1. Your Doctor Won’t Listen to You
Despite the degree in medicine, your doctor doesn’t necessarily know your body as well as you do. Sure, there are medical terms and conditions which you may not be familiar with, but you are your own best judge of when something isn’t normal for you. If you are accustomed to having 40-day cycles and suddenly they change to 25-day cycles, you may need to investigate this further.
The problem is that some fertility doctors will hear you out but refuse to investigate such a “small” change even upon your insistence. If this happens to you, it may be time to seek help elsewhere. A great fertility doctor will be sure to ask you lots of questions and build his/her investigation on your specific concerns.
2. Making an Appointment is Impossibly Difficult
As mentioned previously, the number of couples seeking out the help of fertility clinics is ever-growing. This tends to put strain on even the best doctors and clinics, making their schedules extremely busy and jam-packed. However, your case is just as important as other couples on their patient roster and you deserve to be seen in a timely manner, especially in cases of emergency issues arising surrounding your fertility treatments.
If your treatments or appointment times feel rushed, are re-arranged frequently or you experience long waits in the waiting room, switching fertility doctors may be necessary. You want to feel as though you are getting the advice, guidance and assistance you need without the stress of wasting time in a crowded waiting room, missing work and feeling like just a number.
3. You Hardly Ever See Your Actual Doctor
If you find yourself dealing predominantly with the fertility clinic nurses instead of the doctor, you may find it is time to make the switch. It is true that nurses in medical settings often do much of the leg work and charting. However, the doctor should be responsible for deciding upon the protocol which you are to follow for each cycle and make recommendations for testing and procedures.
Obviously, you won’t spend hours and hours with each appointment at your fertility clinic, but you should feel that you are receiving personal attention from your fertility doctor, not only the staff at the clinic.
4. It Has Been More Cycles than You Anticipated Without Answers
The key to achieving pregnancy is uncovering what the underlying issues could be. Investigative tests, procedures and analysis’ could yield some answers. If the doctor you are seeing is ordering basic tests and recommending to keep on trying month after month without digging deeper for answers then switching fertility specialists might be a good idea. You should expect that one or two cycles will be unsuccessful to avoid immediate disappointment.
As the doctor and nurses get to know you, your medical history and your on-going needs better, the success rate should be higher. After the initial first month or two, you should see results—even if the results are answers about why you haven’t conceived yet and offer an aggressive game plan to conquer the issues that are fixable.
5. You Have Exhausted All Test/Procedures
This isn’t a point where you should feel defeated or completely hopeless. A second opinion or a set of new, fresh eyes might be just what you need. By switching your fertility doctor, you are asking someone new to revisit your case and look over your medical concerns with eyes that haven’t been staring at your file month after month.
A different doctor may have tests or ideas which your previous doctor may have overlooked or was reluctant to try. Getting a second or even third opinion in the medical field is not unheard of. Most professionals expect that people with complex cases will often seek out advice or thoughts from another expert to confirm results or even offer alternative routes.
Regardless of your reasoning, if you even start to wonder whether it is time to switch your fertility doctor, it probably means it’s time. Questioning your on-going relationship means there is either a lack of trust or confidence or that you are starting to feel unhappy with the clinic and specialist you are currently seeing. Trust your instincts and start looking around for a clinic and doctor to move your files over to.
If you do choose to switch, it is your right to have your files transferred as well as any test results and samples or embryos you have stored with your first clinic. You should note that there is more than likely a fee associated with transferring your things, however, in the long run the move could achieve your ultimate goal of pregnancy.
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Photo credit: Dr. Karki