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Finding a Fertility Specialist

  • Unorthodox treatment or methods - If your doctor does something you believe to be out of the ordinary or incorrect, such as fail to perform a semen analysis or prescribe fertility drugs before doing a complete evaluation, you have a right to voice your concerns. You may have misunderstood something you read or heard, or your case may have special circumstances. If you still feel uncomfortable after sharing your concerns with your doctor, you may wish to request a second opinion. If you do not have complete faith in your RE's decisions, you should look for a new one.
  • * Your treatment is taking too long - The amount of time required to diagnose and treat each fertility problem is different for each patient, which is why the amount of time it should take for you to get pregnant is hard to pinpoint. Still, there is a general timeline you may refer to. Your doctor should be able to give you a diagnosis within four to six weeks - two months at the most - and your treatment should begin shortly thereafter. It is easy to become impatient when trying to conceive, but remember, even after treatment, you are no more fertile than the average woman of your age and you only have a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. Doctors often use a more aggressive approach with older couples who do not have many fertile years left. If you feel your fertile years are slipping away and your doctor isn't responsive to your concerns, find another.

    How can I give myself the best chance at success?

    There are two things you and your partner can do to ensure that your experience with a fertility specialist is a positive one. The first is having regular discussions with your partner about your RE and the treatment process he or she has outlined for you. Make sure you are both comfortable with your physician, understand your options and that you are getting the information you need to make informed decisions.

    The second is to seek out the plethora of support and information that is available to you. Fertility treatment is an emotional process. Organizations like RESOLVE, Inc. and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine can help you understand your options and become connected with other couples who are experiencing infertility.

    Experienced reproductive endocrinologists can diagnose and successfully treat most couples with fertility problems; but remember, fertility treatment isn't magic. You are responsible for selecting the doctor who is best qualified to help you, and for the quality of care you receive.

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