Seeing A Reproductive Endocrinologist

November 6, 2008

We have been trying to conceive for a long time and have finally taken the step to see a reproductive endocrinologist. I'm very nervous and I have a million questions. Where do I start?

Some Suggestions to Make the Visit Easier

Congratulations on your decision to seek help in order to have a baby. Certainly, investigation of fertility treatments can be a very emotional time and the process is fraught with highs and lows. Understandably, there are many questions you may have about what you are planning to embark upon. Following are some suggestions to help the first visit go smoothly and to help you gain the information you'll need to begin the journey.

First, it's a good idea to write down all of the questions you are pondering as they come up in your mind or your conversations. We always think we'll remember everything, but the truth is when nerves kick in, the mind forgets a lot. Having a written list takes the pressure out of having to remember questions.

Find Out About the Clinic and Its Hours

Find out as much as possible about the fertility clinic in which your RE works and if a doctor is not interested in your questions or brushes you off, be very wary. You, the prospective patient, have every right to know about the treatment you will be taking.

Believe it or not, one of the most important questions to ask is about office hours. Since you will likely need repeated ultrasounds, blood tests and other diagnostic procedures, it makes sense that your hours don't conflict with those of the clinic. If you need a procedure which, due to working hours, can only be done at night and your doctor isn't available to you - then perhaps you have a doctor who won't be committed to you.

Ask About Treatment Sessions

Ask about the number of treatment sessions you may need to have before results can be seen or before you move into another treatment regimen. Even though each woman is different and the time of results may vary, the doctor should be able to give you an approximate length of time in which you may have some answers. If the doctor doesn't seem to be aggressive enough for you, you may want to find another professional.

Some clinics accept a certain number of patients at one time for a specific course of treatment. Asking when you can commence treatment is important. If you want to begin right away, it is fruitless to go to a clinic where you will have to wait for the next round of treatments. One of the most important things to find out is if your doctor will be performing all of the treatments or if nurses or nurse practitioners are going to perform some of them.

The Most Important Spot in the Clinic

The Lab is a critical place in your experience, so be sure it is fully and technologically updated. If they don't have a trained embryologist or if they do not perform blastocyst transfers, assisted hatching and other techniques - don't go there! Also, find out the hours of operation for the lab and ask your doctor if she will accept calls if she's not in her office.

Don't Be Shy - It's Your Money and Your Fertility

Success rates are very important, as is the expense of the procedures. Be wary of excessively high success rates - it could be a ploy to get your business. Investigate thoroughly before committing to any clinic and don't be shy about asking the cost of things - it's your money and you have a right to know.

 

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