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Kaiser Fertility Specialists
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Related page: Fertility Treatment
Re: Reproductive Endocrinologist in East Bay
In response to wanting a recommendation for a reproductive
endocrinologist. My husband was diagnosed with cancer and following that
chemotherapy, so our whole getting pregnant experience was at the doctor
(as we had to use frozen sperm). Kaiser San Francisco has a great
reproductive endocrinology department. Dr. Huang was wonderful and his
nurses were very helpful. We eventually did IVF through the Alta Bates
program, also a wonderful experience - Dr. Chetkowski is extremely
knowledgeable. I know we were in a different situation, but I believe
all of these doctor's work not only with getting you pregnant, but
keeping you pregnant too! CG
I've got Kaiser insurance but it doesn't cover fertility
treatments (no individual plans at Kaiser cover it). The
fertility nurses AT KAISER suggested I might find more
reasonable fees elsewhere, and gave me a list of clinics to
try. (For example, a follicle ultrasound if covered 50% is
$110, but if not covered, they rake you for $580!) Right now
I'm trying Letrazole with an HCG trigger shot.
Has anyone successfully transferred their labs from Kaiser to a
non-Kaiser fertility clinic without too much delay? Any
recommendations for clinics or how to do this to minimize
repeat testing etc.?
Many thanks for any info you have!
I had the same problem at Kaiser it was ridiculous! I only did 3
iui's and cost me over $1000 with no meds! We had to hold off.
Luckily we have new insurance now...but I do recommend the
Reproductive Science Center in Orinda,they are amazing. The Dr's
actually call you on the phone to check in, what a concept?!
http://www.rscbayarea.com With Kaisers records you can get most
of that online and print out your lab results. I did have Kaiser
copy all my IUI procedures for me too and that took a few weeks
to get to me. I recommend getting your own copies that way you
can have it on hand if you want to switch clinics. I also tried
UCSF prior to RSCB, but I am glad I found RSCB they are wonderful.
After three (unsuccessful) rounds of injectibles/IUI at Kaiser,
we switched to RSC (reproductive science) in Orinda and San
Ramon, where we ultiamtely did IVF. (We left Kaiser at that time
due to job change, so couldn't have stayed in any event). I
found the experience at RSC to be far, far superior. At Kaiser
Oakland, for example, I had to come in every morning for blood
work by 7:15 am, then had to have ultrasounds after 8:30-- except
every single ultrasound patient was scheduled for 8:30, so it was
a total crapshoot as to when you'd get your actual appointment
and the whole experience was horrible demoralizing. At RSC,
you'd come in for your specific time, quickly give blood, get
your u/s, and then go. I didn't have problems transferring my
records-- although what I did do (at the Kaiser nurses' advice)
was to come in and they photocopied my fertility treatment
record, and I took it, as I understand that going through the
official channels (which I also did) takes much longer. RSC
accepted most of the tests I'd already had done, though I did
have to repeat Day 3 tests, etc. (which would be standard, as
these can change over time). Oh, and I'm now the proud mother of
glad to be done with fertility treatments
Experience with Kaiser Fertility Clinic?
I'm 36, and my husband and I have still been unable to get pregnant. We
are now in
the position of actually moving ahead with Kaiser. We are looking at
Clinics through Kaiser, and I'm wondering if anyone has experience you
I am hopeful someone can share thoughts on Fremont's clinic, and Drs.
and Shen, which is where I think we will go.
If someone has had a fantastic experience at another clinic, can you
What can you expect from your first consultation with a Kaiser fertility
they eager to just start Clomid?
I'm also really scared and anxious, and hopeful they offer other help.
Do they have
Any thoughts -- I would really appreciate them.
36 and counting...
I had a great experience at the Oakland Kaiser Fertility
treatment. Luckily I ended up only needing low level
treatment. I really liked working w/ Dr. Hirata and the
Staff. I had been on a ''Trying to Conceive'' Yahoo group so I
was very prepared & knew what to expect going in. Kaiser makes
you take a class but if you've been following an on-line
support group and/or reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility it
was way too basic. It does help to know exactly where you are
in your cycle when you begin so you can jump right into all the
diagnostics and not have to wait an extra cycle. I also
recommend the Mothering.com fertility boards if you haven't
checked those out.
- No. 2 Finally Arrived
I had a very good experience with Kaiser Oakland's fertility
clinic. If the Fremont clinic is similar to the Oakland one, than
you are jumping the gun a bit with your questions. First and
foremost you need to get a referral from your OB to the clinic.
Then they have you go to a one time ''class'' that is offered
several times a month. There a nurse will go over the process,
what Kaiser offers, and give you a folder with instructions and
all sorts of lab slips for tests you have to do. Most of the
tests are blood work that is done at different times of your
cycle to test various hormone levels, your uterus will get looked
at to make sure fibroids aren't an issue and your partner's sperm
needs to be tested (the frequency of male infertility/sperm
issues being the cause of the problem is about equal to that of
female infertility). We were assigned a fertility doctor.
All of this takes months so get on it now. Once they have all the
test readings they can determine what your issue is and what
steps to follow. It's different for everyone. Some folks skip
Clomid and go to the next more aggressive level. Some folks do
several rounds of Clomid. I did one round, then because of my
hormone readings went to the next level which is injectable
hormones and got pregnant with one round of that. Others I know
did none of the above and had to go directly to an egg donor. I'm
just telling you all this so you don't get worry about what's
going to happen till you get the tests done and a diagnosis.
Like I said, my experience was with Kaiser Oakland. I really,
really liked how organized everything was, and how
friendly/helpful the fertility nurses were (during the hormones
you are closely monitored and talk to them almost every day).
my heart goes out to you. i know how difficult this time can be. while i dont have
experience at the fremont office i do have a little info on the richmond clinic. the
doctor is dr thompson and i really didnt care for her at all. she really was seeming
eager to get me one meds as your concern, however mine wasnt clomid. the thing is
though that you kind of have to go through all their hoops to even get all the lab
tests and hormone stuff done to narrow down what it is you will need, and a doctor
has to be overseeing it. i would see her and she'd order some tests and then email
me the results and i did all my own research as to what it all meant. i think i actually
only saw her twice because once i found out exactly what my issue was ( low
progesterone) i went to accupuncture and was pregnant in 3 months. she thought it
was due to the meds which i never took- ha! also the billing was a major issue with
them; according to my policy it stated ''services to determine infertility are covered
at the regular co pay rate'' which means that all the initial tests to find out just what
the issue is and until they label you ''infertile'' ( which is just heartbreaking, i know)
are covered. be sure to look into this and ask many people many times if necessary,
otherwise you will be paying an arm and a leg for each test.
and know that it will happen for you! just remember that your baby will come to you
its so hard but so worth it
We had a very positive experience at the San Francisco campus.
The staff, RNs, NPs, and Drs. Nachtigall and Feigenbaum were
very supportive, thorough and patient with us. I was 35 yo
when I first went to them. They did all the testings to see
what the problem was. When nothing was obvious, they suggested
we move to do clomid, which we tried for a couple of trials.
Nothing changed, so they suggested intra uterine insemination-
IUI. We weren't ready at the time, took 6 months off to try an
alternative means. It didn't work, so we called up Dr.
Nachtigall and requested to start IUI. 11 months later, we had
our healthy little boy.
We're planning to go back to them next year if we can't get
pregnant on our own.
I didn't think there was a support group that met regularly,
though there was a class we had to attend prior to meeting with
I was able to get pregnant with twin boys while going to the
Kaiser's Fremont clinic. After given a fertility plan, I was
then passed over the nurse prac. and had a bad experience of us
not staying on track. After I voiced my opionion and pitched a
hormonal fit, then I only had to work with a doctor and got
pregnant with my boys the next cycle.
Though I had one bad experience with the whole process, it was
well worth it. I found the staff very responsive, helpful and
supportive. I do not recall any of the staff's name, I totally
recommend this clinic to anyone who's trying to get pregnant.
Ask lots of questions about your process and what would be the
next steps if the current program isn't working. Good Luck!
I am only seeing the heading of this post. After several rounds
of unsuccessful meds and unnecessary, painful tests at the Kaiser
(In)Fertility Clinic, I was told that I would never have a child.
So, after acupuncture treatment, when I was pushing my baby in a
stroller and ran into the very respected clinician who had told
me that, this ''doctor'' told me that they have no idea what makes
someone fertile, and that the very best pregnancy success rate
comes from acupuncture treatment. The ''doctor'' didn't say
anything about the ethics of having wasted my time and broken my
heart. Now when I see the women heading to the fertility office,
I feel slightly sick. It's hard not to think they'd get pregnant
faster if they spent more quality time with their partner and
less in those smelly doctors' offices. Good luck to everyone
trying. I know that our bodies know how to help us better than
strangers who make their living roping us in with their
''methods.'' Surely my experience is not everyone's--but I am here
to say THERE ARE A LOT OF US.
Sending Good Luck to You
I went through Kaiser's fertility process. They were
fantastic. When testing revealed sub-par hormone levels I was
prescribed Clomid and became pregnant in the 2nd month of
taking it. Simple as that! The class that they require is
very informative. The hardest part was getting my husband to
give his sample..
Re: Seeking great fertility doctor
Dr. Erica Breneman at Kaiser Oakland is a great physician....highly
recommended. Also, UCSF Center for Reproductive Health is very well
regarded....great team of docs that operate in a cohesive practice
Does anyone have any recent experience with the Infertility Clinic at
Kaiser Oakland? I've just
been referred to them from my Kaiser Ob/Gyn and am wondering what to
expect. Do they do all of
the same procedures as private clinics? Are they supportive? Any
you can give is
My experience at Kaiser Oakland was 3 yrs ago. Kaiser's
limits in infertility treatments do not extend to ivf,
though they do include treatments by a reproductive
endocrinologist. They offered artificial insemination,
clomid, etc and assisted ovulation, I think it's called
(where you take drugs to increase ovulation, and the size &
# of eggs are followed until ovulation is triggered by an
hcg shot). We were not impressed with our Dr. at the time
(Dr. Lee, who I think has moved on) nor was it a supportive
environment, to say the least. We also had a difficult time
getting all of the testing done in a timely matter, though
maybe that was the doctor. In all fairness, though, Kaiser
really can't afford to offer the one-on-one care that expensive
We conceived Fall 2001 after navigating Kaiser Oakland.
They do not do ivf. They do provide fertility drugs and
iui. They also now offer a monthly support group. We saw
Janie Hirada. I charted my temperature on chlomid and she
responded by halving my dose. She was willing to try this
when standard is to double it. My familiarity w/ my cycle
and luteal phase was key. W/ Kaiser it is essential to do
your research (Resolve is a good resource) and be your own
advocate. The worst thing about it from my perspective
which isn't necessarily different from a practice is having
to go to a sperm lab by alta bates and drive across town w/
your precious cargo; and then sometimes wait a long time
for your appointment at Kaiser. Also you get the iui
appointment w/ whichever practioner is available when you
ovulate so I found it alienating and even a bit traumatic
to see a different person for successive inseminations. The
last and successful time we prepared for it mentally (the
drive across town will take longer than we think; there
will be no parking; we will wait in the waiting room a long
time. We brought a book we love and my husband read to me
while we waited before and after the procedure) and it was
even a 'nice' experience. Once you are pregnant they take
incredible care w/ you, monitoring your hsg closely until
it reaches a certain number; providing early ultrasound to
rule out ectopic pregnancy.
I was referred to Dr. Hirata at Kaiser in the summer of
2000, after trying to conceive for about 6 months. She
started with blood tests (and semen check for my
partner) which were helpful,as my thyroid level was low
(besides helping to regulate the other hormones,
thyroid is important to have at the correct level during
pregnancy). I had done some reading and was losing
weight towards what I felt was more balanced, which
she approved (one study showed even 6 pounds
gained or lost towards a balanced weight has a huge
fertility impact). I had been charting my temperature
carefully but she did not look at it.
After a few months I went back and was offered an HSG
(checks the fallopian tubes by shooting a dye through
and watching its progress) and clomid. I declined both.
I had blood draws to check hormone levels, and an
ultrasound of the ovaries. I went to a midwife practice
for a fertility consult at this point and got a lot more info
and reassurance. The midwife recommended I read
about the use of clomid---it can have severe side
effects, one of which is drying up fertile mucus which
has to be there to provide a ladder for sperm. At Kaiser
there had been no mention of side effects.
I agreed to the HSG after another month or so. The
HSG was ok, not painful, just strange. I felt quite
strongly pressured to go with the clomid. One nurse
during a call told me I wasn't ovulating, (I knew I was
from my charts), and that I would never get pregnant
without clomid, leaving me in tears after I hung up. I
stuck to my resolve to avoid invasive measures at that
I conceived during the cycle after the HSG (this is
somewhat common, according to Dr. Hirata) and my
daughter was born in July 2001. I was glad for the help
in finding the thyroid deficiency and the HSG procedure,
but I was quite upset and stressed by the pressure
(especially from the fertility nurses) to take clomid. The
month by month hopefulness and disappointment is
soooo hard, and the midwife consult helped in a way
that the Kaiser clinic did not.
I would recommend keeping yourself well informed
and visiting a midwife practice too. A book I found that
is long but very informative and compassionately
politicized about fertility issues is Beyond Second
Opinions: Making Choices About Fertility Treatment by
Judith Steinberg Turiel. I wish you the best of luck!
I know you were curious about the services at Kaiser Oakland, but can I
offer an alternate recommendation if you find you do not get a good
or do not like the services there?
I saw Dr. Feigenbaum at Kaiser SF and found him to be very direct and
about my issues with infertility. He did not pull any punches, but I like
that in a doctor. Kaiser SF also has some state of the art equipment for
infertility diagnosis and treatment. If you ask your OB, he/she should be
able to send you there.
You may already know about this, but you can also post on the INCIID
for recommendations about Kaiser Oakland or others' experience. It is
nice to get some support for yourself. I was lucky in that 3 of my close
friends were going through the same thing (we all have babies now) and my
experience has been that infertility is too traumatic to try and handle on
your own. Best to find people who understand what you are going through
won't just tell you to 'relax' or 'stop trying and you'll get pregnant.'
I wish you lots of luck, and all of us with infertility
issues are thinking of you! Please feel free to contact me with any
I worked with Dr. Janie Hirata at Oakland. I was
disapointed in her communication style but, in the end,
felt she was very responsive to what I wanted to do. I did
not feel good about the guidance I got from her so I took
some extra time to get as much information as I could on my
own - I talked to people who had used fertility treatments
and most importantly I joined a group called Resolve.
(www.resolve.com) They had (and maybe still do) a monthly
evening group where a fertility MD came to answer
questions. I went three times and from there decided how I
wanted to proceed. I presented a plan to Hirata and she
agreed to the whole thing. I did get very lucky and got
pregnant the first time so I did not have a lengthy
experience with her and her coordinating nurse. Another
fertility MD who has much less availability is Brenamen.
From what I have heard, she is excellent. There is also an
MD, Dr. Fiegenbaum I believe, at SF Kaiser who is also
If you are working with Dr. Hirata and her RN, ask lots of
questions. This all is so routine for them it seems like
they forget that it is new for the patients and sometimes
don't explain things as thoroughly as they could. Feel
free to contact me if you would like to discuss my
experience. Good luch to you.
I have experience from 7 yrs ago. I went to an outside
clinic w/my own $ for a 2nd opinion. Glad I did that, the
unintended but definitely fortuitous result was that Kaiser
did the diagnostic testing, and treatments (unsuccessful)
for a number of cycles. When Kaiser said I was not a good
candidate I went straight to the outside doctor and was
pregnant the next cycle.
In response to the fertility specialist question posted below.
I can recommend Dr. L. Darlene Lanka of Kaiser Walnut Creek.
She is not only a fantastic OB-GYN/surgeon & remarkable person
(voted "Best of the East Bay by Diablo Magazine"), she co-authored a book
titled "Perimenopause", She is one of Kaiser's fertility specialists and has a special
interest in diabetes (her daughter had childhood onset diabetes).
She is a UC Berkeley undergrad and a UCSF Medical School grad.
She may not be taking new patients, but if you pester Kaiser enough
you may get in to see her. She's definitely worth a try. Nancy
this page was last updated: Sep 12, 2011
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