DE at SDFC

(23 posts)(12 voices)
  1. Hi, this may be raised earlier but I am wondering if anyone has done a DE cycle at SDFC recently, using its in-house donor, and if so, how the experience has been? In particular, if you were doing a DE cycle out of town, did you find the coordination difficult?

    I am not local to San Diego but would be willing to travel. I am currently on the waiting list at a good NYC clinic and was told that the wait would be 9 to 12 months. I have also consulted at CCRM and was told that the wait would be around 9 months. I am now considering SDFC in view of the possible long waiting time. I have spoken to the coordinator and thusfar, I do like the setup. However, I have not yet started on the consultation with the RE.

  2. I know someone on FF who went there. She traveled there from Florida. She is now due in April. She had had two failed cycles or situations and by the time they went there, she just wanted a proven donor, someone who made a lot of eggs. I don't think she cared much about the rest. She was very happy with them.

    I did contact them and they will give you access to their donor database. I didn't see anyone I liked, so I didn't pursue it. They are obviously a super clinic, but I think if you tightly control the donor pool and know they all perform well, it would only make sense that they would have better success rates than other top clinics.

  3. I'm lucky enough to live an hour from SDFC, so I didn't have to travel. They had 80 donors to choose from when I did my fresh cycle. I don't know how many they have now, but there were lots that were currently available last summer.

    My experience with them was wonderful, everyone is so nice and they did everything just as I wanted them to (my profession is medical research and I'm very picky about my care). I got pg on the fresh cyle, but m/c early. The RE was pro-active and tested me for everything. Turns out I have a clotting disorder, so I did FET with Lovenox. Two blasts thawed perfectly and I'm currently 18 weeks pg from that cycle (singleton and 9 frozen blasts to spare).

  4. Alex, I had a great experience traveling from out of state to SDFC! I can't say enough positve things about SDFC. They were very helpful every step of the way. I had to ask my local RE to monitor me during the cycle, and that created some stress and added cash to factor in to overall expenses. One thing to keep in mind is to ask SDFC for a credit for your local monitoring since you wouldn't be doing the u/s and blood work at SD prior to transfer. It didn't quite cover my local clinics expenses (that's a different story) but it did help defray a small portion of costs.

    They had between 76-90 available donors when I was doing my research and coordination. I found 3-4 proven donors I liked which made a difference. The most important variables in the end were proven and availability. All the other variables fell in to place after that. If they weren't proven, I didn't even factor them in to consideration. I was assured that they are very select in who they add to the pool. I could have chosen an unproven with good results.
    We all know there are never any guarentees with any of this so just keep that in mind. It is easy to latch on to the dream that DE is the answer to all our prayers. It certainly increases our odds.
    I had a similar experience to Dinalu. Success with fresh cycle, unfortunatly also had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. Currently 7weeks from an FET and holding breath.
    Good luck with your decision. I will end by telling you, my DH has told me a number of times that he wishes we would have made the decision to move on to SDFC much sooner. He has been very impressed with the quality of care, communication and coordination of cycles.
    If you want or need more specific information please feel to ask here or pm me.
    Michelle

  5. Thanks to all who responded, in particular to Michelle and Dina. I am glad that your experiences have been positive.

    Right now, if there is an in-house donor that we like at SDFC, we would definitely have jumped to cycle with SDFC without hesitation. Unfortunately, we looked at their database of donors but did not find anyone we like. (We are looking for a donor of a specific ethnicity, and SDFC did not have many donors.) I am exploring with working with SDFC but with an agency located in California that has some donors of the ethnic group that we are targeting - my NYC clinic only works with specific agencies and that is not on its list.

  6. Alex,

    i just wanted to add a bit about my story in case it helps you. i just cycled with SDFC and am 5w2d pg. I used an agency donor (also b/c we had some pretty selective criteria re. ethnicity/background), but the donor we selected was in So. Cal. so we decided to travel to SDFC rather than have the donor travel to us. SDFC was fantastic. I have cycled w/ two different local clinics and did 2 IVFs and 1 FET at CCRM w/ my own eggs, and I can honestly say that the service and communication at SDFC was the best out of any of them. Don't get me wrong, CCRM was good and had nice facilities, etc. but at SDFC, I had the phone numbers and emails of my nurse and doctor, and they actually answered the phone if they were free, and if not I always got a call back w/in a couple of hours. I was really impressed withe the organization level - i never had to keep calling to get something figured out - they were on top of everything and very nice all the way through. And, they did not make you jump through too many hoops and re-do testing that you had just had done at another clinic, etc. Our donor was proven and had cycled recently elsewhere, and they also did not make her do repetitive testing, just whatever needed to be updated. They also basically said that if an agency donor's previous history and work-up passed their criteria, the pg stats for agency vs. in house donor matched up. We also had a great vacation to San Diego (coming from CHicago in the winter, trust me, it was really nice!). We tx 2 blasts and froze 7 blasts. I don't know what the outcome of this pg will be but hoping for the best and know we did the right thing by going to SDFC.

    Good luck,
    dolce

  7. Wow, I have never ever heard of any clinic with a policy like that before-so basically, you are paying for all of the eggs that your donor produces, however the clinic is pocketing any extras above 20 to maybe create their egg bank with? Call me crazy, but that sounds nuts!

    I am so sorry BBB that you're having to deal with that. But, I completely understand that you were so far into the process that it would be awful to have to restart at a new clinic. I can't believe that they did not warn you about this change ahead of time since you were gearing up to cycle with them shortly.

    Good luck on your transfer tomorrow!

  8. Pregnancy mentioned

    After having several consultations with different clinics nation-wide including one in New York City, we realized our best chance to be successful is in SDFC (great clinic with higher successful rate and a large Asian concentration for finding a donor).

    We had a phone consultation with SDFC in early May (we live in the East Coast), and had all necessary testings (we had not cycled for two years) and a mock cycle done locally in June and July including a small uterus surgery in July. Our donor had her retrieval in late August, and I am now 26 week with a singleton. At the time there were only two Asian donors in their pool, and we thought we could go with either one. We would have chosen a donor via an agency if there were none we could choose in their database. Our criteria are: (1) East Asian, (2) young and proven and (3) no major family health history problem.

    The overall experience was very good. They run things very professionally and efficiently. We love everyone in the clinic including the DE doctors, DE coordinator, and their lab technicians. I cannot say much good words about them. We also saw the contract about donating outstanding eggs if the number exceeds 20. We crossed that line out when we signed contract. SDFC did not say a word on this and treated us no difference. Our donor produced 40+ for us, we ended up having 21 embryos survived to day 6. We had eSET (elective Single Embryo Transfer) on day six, and had 6 more frozen the same day. They have very high standard in terms of what can be frozen. We trust the six are in excellent quality and waiting for us for future tries (their FET successful rate is close to that for fresh cycle).

    We did not choose their shared-risk plan, since our donor consistently produced upper 30 to upper 40 eggs in each cycle. We ended up paying $28k excluding travel and lodging. We felt lucky that we had success in our first try in DE.

    Good luck on your DE journey.

    Winter

  9. We are well on our way to going with them. However, this is a surprise to me. I have never heard of a clinic doing this! Anyone else?

  10. I'm pulling my contract to check....this might have been because we were doing the "sucess" program (?)

  11. Thanks to all that responded and congratulations to those who have succeeded.
    On the contract, I didn't realise that SDFC would have such a requirement; I will ask SDFC to send its standard contract.

    Dolce - if you don't mind, could I ask which agency that you used ultimately? Do you know if SDFC has a list of agencies that it would only work with? I had also consulted with CCRM in December but it has a 9-month waiting list.

  12. About the contract stipulation about them freezing all eggs over 20, I researched this A LOT before my cycle:

    These eggs are still yours if you need them. If you get successfully pregnant, then the contract states that you will sign them over to SDFC for their frozen egg program which they are starting soon. So yes, you are paying for them and then another recipient will also pay for them. This bugged me a little, I thought that if we signed some over, then we should get some money back. For the first donor I chose, I crossed that whole part out, wrote in the margin "fertilize all mature eggs" and DH and I initialed it. SDFC has NO problem if you do that! That donor got seriously ill, enough that she had to cancel the cycle (she missed her law school finals too, so I felt more bad for her than frustrated at her for cancelling). I chose another donor who was available immediately and was a super producer. I figured I could never use more than 30 eggs, so that time I changed the number from 20 to "30" and DH and I initialed it. She ended up giving us 50 eggs (no, they didn't overstim her, this is just how she produces on all her cycles with a low dose). On retrieval day, the embryologist called me to talk about how they were going to fertilize. We had originially decided on half ICSI and half natural fert. They can only check ICSI eggs for maturity because they have to clean them off first, which they don't do for natural fert. Since the contract stated that they will fertilize "30 mature eggs", they were going to do ISCI on the first 30 that were cleaned and found to be mature and natural fert the rest that were not cleaned off. I was really impressed that they had read my contract the way I had changed it and wanted to make sure that they were doing everything according to our wishes. In the end we did 20 ICSI, 12 natural fert, and froze 10 as eggs. This was all my decision and I was so pleased! We ended up with 13 perfect blasts and 10 frozen eggs. I was happy that we had those frozen eggs because if I didn't get a sticky pregnancy with 13 blasts, then it would be nice to be able to start from square one with new eggs. Their success rate with frozen eggs is about the same as FET, so there wouldn't be any loss in success rate. I'm now happy to turn over those 10 eggs to them, since I obviously won't be needing them and it's going to be hard enough to decide what to do with our extra blasts. For anyone hoping for siblings, I would suggest crossing out that section and going for all the blasts possible. We're only going for one pregnancy.

    So that's the long story of my frozen eggs. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask or pm me.

  13. gfarangitakis-What a smart way to do it! That was a great idea!
    And Congrats to you!

  14. Thanks again to all those that responded. It has been very helpful to us. DH and I are now likely to go with SDFC for the DE cycle, once the donor passes all her screening. We have spoken to the RE and the staff and we like what we see.

    Question for the out of towners who cycle at SFC - what is a good place to stay in San Diego without a car? I live in the United Kingdom where the people drive on the other side of the road, and I am very nervous about driving in San Diego. (And DH does not drive!)

  15. Also, for anyone looking at SDFC, they have changed their contract. The issue about freezing eggs over 20 is now in an adendum. They changed this recently because they knew it was causing some concern with how it was coming across and wanted to make it clear that you had the choice to do what you wanted with the eggs and embryos.

    We will be cycling with them in late July - we are using non-proven donor so are going with success guarantee plan.

    I am curious about hotels - you may also want to reach out to Jenna. I thought I had read someplace that there was a hotel near by that would give a pretty good rate as welll, will definitely be checking on that as well.

    A

  16. Thanks Amshel for the heads up on the contract as I have not yet seen the contract. I have not yet received my calendar because the donor has not yet completed her screening though the indication is that I would be cycling in late July or early August. I dropped an email to SDFC on hotels and would post once i obtain the information.

  17. For anyone traveling here to San Diego and wondering about hotels...the best deal if you're looking to save money is the Hampton Inn that's 1/2 mile from SDFC. They offer an SDFC patient discount. It's not luxurious, but it's less expensive than most places around here, especially with the discount, and it's super close and convenient. There are also two other more expensive hotels right there, one is a Doubletree, I forget what the other one is. And if you really want to splurge, you could stay at the ocean and have a really swanky vacation! But the couples I've heard of travelling here have used the Hampton Inn patient discount.

    Alex, as for not driving in SD, that's a tricky one. SDFC is actually 18 miles north of the airport, it's not in the city, so there's no public transportation besides taxis. And there are no real restaurants right there that I know of, so you'll have to take taxis everywhere. You can walk to SDFC from the Hampton Inn, except for after transfer, that would probably be a taxi again.

    I'm sure SDFC will come up with more hotel choices, but here's the link to the Hampton Inn that I was talking about:

    hamptoninn.com/en/hp/hotels/maps_directions.jhtml;jsessionid=QEGBZCZEYDGBWCSGBJC32EQ?ctyhocn=SANDLHX

    Anyone feel free to ask other questions if you have them. SDFC was my second home for months, and it was well worth it. I'm due in July!

  18. Dina - thanks for taking the time to post and congrats on your pregnancy. A quick follow up since I have never been to San Diego. I am thinking of staying at downtown San Diego instead (near to restaurants and shopping malls) and taking cab to SDFC. Do you know how far SDFC is in relation to downtown?

  19. Alex, that's a really good idea. You'll only have to go to SDFC a few times. It's about 20 miles from downtown to SDFC. The airport is right next to downtown.

    I forgot to mention for anyone interested in acupuncture. I highly recommend the girls that are right in the same building as SDFC. acufertility.com They're not actually part of SDFC, but you wouldn't know it since they work so closely together. It's very convenient to make appointments that coordinate with SDFC appointments. They also have chiropractors and massage therapists that will come in if you give them enough notice. DH got a massage while I was there for my pre-transfer accupuncture

  20. i am one of the happiest grads ever from sdfc! i LOVE the place. i still keep in contact w/the staff. they are amazing. the docs are great. the embryologists are world renowned and awesome... they have the best success rate stats but that's only the beginning!

    btw, i also loved the acupuncturists in the same building!

    feel free to pm me if you have q's.

    best of luck to everyone,
    jl, proud and happy mama of sdfc twins, 17 months old

  21. Also, for anyone looking at SDFC, they have changed their contract. The issue about freezing eggs over 20 is now in an adendum. They changed this recently because they knew it was causing some concern with how it was coming across and wanted to make it clear that you had the choice to do what you wanted with the eggs and embryos. We will be cycling with them in late July - we are using non-proven donor so are going with success guarantee plan. I am curious about hotels - you may also want to reach out to Jenna. I thought I had read someplace that there was a hotel near by that would give a pretty good rate as welll, will definitely be checking on that as well. A

    New to this string and trying to decide best place to conduct a DE cycle after 5 failed IVF cycles with my own eggs.

    Can you tell me waht the Success Guarantee plan is? And is it only available for recipients under a certain age?

    thx,
    Donnie

  22. Alex, i just wanted to add a bit about my story in case it helps you. i just cycled with SDFC and am 5w2d pg. I used an agency donor (also b/c we had some pretty selective criteria re. ethnicity/background), but the donor we selected was in So. Cal. so we decided to travel to SDFC rather than have the donor travel to us. SDFC was fantastic. I have cycled w/ two different local clinics and did 2 IVFs and 1 FET at CCRM w/ my own eggs, and I can honestly say that the service and communication at SDFC was the best out of any of them. Don't get me wrong, CCRM was good and had nice facilities, etc. but at SDFC, I had the phone numbers and emails of my nurse and doctor, and they actually answered the phone if they were free, and if not I always got a call back w/in a couple of hours. I was really impressed withe the organization level - i never had to keep calling to get something figured out - they were on top of everything and very nice all the way through. And, they did not make you jump through too many hoops and re-do testing that you had just had done at another clinic, etc. Our donor was proven and had cycled recently elsewhere, and they also did not make her do repetitive testing, just whatever needed to be updated. They also basically said that if an agency donor's previous history and work-up passed their criteria, the pg stats for agency vs. in house donor matched up. We also had a great vacation to San Diego (coming from CHicago in the winter, trust me, it was really nice!). We tx 2 blasts and froze 7 blasts. I don't know what the outcome of this pg will be but hoping for the best and know we did the right thing by going to SDFC. Good luck,dolce

    Hi Dolce,
    Trying to decide where I should try to go for my first DE cycle. I have had 5 failed IVFs using my own eggs. I am 43 and have decided that although I respond well to stims and have on average 6 high grade embies for transfer that using my own eggs are just not cutting it. My last cycle was at CCRM and loved the doctor and the results (90% fertilization rate). However, no success and it was our last attempt using my own eggs.

    I noticed you were also at CCRM. Can I ask you why you did not elect to stay at CCRM for your DE cycle and chose SDFC instead?

    I live in California (SF) so SDFC is closer to me, but I am concerned about trying a new clinic. I am debating whether it makes sense to stay at CCRM, cyle at Stanford (Palo Alto, CA) as I had fresh IVF cycles at both, or try a new clinic (SDFC) that seems to have high success rates and praises for their DE program.

    I would really like to hear what you have to say. Pls reply here or send me a private message (PM).

    Thx,
    D

  23. Donnie -

    Success guarantee is open to anyone, although must meet certain criteria, such as recent uterine evaluation, sperm DNA testing meeting certain criteria, no more than X transfers with same combination of eggs, sperm, carrier. Is there mf issues for you?

    You pay an additional 7k for their success gurantee program, success is live birth, not just pregnancy to a certain point. It includes fet cycles from same batch of eggs until successful. If not successful they refund you approx 16k back. So for us, if not successful we would be out of pocket approx 16k instead of 32k (we are using 1st time donor, but if we had used proven cost could be up to 5k more).

    Let me know if you ahve any other questions.

    A

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