbeat at 6w3d. On progesterone support and waiting to see if pregnancy is still viable. Holding our breath again.

#3 JacMac

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:15 AM

Oh by the way, perhaps my attitude towards health care comes from living in my community where we are seriously understaffed or supported by the provincial health care system. We have oBs and 1400 babies born a year. If I go to a doctor's office and don't have to wait more than an hour to see anyone then I'm happy.usually at the OB it's routinely an average of a four hour wait and unless you're high risk you don't see an OB until 36 weeks.
Me - now 35 Him - 36
Trying to conceive since our wedding day May 25, 2008.
Started Clomid Jan-April 2012.
Referred to RFP June 2012.
First consult at RFP November 2012.
First IVF cycle on antagonist protocol (GonalF, Luveris) January 2013.
Transferred two day-3 embryos, had severe OHSS, lost one twin between 7-13 weeks but was expecting one little one October 2013.
Found out at 6 mos that our little one had died weeks earlier and had to induce and deliver stillborn, July 25, 2013.
Something found on adrenal gland at follow up ultrasound, MRI showed what seems to be a benign tumor.
Meeting with specialist Jan 8, 2014 - all fertility treatments on hold. :/
Tumor is definitely producing Aldosterone (causes high blood pressure) and Cortisol. Lucky me, only 34 similar cases recorded in the world! Tumor removed May 2014.
Approached about a possible adoption March 2014. Rush through all the paperwork and process. Charlotte Evangeline born June 27, 2014. We brought her home on July 7 and held our breath for 10 days until she officially became ours.
Surprise BFP October 2014. Due to wonky cycles, ultrasounds convince Doctors I have a blighted ovum but detailed ultrasound reveals heartbeat at 6w3d. On progesterone support and waiting to see if pregnancy is still viable. Holding our breath again.

#4 RainbowsPromise

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:21 AM

My experience with RFP is mixed as well and I also live in the same town as JacMac! They were good for monitoring and such but the issues I had were trying to find doctors locally to do it for me. On my second cycle, I just went down to Calgary because of the hassle of finding someone up here. 

 

One thing I will say is that if you don't fit into their "box", meaning you will have success with the protocols they have established, you'll have to fight for them to listen and try something different... you'll have to do all the research yourself and present it to them then convince them to let you try it. I was basically blown off after my second cycle when yet again I didn't make it to retrieval... I actually believe that had we continued on a few extra days, things would have turned around given that it was only early into my cycle (I had only stopped my period about 3 days before my first u/s and for that reason, they said the cycle wouldn't work and that was it). Mentally/emotionally, I was devastated at the time but looking back, I probably should have fought for an extra three days to see how things were but we weren't even offered it or given the chance. 

 

We went on to donor embryos and I have to say that part of the clinic was awesome to deal with. Dr. Greene is in charge of that and so he was who we saw primarily... between him and nurse Lori, the service for embryo donation was fantastic. 

 

Personally if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't use Calgary... since we have to travel anyways, I'd probably go to Victoria cuz then I have friends to stay with instead of incurring hotel costs and the doctor there personalizes treatment for how your body works rather than trying to fit you into a protocol that has worked for their clinic. So my advice is just use Calgary for your monitoring and continue with your clinic in the US. I believe there will be communication between the clinics so that's how you'll get the correct prescriptions. 

 

All the best!


  • KittyKat likes this
Me 42 DH 44 Married since 2005 and have been TTC the whole time.One adoption revocation through the AB govt (son taken back by birth family after 6 days)Multiple failed clomid cyclesMultiple failed home IUI cycles.Two failed IVF cycles (didn't get to retrieval).Pursuit of donor embryos through direct donation.FET with direct donor embryos in Nov 2010 resulted in a BFP!Jan 2011- both empty sacs and m/c has begun. June 2011- Second donor embryo cycle (anonymous donor). BFN.Oct 2011- Third donor embryo cycle (anonymous donor). BFN.Nov 2011- Pursuing private adoption through Christian Adoption Services.May 2012- Officially on the waiting list for CAS.See "About Me" page for specifics on our journey and continued updates.Believing that God WILL answer our prayers for children! He is the one who placed the desire for children in our hearts so we trust that it will happen.... in His time. The message that keeps coming is from Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him". December 2013- God has answered our prayers in a way we truly didn't think was possible- we brought home a little boy and survived the 10-day waiting period, lol. To Him be the glory- the testimony of this little one is amazing!

#5 Merry33

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:51 AM

I haven't done a full cycle at RFP yet (we are in the midst of it), but I did want to say that RFP is definitely not the clinic to go if you want your life to be simple and easy. I find that with them you have to be constantly on top of things, because they are so poorly organized/because of the way they work. We haven't even started injections yet, but I've already had several instances where different people told us different things and where I had to make several phone calls to figure things out myself.

 

And yes, it is always a different doctor, and I do find this to be a bad thing, as there is really never an opportunity to ask any questions, as the doc won't be familiar with your patient history. Unlike JacMac I do not just trust doctors (because I know that they are just humans and make mistakes), but I find that it's very hard to know at RFP why things are done a certain way. I guess this is mostly because they just do follow their standard protocols. Personally I would however prefer a more individualized approach, where I can understand why things are being done a certain way. But of course this very much depends on personality.

 

That being said, I think their docs are quite competent (and I'm quite happy with our doc), their success rates are good (as we all know), and for us RFP was the most convenient location.

 

As for satellite monitoring - why do you even need a fertility clinic to do that? When we were first deciding where to go, we did consider IVF out of province/abroad, and I talked to my family doctor about it, and she told me that she could take care of everything and that she has done this for many other patients. Your family doc should be able to order blood work, ultrasounds, take care of prescriptions etc. Not sure why you would need RFP for this.



#6 JacMac

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 12:51 PM

That's why I put in my second note, I'm used to taking care of medical things myself after doing some research. We're pretty much left to our own devices by the medical system up here. When I developed my OHSS I didn't't bother to call RFP. I had already done enough research to know what it was and dragged my butt to the ER to tell them what I had. It took two visits two nights in a row to convince them to admit me.

As for tests I was lucky that I had already been working with a local OB for years. He went to bat for me least a couple times to make sure I got tests done to start our IVF but that had nothing to do with RFP. Not sure what monitoring you would need at RFP. All I did outside of the clinic was my day 2 baseline ultrasound. All other ultrasounds and blood work was done at the clinic.
Me - now 35 Him - 36
Trying to conceive since our wedding day May 25, 2008.
Started Clomid Jan-April 2012.
Referred to RFP June 2012.
First consult at RFP November 2012.
First IVF cycle on antagonist protocol (GonalF, Luveris) January 2013.
Transferred two day-3 embryos, had severe OHSS, lost one twin between 7-13 weeks but was expecting one little one October 2013.
Found out at 6 mos that our little one had died weeks earlier and had to induce and deliver stillborn, July 25, 2013.
Something found on adrenal gland at follow up ultrasound, MRI showed what seems to be a benign tumor.
Meeting with specialist Jan 8, 2014 - all fertility treatments on hold. :/
Tumor is definitely producing Aldosterone (causes high blood pressure) and Cortisol. Lucky me, only 34 similar cases recorded in the world! Tumor removed May 2014.
Approached about a possible adoption March 2014. Rush through all the paperwork and process. Charlotte Evangeline born June 27, 2014. We brought her home on July 7 and held our breath for 10 days until she officially became ours.
Surprise BFP October 2014. Due to wonky cycles, ultrasounds convince Doctors I have a blighted ovum but detailed ultrasound reveals heartbeat at 6w3d. On progesterone support and waiting to see if pregnancy is still viable. Holding our breath again.

#7 vball_gal

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:22 PM

I've had my frustrations with the Calgary clinic as well but I will say in favor of them I never had issues while I was actually cycling which is where it matters the most and they got that part right.    It all stems from the fact that they have one of the highest volume of patients in the country hence the 6 doctors it takes to manage all the demand.

 

I don't think you would have issues with doing monitoring with them, and I'm hoping some of the women here that have done this with them will pipe up with their experiences.  In particular women that look to donor embryos often use RFP so they can avoid travel until it's close to retrieval time.  


Me 38, DH 35
TTC since '09
Jun 2012 IVF #1 - resulted in chemical m/c@5.5 weeks
Nov 2012 IVF #2 - resulted in chemical m/c@5 weeks
March 2013 FET #1 - BFP Twins (BOY and a GIRL) due Dec 29th, 2013
Sept 2013 - diagnosed with complete placenta previa
Spotted at 26 weeks and moved to bedrest

Emma arrived at 4lbs 13oz and Aidan at 6lbs 13oz via planned c-section on Dec 3rd, 2013 (36 weeks 3 days) babygirl.gifbabyboy.gif

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

#8 KittyKat

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:03 PM

Well I am pretty much with the other ladies about needing to be on top of things at RFP, being your own advocate is important but it is at any point in this infertility journey.  I agree with that they they are not into experiemental, out of the box type things.  They are very good at what they do but that is for woman that fit in their protocols and how they do things.  I have had some bad experiences so we did move clinics for our second IVF.  However, I think for cycle monitoring they would be fine, they know that another doctor is calling the shots so they are just doing the work and reporting the info basically.  DH and I said that if we did donor eggs at a clinic in the US we would monitor with RFP because it would be easier for us with work etc.


Me - diagnosis RPL/DOR/Egg Quality issue
DH - all good

4+ years TTC - about me page for details

#9 EmmaJ

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:32 PM

I'm in the process of setting up monitoring at RFP and spoke to Jennifer for the first time yesterday. I get the sense that she coordinates everything so she would be the only contact person, rather than speaking to someone new each time you call. I asked her what the advantage was of paying the clinic $1200 for monitoring when I can get ultrasounds for free through my family doctor and she said it is that RFP can get results to your clinic in the US immediately, while the results requested by a family doctor take 48hrs. If your RE in the States needs to make adjustments to your medication, they will need the results ASAP. She also said that if  doctors in another country prescribes something that isn't available in Canada, the RFP pharmacy will get us the equivalent. I hate to spend the extra money on monitoring but it seems like it's worth it for peace of mind. I can go there for my pregnancy test and if necessary, the 7 week ultrasound just like if I did the full IVF cycle with them. 

 

If you are happy with your clinic in the US, then do your cycle there and get the monitoring in Calgary. I did 3 cycles (2 cancelled) at RFP and was always treated very well but I agree with the previous posts. They don't think outside the box and waiting for bloodwork and ultrasound in the morning will definitely make you feel like you are just  number. You can get more personalized service elsewhere.


Me- 38, DOR
DH - 37, MF (morphology)
IVF 1- cancelled due to poor response
IVF 2- poor response, converted to IUI- BFN
IVF 3- finally made it to transfer- BFN
IVF 4- BFP!

#10 GardenGirl

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:46 AM

While I have had frustrations with waiting and communication, I would not be comfortable with having a local family dr do monitoring. My family dr is excellent; while we were waiting for treatment at RFP I needed some monitoring done for my TCM Dr & acupuncturist. The ultrasounds missed large follicles & I had already ovulated which delayed us further. My experience has been that the ultrasound techs at EFW at the clinic are very practiced in fertility issues & know how to manipulate the body to see what they need to see. It saved money on monitiring but cost time, money & wasted medications. Too risky in my opinion.
TTC since 2010
Me: 35 PCOS Husband: 43 Normal
7 Cycles Clomid
Two month break with Weekly acupuncture & Chinese Herbs. Ask me about my Chinese Med Dr. She's fabulous!
1st. IUI Oct. 19, 2012 - Medicated w Clomid & Trigger.
Natural Pregnancy Ending in Miscarriage Dec, 2012
IUI #2 Feb 2013 negative
IUI #3 Mar 2013 - it's my day to test and I haven't yet. Kind of enjoying thinking it might be.
March 27 - Joined you good ladies on the IVF wait list

#11 jlew

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:32 PM

I've done one fresh cycle and one frozen cycle at RFP and got pregnant on the frozen cycle.  My main frustrations were while I was on the wait list and trying to get a call back.  Once I was cycling, there wasn't a single time when I didn't hear from them when it was required to change my dosage or for ER/ET.  Also once you are cycling, they give you an extension to call if there are problems instead of the mailboxes on the voicemail.  So it's much easier to get a hold of someone and they will call you back right away.


Me, 28, irregular periods, HSG showed blocked left tube
DH, 30, SA low but still in the acceptable range
TTC since May 2010

October 2011, 50mg clomid, IUI #1, chemical pregnancy... BFN
November 2011, 50 mg clomid, IUI cancelled as U/S showed follicle developed on blocked side
December 2011, 50 mg clomid, IUI #2, BFN
March 2012, 100 mg clomid, TI, BFN

IVF #1
Stims June 18 - 150 Gonal-F, 75 Luveris
ER July 2 - 22 retrieved - 18 mature, 4 immature
July 3 - 13 fertilized with ICSI
July 7 - 1 blastocyst transferred on day 5
Froze 5 blastocysts
July 20 - pregnancy test - BFN

FET #1
Transfer November 19
HPT November 26 - BFP!

Henry was born August 8


#12 Merry33

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:42 PM

While I have had frustrations with waiting and communication, I would not be comfortable with having a local family dr do monitoring. My family dr is excellent; while we were waiting for treatment at RFP I needed some monitoring done for my TCM Dr & acupuncturist. The ultrasounds missed large follicles & I had already ovulated which delayed us further. My experience has been that the ultrasound techs at EFW at the clinic are very practiced in fertility issues & know how to manipulate the body to see what they need to see. It saved money on monitiring but cost time, money & wasted medications. Too risky in my opinion.

 

The family dr would just write the orders for the u/s. Of course he/she wouldn't do it him/herself, that's not what I meant (sry if that came across confusing). You just need a doc to give you the requisition forms, and off you go to EFW. You don't need a fertility doc to write you that requisition, that's what I meant. Same for blood work of course; you just get the requisition form anyway, just need a local doc to give you one.

 

EFW is just a radiology place, it's not affiliated with RFP. RFP just does their imaging through them. Any doc can send you to EFW.



#13 GardenGirl

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 04:01 PM

I should clarify; it was my family doctor that requisitioned the ultrasounds. They ended up being done by Radiology Associates - I'm not sure how that works, but these ultrasounds by two different technicians at two different locations were not very helpful and missed a lot of information. I think that because the folks at EFW get so many referrals from RFP, they have a better idea of what needs to be seen and reported. I thought it would be the same but it wasn't. And I do know that RFP has some some of preferential arrangement where they pay more for high priority results, and thus are much faster.


TTC since 2010
Me: 35 PCOS Husband: 43 Normal
7 Cycles Clomid
Two month break with Weekly acupuncture & Chinese Herbs. Ask me about my Chinese Med Dr. She's fabulous!
1st. IUI Oct. 19, 2012 - Medicated w Clomid & Trigger.
Natural Pregnancy Ending in Miscarriage Dec, 2012
IUI #2 Feb 2013 negative
IUI #3 Mar 2013 - it's my day to test and I haven't yet. Kind of enjoying thinking it might be.
March 27 - Joined you good ladies on the IVF wait list

#14 jzwh

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:52 PM

Thanks so much guys, for the pouring support like the rain today!!! Thanks again!

 

So from the posts, I have a feeling that once you are in the cycle, and have maybe 1-2 RN's extension numbers, there will be someone calling you back for the adjustment of your meds, and advice in terms of meds and procedure. As long as you have the chart number and are actually in the cycle, you should in good hands? I'm not fussy about seeing different drs, but i guess the most important as some posts here, they need to keep consistency of the cycle protocol for me and make the right adjustment for me. I just don't want to commit to them and later find out because of their poor communications, I ****ed up my cycle and miss any proper dosage of meds, etc. 

 

So how does it really work? You do the ultrasound, blood work, then they will pretty analyze the same day and call you back to tell you how much dose of the meds you are supposed to take? And do you always have maybe 1/2 RN knowing wut's going on with your file? Or your file has different nurses? 



#15 GardenGirl

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:39 PM

I can tell you that since getting called for ivf treatment (first cycle) the care & consistency has been better. I've been on suprefact for two weeks now, go for baseline U/S & blood work Monday. I will update you how and what happens when I go for Monday's visit.
TTC since 2010
Me: 35 PCOS Husband: 43 Normal
7 Cycles Clomid
Two month break with Weekly acupuncture & Chinese Herbs. Ask me about my Chinese Med Dr. She's fabulous!
1st. IUI Oct. 19, 2012 - Medicated w Clomid & Trigger.
Natural Pregnancy Ending in Miscarriage Dec, 2012
IUI #2 Feb 2013 negative
IUI #3 Mar 2013 - it's my day to test and I haven't yet. Kind of enjoying thinking it might be.
March 27 - Joined you good ladies on the IVF wait list

#16 jzwh

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:55 PM

I can tell you that since getting called for ivf treatment (first cycle) the care & consistency has been better. I've been on suprefact for two weeks now, go for baseline U/S & blood work Monday. I will update you how and what happens when I go for Monday's visit.

 

Thanks GardenGirl!! I don't think our timeline is pretty close. Keep me posted! and good luck on Monday!



#17 Red Wine

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:44 PM

I've been with the clinic since 2009, so that's a long time.  I will say the communication can be insufficient at time; however, I've been going to the clinic for so long I have some tricks up my sleeve and know how to usually get someone to call me back or get someone on the phone.  

 

When you are doing an IVF cycle you will see different doctors every time you go in, but the doctors at the clinic have a meeting every morning at around 10 AM where they discuss the blood test results and u/s results of the IVF patients and together they decide what to do.  Overall, the doctors try to combine their expertise.  You go in for your blood work and/or u/s in the morning and then a nurse will usually call you back before noon on that day to tell you your dosage of medication to take.  The nurses are good at getting back to you when you're cycling and you'll have an extension you can call if they don't call you.

 

I have had administrative errors occur with the clinic on more than one occasion.  I've had miscommunications from the doctors on more than one occasion.  I do think these problems happen too often at the Calgary clinic, but they are very busy; however, that's not an excuse.

 

To date I haven't gotten pregnant at the clinic, but I am happy I've pursued their care.  I've done one IVF and two FET's.  

 

I am looking at pursuing a clinic in the States too if my frozen embryos don't work out for us and we've spoken with our doctor at the Calgary clinic and she is very supportive about satellite monitoring.  The Calgary clinic does work closely with a few clinics in the US, namely CCRM in Colorado and one clinic in Seattle.  I'm not sure if they work with the Portland clinic.

 

I would not hesitate to get satellite monitoring at Calgary and you should at least pursue an appointment at Calgary so if you decide to go to the States that you can streamline your monitoring.


See about me page.


#18 amethyst

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:21 PM

I could probably write a book on this subject and my experience with RFP. Similar to others, you need to stay on top of things and be assertive about your needs. Be educated prior to every discussion with doc and don't assume they will lay out your choices for you. Jennifer w satellite monitoring is good at getting blood tests and US results to your US clinic and will follow orders for prescriptions from US clinic. Basically your US clinic is in charge of yourcare. I only saw RE during lining checks prior to leaving for US to transfer. Doc really was not involved and to be frank not in the least interested. I also did not feel they had sufficient knowledge of US clinics or DE. Moving onto DE after 5 yrs w RFP was the best decision we ever made. The care in US was phenomenal. I do understand RFP is overwhelmed with patient numbers but they have a long way to go in becoming patient centred. One advantage of using satellite monitoring with fertility clinic is trouble shooting meds with their pharmacist and post transfer issues. Jennifer was very good at responding quickly and kindly. All the best!
  • Red Wine and vball_gal like this
<p>TTC 5 yrs - me 42 / him 42. X6 IUI's none took1st IVF successful with 3 , day 3 transferred/ +preg w/ twins (one ectopic - learned @ 7 weeks) and lost both. 2nd IVF an FET - 4 frosties transferred - no pregnancy. 3rd fresh IVF - / 9 eggs/ 8 fertilized - 3 blast survived to day 5 and transferred - no pregnancy none to freeze. 4th FET - 2 embryos from first IVF cycle transferred no pregnancy. Moved to DE SDFC April 2013 - 2 blasts fresh transfer, beta great we are pregnant with twins!!!!