Perhaps you have consciously planned your lovemaking for months in the hopes of getting pregnant but to no avail. You or your spouse have subsequently been diagnosed with infertility and you are contemplating seeking the help of a fertility specialist. Or, perhaps you and your spouse are considering having a fertility work-up or are wondering what might be in store for you if you elect to pursue fertility treatment. Whatever your exact set of circumstances, if you are here, you want information on choosing a fertility specialist, you want to better understand the process of fertility treatment, and you want to be better prepared to manage your treatment options.
Whether or not you have decided to share your difficulty conceiving with friends or loved ones, you and your spouse have already discovered the importance of communication and of working as a team -facing many difficult decisions as a couple. Now, when selecting and working with a fertility specialist, you are adding another important member, a doctor. It may take 2 to tango, but you and your partner’s journey toward conceiving is now in vital need of another dance partner, a reproductive specialist.
It is critical that your choice of a physician be one with clinical expertise in reproductive medicine -a fertility specialist. It is also important that you feel comfortable with the fertility specialist of your choice, that he or she expresses an ability to listen to and understand your issues and concerns, one that communicates openly about your options, and most importantly, one that you and your partner feel you can talk to and work with even under stress. Forming a partnership with your doctor will be fundamental in forging ahead and should not be left to chance. Once you establish this relationship, you will have a professional championing your efforts to conceive. Arming yourselves with a fertility workup, expert assessment, relevant education, and future clinical direction, you will maximize the potential of realizing your dream … having a baby.
Some pragmatic questions to consider when selecting a reproductive specialist include:
Does this particular practitioner have a fee structure and are payment plans available?
What hospital(s) is the physician affiliated with?
If your physician is part of a group practice, are you rotated through the practice?
Are inquiries to the doctor or the nurse via telephone possible and are there standard times of call-ins?
Is there any accommodation for evening and weekend appointments, labs, tests and procedures?
Do you and your partner both feel comfortable with this physician?
Recognizing all of the key factors that may influence your selection of a fertility practitioner will enhance your ability to make an informed choice. You and your partner’s ability to openly communicate and problem-solve around these and other medical needs with your fertility specialist will pave a smoother journey.
Once you have selected a physician and are moving down the treatment pathway, you will be exposed to some Confusing Pregnacy and Treatment Terminology. If you have not already had a complete fertility work-up, you and your partner should be prepared for one at this time. Special tests may need to be preformed before your diagnosis is made or confirmed. Opportunities for other professionals and support services to join your team may also arise requiring some decisions such as Choosing an IVF Clinic and Lab. In addition, your specialist will likely to be able to provide guidance on your options as they arise. If you are prescribed any medications after your treatment strategy has been determined, Choosing a Pharmacy that specializes in fertility care will be important. The pharmacist is likely to be the final member on your team and will be working with you through the remainder of your treatment. He will be able to provide both information about your medications and tips for administering them.
On a final note, it may be extremely helpful to consider as part of your treatment strategy, counseling or support services for you and your spouse. This component of your treatment plan can address the stress and myriad of emotions you may experience during this fertility roller coaster ride.
Remember, a team approach to fertility treatment will empower you while allowing you to remain focused on your primary goal of becoming a parent.