Have You Chosen the Right Fertility Clinic?

As a follow up to my last blog about red flags to note when you’re looking for a fertility doctor, I wanted to give tips on how to know you’ve made a good choice. Here are some things to look out for:

We’re Listening

A good physician will listen to your needs. They will answer your questions. They will read the article you found online, and discuss why it may or may not apply to you. They will not be dismissive, or make you feel embarrassed when you present them with information you found on Web MD, or ask about a treatment your friend had. They will understand that all questions are valid, and should be addressed.

We Play Nicely with Others

Many physicians have a multidisciplinary approach to fertility and are comfortable discussing any unique needs you may have, with all parties involved in your care.

For example, we may refer you to an acupuncturist. We may feel you would have better success, if your body mass index (BMI) was lower, so we’ll refer you to a nutritionist, or weight loss program. Some patients are emotionally distraught about their fertility journey, and benefit from talking to a psychologist, so as to better manage stress.

Perhaps, your partner might benefit from a surgical treatment with a urologist. There have certainly been patients I have seen over the years, who have complex medical histories, and difficult or unsuccessful treatments. A good physician will brainstorm with their colleagues, to get their input. Many are at a group practice for this reason. A good doctor will review difficult cases, and try to come up with new approaches to your treatment. Consulting with other professionals is what a good physician does, not a sign of weakness, or lack of knowledge.

We Tell You the Truth

Despite best efforts, not every patient gets pregnant. Your physician is obligated to give you their honest advice on your prognosis. If you have had recurrent miscarriages, and they feel you would have success with a surrogate, they tell you. If they feel you will not be able to get pregnant using your own eggs, they recommend using an egg donor, or considering adoption.

Don’t be mad at your physician for being honest with you, it is what you “hired” them for, and they would be doing you a disservice continuing treatments they did not think were going to get you pregnant. Of course, the information should always be presented in a way that is sensitive and compassionate, and which takes your feelings into consideration.

As a patient, you have a job, too. Make sure you ask lots of questions throughout your infertility journey, and trust your intuition. It often tells you if you have found a clinic that can meet your needs.

Suzanne Yahiro-Leibowitz has worked in the field of infertility for over 10 years. She is currently a physician assistant and IVF case manager for Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area. Yahiro-Leibowitz is married and the mother of three children.

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