Recommendations for fertility specialists and donor egg agencies
My partner and I are looking for a fertility specialist. We have gone through a couple IUIs and a cancelled IVF cycle and are now considering IVF with a donor egg or perhaps embryo donation. Can anyone provide recommendations for Bay Area fertility practices with which they have experience - especially for IVF and for donor egg or embryo cycles? Recommendations for donor egg agencies would also be really helpful. It seems like all the posts in the archive on this topic are at least 5 years old. Thanks in advance!
Oct 18, 2016
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I had a great experience with UCSF doing donor egg IVF, with frozen eggs actually. Pacific Fertility Center is also amazing but almost double the cost and success rates between the two are similar. PFC had a great selection of donors though and a lot of frozen egg donors as well. We ended up with UCSF though and I can't say enough about their professionalism and quality of care. The system was well organized with staff to inform us of all the steps we needed to take along the way. Nothing fell through the cracks. UCSF also provided us with a list of reputable donor agencies but we did not end up going that route.
I am sorry you are going through this. It is SO hard! We went to RSC in Orinda/San Ramon and worked with Dr Wilman. We did two IVF cycles and ended up having a beautiful boy on the second try. Dr Wilman is not warm and fuzzy per se, but was amazing and helping us through this process. I have heard great stories from other friends who ended up there. I highly recommend this clinic. I am happy to answer more questions too! Also, a good friend went through and egg donor cycle there and had a healthy beautiful baby girl. Judy
I second the recommendation for UCSF. They are awesome (I've been to a few other fertility centers previously so I have seen the difference)... I recommend Dr. Mitchell Rosen though all of the doctors there are quite good. I did not use a donor egg but I know they handle that type of treatment there regularly.
After years of infertility and failed rounds of IVF and miscarriages we had success with Dr Zouves Fertility clinic in San Mateo. He was wonderful and was particularly good at being straight about what was and wasn't possible. He is very good with auto-immune issues. We had 2 successful pregnancies with him. The team were great and guided us through what is as you know a tough rollercoaster.
We used Pacific Fertility Center. Our main doctor was Dr. Li although I liked the other doctors as well. We successfully had a baby through the donor egg process. For the donor, we used Family Creations out of Los Angeles. They were pretty easy to work with. Our lawyer was Shelley Tarnoff @ 510-482-2226. She was pretty easy to work with as well - not the warm and fuzziest person but pretty efficient and specializes in this stuff. We did try going to RSC because it was easier in terms of all of the visits but I didn't like them. The main difference is that the primary person with whom you communicate @ RSC is a medical assistant who is not that well informed. Both times that we tried to go to them, I knew more than the medical assistant. At PFC, each doctor has a care team that includes a nurse. Each doctor has another doctor's care team as back up. Response to your emails are pretty quick and the nurses are quite knowledgeable. I know that it is a roller coaster journey - I wish you the best of luck!! I don't know if you can reply to me but feel free to reply if you have more questions.
I did 6 cycles of IUI with Dr. Wilman at RSC, then switched to UCSF for 3 rounds of mini-IVF and am now working with them on a donor egg cycle that I sincerely hope will work. (!!!) I like UCSF, and prefer them to RSC. They have their flaws, but I think the entire fertility industry struggles with maintaining a nurturing and individualized level of care because the communication and work is distributed between doctors, nurses, care managers, ultrasound techs, donor coordinators, in-house counselors - not to mention outside industries. I looked into other donor egg options, but I stayed with UCSF because I liked their pool of egg donors. They seem well-curated, educated, and diverse. UCSF is also very pro-disclosure for the benefit of the offspring, so all the donors are willing to be known to varying degrees down the line if the child is curious about their origins, and that was important to me. They offer frozen and fresh cycles, depending on the availability of the donor. I also liked that their in-house psychologist had met all the donors to do their intake, and she's also the one who talks with you when you move on to a donor cycle. It was a little bit of the individual care that I had hoped to find in the process as a whole.
Regarding embryo donation, there's a place in Davis called California Conceptions that does it and I met with them, too. I ultimately decided against it because of the anonymity of the donors. They are much cheaper though, so it was tempting!
Best of luck. I know very well how hard it is, but I also know that you will find your way there. Mama gets her baby :)
We worked with Dr. Wilman at RSC and highly recommend her. She is kind, science-based and helpful.
We both loved Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh in San Ramon. Her positive outlook and help was wonderful. I wish we could have tried IVF with her but we didn't get lucky enough, unfortunately (not enough viable eggs). Hoping you do get lucky with her. :)
I did IUIs at Kaiser Oakland and one round of IVF with Kaiser in Fremont. They were mediocre for IUIs but basically got the job done. They were TERRIBLE for IVF and literally quadrupled the stress I was under just by being incompetent/having a terrible system for care (examples include the Dr. flat out ignoring an email I sent about my concerns, hour long waits for a 2 minute ultrasound, being on hold for 20 minutes every time you call with a routine question (you can't email their nurses) and taking 3 months of weekly phone calls to get my refund after my cycle was cancelled.
Round two of IVF we went with Reproductive Science Center out of Orinda with Dr. Willman. The experience was like night and day- they were really great and very patient centered (our case manager, Jenny Miller, was wonderful as well). I highly recommend RSC even if they hadn't managed to get me pregnant (which they did ) the care there made you feel like a person not cattle. I was pregnant through RSC BEFORE I would have even been scheduled to have my embryo transfer with Kaiser (had my first cycle not been cancelled). I still feel very lucky that we switched. Infertility is SO stressful, find a place that is going to support you!