Now why would you ever want to be the best fertility patient? Well it’s simple, if you’re the best patient; you may help improve your chances of success.
Fertility is one of those things that we have absolutely no control over. I wish! Going through fertility treatments requires a lot of work and to make it worth your while, learn how to be the best patient.
Rather than feel like you’re a victim because of your fertility diagnosis, empower yourself and start chanting your new mantra, “it’s going to happen one way or another!”
Here are some tips on how to be the best fertility patient ever:
1.Know who you’re seeing. Sounds funny, right? Wrong! So many patients think they’re seeing someone who has had extra training in fertility when in reality, you’re not. Many general ObGyns (the doc who does your PAP smear for you) feel comfortable helping women with fertility issues but if you’re not pregnant within a couple months, it could be time to see a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist. You can find a local one by going to this link: www.fertilitylifelines.com . Put in your zip code and you will find clinics close to you. Once you find the clinics closest to you, start making phone calls and meeting people. Not every clinic is going to be right for every woman. Meet a few of your local docs because the relationship with your fertility doctor is sometimes a short one (quick success) or a longer one (if your case is harder than you originally thought).
2. Know your history and your fertility diagnosis!It’s so important for you to know what you’ve had done and where you’ve been. I have patients who have had several IVF cycles before coming to me and have no idea why they did IVF or what happened during the cycle. My suggestions:
- Keep your records with you and take notes: The best patients will have all their records with them at their first visit and even carry a binder with all their past cycle notes with them to some of their visits just for reference if they’re needed. Have a folder that contains all your blood work and know what is being checked and why. Bring in your questions or better yet, depending on the office you’re working with, email them ahead of time. Bring a pad of paper so you can take notes.
- Repeat tests: If it’s been more than a year since you’ve had a blood test, consider repeating it. Things change over time and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to increase your chances if you can. Make sure you’ve had a recent semen analysis, had your tubes checked and your ovarian reserve evaluated.
- See your Doctor often: After you’ve done a treatment that isn’t successful, go in and see your doc in person and review the cycle and what everyone learned from it. Take what you learned and turn it into a positive. The way I like to see negative pregnancy tests is: they are just one more hurdle we had to go through before we get the positive. Do whatever you can to enjoy the journey. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about what tips they have about staying pregnant.
3. Stay healthy :Keep healthy in your life and tend to your relationships. All of my patients become the best fertility patients if they aren’t already.
- Find your fertility community: Ask your doc for a referral to psychologist. Find a fertility friend (either someone online or in person) who you can share all your information without any judgment. When someone asks you “when are you going to start having kids,” simply say, “We’d love to one day.” Keep it simple and don’t let the faux pas of your friends and family bother you. And if people ask your personal questions just say, “I don’t like to answer personal questions.” Simple! As women we are so used to apologizing. You don’t need to feel sorry for not opening up your heart and soul to every stranger around you.
- Meditate: Your mind is a powerful fertility tool in all of this. Work with a professional hypnotherapist (www.ahigherperspective.com) or buy CDs through www.circleandbloom.com
- Consider Traditional Chinese Medicine: Why would a medical doctor want her patient to work with a Doctor of Chinese Medicine? Because what they do works. I’ve seen it time and time again. Ask your fertility clinic for local referrals and work with someone who does fertility acupuncture and knows this area of Chinese medicine well.