Choosing an Infertility Doctor - lbalagtasphotography.com

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Our Infertility Journey: Choosing an Infertility Doctor

At the start of our fertility journey, I did a LOT of research.  I spent HOURS scouring the internet and looking at all the options and choosing an infertility doctor.  I stumbled upon Advanced Fertility of Chicago‘s website and it was SO informative.  One of the key pieces of information I got from the site was info regarding fertility success rates.  Each fertility clinic is required to report success rates to the Center for Disease and this is a great place to start when choosing a doctor.  The two websites to view success rates are: Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology and CDC.

First, I searched the SART and CDC website to view all the clinics in Florida.  Most of the clinics had low success rates (<40%) and I wasn’t too thrilled about it.  I asked around to see if anyone had recommendations but none of the local clinics seemed extraordinary.

We were about to invest a lot of money and wanted to make sure the clinic had good success rates and was a match for us.

We heard that a lot of local clinics were like “factories” and it was very hard to get a hold of someone after hours.  This really turned me off.

Since I found Advanced Fertility’s website to be so informative, I decided that I would give them a try.  I emailed them asking some general questions about IUI and IVF for out of state patients.  That very day, I received an email back answering every single one of my questions.  The nurse was so thorough with all her answers and never once “pushed” for us to join their clinic.  I already had a great feeling!

I continued to research and discussed it all with Joey.  Choosing an infertility doctor is stressful but we eventually came to the decision to join the Advanced Fertility clinic.  I took care of all the logistics and decided that it wouldn’t cost us too much more to go to Chicago.  We had an amazing friend (thank you soooooo much, Lyna) that we could stay with.  There was public transportation.  And, Southwest Air flew there direct and we had lots of points to use up.

 

 

Let me tell you, this was THE best decision we made.  The nurses at this clinic are SAINTS.  So helpful, so caring, so prompt, and so empathetic.

Each patient at the clinic is assigned a main nurse who is there for you during the entire process.  For us, our interactions were all through email and phone calls.  We actually never met our nurse (but would love to one day!) but she has never felt like a “stranger.”  The day we decided to join the clinic, she emailed us to introduce herself and to give us a general breakdown of the process.  From that day on, she has been THE most reassuring part of our whole journey.  There were times where we emailed her at 10pm and night and got an answer within hours.  (there might have only been once or twice where she didn’t answer us promptly and that was because she was on vacation! lol)

Trust me when I say, you will have SO many questions before, during, and after any procedure or tests.  It was so comforting to know that if we were worried or unsure about something, that our nurse was just an email away.

I remember our very first injection.  We were told to inject 400 units of Follistim at 930pm and so we did.  Being the “knowledge is power” person that I am, I searched sites to see what other people were starting off at.  I got worried thinking that maybe the doctor made a mistake.  I thought he told us to take too much so I called and emailed my nurse.  Within 30 minutes, we were on the phone with a nurse who assured us that we had the right dosage.  This was normal protocol for our doctor.   The entire IVF process is stressful and knowing that we could talk to a nurse at anytime during the day was such a relief— it REALLY makes a big difference.

 

There was a time where we decided to go with another, local clinic for some of our IUI sessions and it was such a disappointing experience.

 With all fertility treatments, time is of the essence.  Everything revolves around what our body is doing.

It depends on when you ovulate, when you menstruate, and what your hormone levels are.  This is why most clinics are open almost 365 days a year.  For IUI, you track your ovulation with a kit and call the clinic when you see a positive test.  Well, on Thanksgiving day, my test showed positive.  I called the clinic multiple times and left messages each time.  I emailed my nurse several times to see what the next steps were.  NO ONE answered me.  I went to the clinic first thing the next day and told them that I got a positive test.  I could also feel myself ovulating (you become very in tuned with your body during this whole process).  The nurse manager told me that their next opening would be 2pm that day.  It was 730am.  Um, really?

I had to fight to get an earlier appointment and so they scheduled me for 930.  (Since no one got back to me the prior day, I couldn’t make arrangements with work)  I left to get breakfast and felt so bad about inconveniencing the nurses that I bought bagels for the staff.  When I look back at this experience, I think, “Why should I feel bad?  My body decided to ovulate.  I have to get the IUI done today or it will be a wasted month.” I decided to never go back to this clinic again.  No clinic should make you feel this way!  A fertility clinic should be able to accommodate patients knowing that it is not our decision to ovulate- it’s all up to what our body decides to do.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to go far when choosing an infertility doctor, but I am saying to find a clinic that makes you feel comfortable

  1. Choose a clinic with high success rates.
  2. Make sure you’re able to easily talk to a nurse when you have questions, especially after hours. (You generally take your medications at night)
  3. Don’t go back to any clinic that makes you feel bad about yourself.
  4. Choose a clinic that will respond to your questions in less than a business day, especially if you’re in the middle of your IUI/IVF cycle

 

Infertility Series: Please visit:

Our Infertility Journey- The Beginning

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