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Reproductive Science Center (Orinda & San Ramon, CA)
Re: Fertility specialists in the east bay, ambivalance
Hello!! I was a patient at the Reproductive Science Center of the East Bay. Dr. Willman was my doctor and we conceived a beautiful little girl through IVF this past January. Although Dr. Hinckley wasn't my primary doctor, she did perform 2 of our IUIs prior to IVF and we found her to be very warm with a great sense of humor and we really liked her. I don't know your current doctor. We were happy with our experience at our fertility center and are planning for a 2nd IVF using frozen embroys this winter. Good luck to you!! Kim
First, travel: We mostly went to her Orinda office, but occasionally went to the San Ramon office for special procedures or weekend measurements. It's certainly not super convenient, but it was doable. Frequently for weekday visits I would just Bart there and back to avoid traffic. It's an easy walk from the station... Maybe 5-10 minutes.
Second, they take this very seriously and don't mess around. Granted we didn't start seeing her until 9 months of difficulty (2 early miscarriages, then nothing for several months) by which point I was already 39. We bypassed clomid altogether to do a couple of rounds of injectibles with IUI; she encouraged me to use use an acupuncturist to supplement however needed. While we did get pregnant, we had a miscarriage at 12 weeks due to Turner's syndrome. She let us grieve without pressure for a couple of months, and when we returned she encouraged us to consider IVF (with the option to do genetic testing on the embryos). Sadly, we discovered my egg quality was just really poor. When we reached this point (I was 41) she again laid out our options and encouraged us to consider alternative routes rather than continuing to pursue more IVFs with my eggs. I'm happy to say we're 30 weeks pregnant with a donor egg from a single round of IVF. I've not always been in love with the various staffers at RSC, but I've never questioned my respect for Dr. Hinckley. She does an amazing job of balancing all the contradictory emotions involved in the infertility process: compassion and sympathy/ hope and encouragement, urgency and moving forward/ reflecting and caution, reason and logic/ irrational desires.
Best of wishes as you make your choices. Should you decide to seek out Dr. Hinckley, I trust she will help you navigate this often tortuous and torturous path. Robin
Re: Recurrent miscarriage - resources & fertility recs
I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. After two miscarriages, my OB referred me to Reproductive Science Center, a fertility clinic in Orinda and I saw Mary Hinckley. At the time I had a 2.5 year old daughter. We ended up going through two cycles of IUI with no success and were deciding whether to proceed with IVF. Dr. Hinckley then referred me to an acupuncturist, Leslie Oldershaw (510) 595-1175) in Piedmont. A few months after beginning treatment with Leslie, I got pregnant and now have an active and healthy 17-month old son. I wish that I'd gone to Leslie before trying the IUIs because the drugs are no fun. Best of luck on your journey for baby #2. Shauna
Re: Infertility with donor eggs
I had a very good experience with Dr Susan Willman out in Orinda. 2 normal kids aged 7 & 11 from the same donor cycle; 1st fresh, 2nd frozen, to show for it. Yeah, and I had several awful experiences before I found her. So, I have a clue about what you are feeling and am wishing you the best!!! A lot of it is just the luck of the draw, of course, but I do think that Dr Willman is particularly talented. Lucky
Re: Kaiser won't cover fertility--where to transfer?
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. A.
Re: OB/GYN with fertility expertise
If you have fertility concerns, head straight to a reproductive endocronologist. Most ob/gyns have some fertility knowledge and will try to be helpful, but what they can do is quite limited. On the other hand, there are many great doctors in the Bay Area associated with fertility clinics who can answer the questions you have, suggest other things to look into, can go as far as you need/or want to go, and save you a lot of time in the process. I found Drs. Willman and Weckstein very helpful, but the best thing to do is to interview someone and if it doesn't feel like a fit...interview someone else. Hopefully everything will resolve quickly and easily for you. Good luck
Re: Considering IVF after repeated miscarriage
I would seriously consider consulting with RSC http://www.rscbayarea.com/ regarding IVF. They at one time had the highest success rate in the area (I am not sure if this is still true). The doctors are exceptional, compassionate and truly experts. I have nothing but praise for both Dr. Wilman and Dr. Hinckley in the Orinda office. Keep in mind that the CDC data on success rates includes those with a wide range of issues and I suspect you may get a more positive prognosis in person. RSC has info. seminars fairly regularly where they pass out coupons for half priced initial consultations. Dr. Wilman helped me with my first pregnancy and hope she will help me with a second- at age 38. Best of luck to you and your family! -Erika
After two miscarriages and a few tests that have come back normal, my OB is recommending that I see a fertility specialist to see if they can find the cause of the miscarriages (I have one child born in 2006 with no intervention). I'm looking for comments and experiences (b/c the archives are several years out of date) specifically about: The Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area (in Orinda/San Ramon) - which doctor should I try to see?
Re: local fertility specialist
My husband and I tried out several fertility specialists before settling on Dr. Mary Hinckley at the RSC in Orinda. We also have Blue Cross HMO with ABMG. We haven't had much interaction with the other RSC docs, but Dr. Hinckley has fabulous bedside manners. She allowed us to ask lots of questions, gave us very clear and sensible answers, and was friendly and encouraging. We ultimately went through IVF with her after several IUI's. It was our decision to go forward more aggressively at the time. It was probably one of the toughest times emotionally that we've had in our lives, but Dr. Hinckley was always calling us personally after each procedure to let us know the results and to immediately discuss what seemed to be working/not working and what to try next. We credit Dr. Hinckley and our acupuncturist for helping us get through all the hurdles and finally have a baby earlier this year. Before, we had done some IUI's with doctors that were not interested in discussing what to try, and who just wanted us to do whatever they recommended at whatever cost. And they didn't call us to talk about what to try when things hadn't worked. One of them would even leave for vacation for months at a time and not mention it to us until he was about to leave! This all left us feeling very uncared for. Also, a lot of these private doctors didn't take our insurance even for meds which made it very expensive even for IUI's. On the other hand, we felt that the RSC really tried to bill insurance for as much as reasonable (of course, IVF isn't covered). As for location, they are in Orinda, but it's a very short walk to their clinic from the BART station. All the best to you! Anon
Re: Seeking information on local fertility clinics
I underwent two procedures at RSC. The first was using a donor (from which I believe 24 eggs were harvested but the lab was only able to produce a small number of embryos.) Despite being told that the procedure was perfectly executed, that procedure was unsuccessful. The second procedure was an FET (frozen embryo transfer).
The day before I was to go in for the FET, a nurse called to confirm the medication I was taking. It turned out that one of the necessary medications had not been prescribed, after a brief silence on the phone, the nurse said that she would call me back. When she did she said it was still okay to proceed. The next day, I asked the staff if not having that medication made a difference. All assured me it would be fine. Well, that cycle also failed, maybe because of the medication or not, who knows.
I decided that after spending thousands of dollars and having nothing to show for it, I wouldn't proceed any further. I told RSC to either discard or use the remaining embryos for research. Several months later they billed me for several months of storage saying that I needed a notarized document to discard. Of course, it would have been nice if they had told me that originally instead of waiting several months and racking up more fees of $250/quarter.
To add to the already pleasant experience of two unsuccessful procedures, shooting needles in my legs for months, and spending thousands of dollars for failed treatments, they then disputed a $500 discount that had been offered for 2nd cycles and threatened collections. Happy Mom Of Beautiful Adopted Son
I am a mom of two busy boys and am going to be 41 years old soon. We are thinking of doing IVF to have a third child. My OB/GYN recommended Dr. Mary Ramie Hinckley of Reproductive Science Center in Orinda. I met her recently and had a good impression. However, I could not find much information about her or the practice online. Has anyone had IVF with Dr. Hinckley or at Reproductive Science Center? What was your experience like? I looked for an archives but I did not find much. If we will do IVF, we are also going to do Pre Genetic Analysis (PGA) since we would like to conceive a child whose HLA type matches to our older child who may need a transplant in future. Please do not try to educate me whether PGA is right or wrong. We are sure that we will do this analysis. Mom new to IVF and PGA
Re: Weckstein or Willman?
I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Louis Weckstein of the Reproductive Science Center in San Ramon. He is truly wonderful, caring, warm, extremely professional and knowledgeable about infertility and as far as I know, very successful in this field. I was a patient of Dr. Weckstein's and I owe the birth of our little boy (now 4 months old) to him. In addition, his staff is just as wonderful as he is. Good luck! dms
I'm looking for an RE and I'm trying to decide between Dr Smikle in San Ramon at the Center for Reproductive Science and Dr Susan Willman's practice in Orinda. According to Willman's office she only sees people for IVF and all other work is handled by a nurse practitioner. Smickle comes well recommended but it is so far to go and I'm thinking I'll have to trek out there several times (I'm planning to start with drugs and iui). Does anyone have experience with either of these two practices? Particularly the nurse practitioner at Willman's or the Center for Reproductive Science in general. Thanks!
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