It’s such a big decision picking the right fertility doctor aka Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). You’re going to potentially invest a large amount of money with this person and you’re entrusting him or her to help create this perfect little baby you have been dreaming about.
You need nothing short of a perfect combination of your husband and God. So, how exactly do you find that person?
Most women start with a referral from their ObGyn or a girlfriend. Other women do loads of online research and look at which doctor has the best pregnancy rates. I even had a patient from Belgrade who flew here just so she could work with a particular doctor. Not that I think that is necessary.
I can’t tell you how many times women have asked me who I think the best RE is or what I know about their particular doctor. The truth is, it would be unfair of me to make that decision for anyone, it’s such a personal choice.
But I can tell you how to find and choose a doctor that will work for you – with extra emphasis on the “you”.
Here are the 7 keys to finding the right doctor to get intimate with – I mean you are making a baby with this person after all:
- Make sure you are working with a reputable doctor. Go to The Society for Reproductive Technology at sart.org (after you’ve finished reading this article of course) and CLICK on ‘IVF success rates’ then CLICK on ‘find a clinic’. This will give you a list of the reputable doctors in your area. You can even check the clinics stats if you want to see how many patients they treat in a year and what their success rates are by age group.
- Go to their site and check them out – be sure to search Google for reviews so you can see what experiences other people have had.
- Identify the top two doctors or clinics on your list, that is if you have at least two RE’s in your area. You need more than one opinion. Every doctor is different, and Reproductive Endocrinology is part art and part science. Each doctor takes the science and tweaks it based on their experience of what works. There are many different protocols, so be sure you meet with a couple and see what they have to say.
- If you could have everything you want, what qualities you would most desire in your doctor?Some of us don’t need a good bedside manner, we just want the best results and it’s not important how we’re treated when we’re there. Some of us need to feel really heard and cared for. Identify what you need and be sure that you find it. You want to feel like you can really trust your doctor. The biggest mistake I see women make is to second-guess their doctor. Pick a doctor that you feel so confident in, that you have zero urge to go back online and check his or her protocol against what other people are doing. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask as many questions as you need to ask to feel comfortable. You have to be your own advocate AND you don’t want to get obsessed with online research, it wont make you feel better, and you need that time to care for yourself.
- When you meet with the doctor, bring a list of questions. If you don’t write everything down ahead of time you will forget something. Bring copies of any lab work you’ve already done with your ObGyn. Now here’s the most important part – you’ve done your due diligence making sure you’ve chosen a good, reputable doctor, but you need to decide if he or she is YOUR doctor. When you listen to the doctor, take a long, slow, conscious breath and just notice how you feel in your body. Shift your awareness down into your belly and see if you can sense if this is the right place for you. Do you feel an inner yes or an inner no?
- Try not to make your decision based on financials. I know sometimes that’s impossible given the expense of this process. You just don’t want make the wrong decision to save $1,000. Trust me, it’s worth 10% more to be with a physician you love.
- Be sure to befriend the nurses. You will spend more time with the nurses than you will with the doctor. Ask who your primary nurse will be, and do your best to connect with him/her. Bring them a Starbucks gift card or flowers and ask him/her to hold your hand through the process. A good nurse who’s connected to your specific protocol will make the process so much nicer.
- If at some point you feel like your doctor isn’t working for you, then get a 2nd opinion. Don’t stay with the same doctor through 4 failed IVF’s if you get the sense he or she is not the best doctor for you. You need to listen to what you are feeling. You are wise beyond measure.
So that’s it. If you follow those simple instructions you’re going to head down this path of infertility with a great team and believe me you need a great team. With a great team you are not alone.
Good luck and lots of blessings,