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  • Second Opinions- Why They’re Important and When to Seek Out Other Options

    Think about your current ob-gyn or fertility doctor. Are they honest, trustworthy, caring and knowledgeable? Hopefully they’re someone who doesn’t rush you out of their office or make you feel like a number on a to-do list. After all, your health is number one, so you should never feel slighted. Your doctor should be right up there with someone you’re comfortable with, making you feel heard and respected. You should be able to trust this person 100% and feel as if they’ll do anything for your fertility journey. 

    After all, fertility is very personal. So having someone trusting is essential. Emotions run high, stress increases, and for some, anxiety surfaces. Perhaps you’ve been dealing with infertility for a while. In this case you may be at your wits end and ready for a change. You know that they say, change is good right? Well it definitely can be especially if you’ve been unsuccessful in your current efforts.

    Options are good, and sometimes second opinions are even better. Not to mention now-a-days resources are extremely plentiful just waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is find them.  So if you feel like you’ve hit a deadend or fork in the road with your fertility and aren’t getting the results you desire, then it’s time to make a decision. Here’s why exploring your options and knowing that it’s ok to move on may actually be your better choice.

    You’ve Been Trying for Months

    If you’ve been going through fertility treatment for several months, unsuccessful, then a second opinion may be your next best bet. Other options or clinics can offer new hope, options and a new perspective for your journey. The same treatment plan or a doctor’s particular opinion may not fit anymore. And that’s ok. Give yourself permission to go with your gut and do what you feel is right. Settling doesn’t have to be an option. Of course your doctors are knowledgeable but if “something just isn’t working out” then voice your opinion and seek the advice of someone new. 

    Compare it to driving the same route to work everyday. It can feel draining, daunting and repetitive. Have you ever felt that way about going to another fertility appointment without success? Sometimes you just need a change to boost your spirits and keep your energy up. 

    Going to another clinic is what some patients need. A change of pace, new office or a new set of doctors. That change could be exactly what you need for the results you’re hoping for. And yes, this may be a hard decision but that’s life. Sometimes it’s the hardest decisions that turn out to be the best. 

    Don’t forget, if you’re feeling unsure or skeptical about making a change, talking to someone like a therapist, can help. Your decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly so expressing yourself and weighing your options with an expert in the fertility field can help you feel more secure and comfortable with a choice of moving on. 

    Evaluating Your Fertility

    Let’s say you’ve been working with a fertility doctor for a few cycles, and treatments aren’t working. There comes a point where you may want to take a step back and evaluate both your fertility and your relationship with your doctor.

    Ask yourself questions such as-

    • How many cycles am I willing to go through?

    • What could my other options be?

    • Has my doctor evaluated all aspects of my fertility?

    Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions or speak with someone like a therapist about your reservations or the emotions you feel going through treatment. If you’re feeling unsure about a particular recommendation for your fertility plan, speak up. Don’t let your apprehensions or concerns hold you back. You have every right to question what your doctor may suggest and also the choice to seek other opinions.

    You’ll find the majority of doctors recommend a different protocol if you’ve gone through three cycles of treatment without success. If this describes your journey, then again, it might be the perfect time to seek a second opinion. But the choice to move on is up to you. You never know what’s lying around the corner. Whether it be a new doctor with different options, or even taking a cycle break for a while. No matter what, be open and honest with your feelings and your health. Some benefits of getting a second opinion could include:

    • Review of your medical history

    • Recommendation for further fertility testing (exploring all avenues if not already done)

    • Evaluation of your physical health

    • Suggestions for lifestyle changes (eating, exercising, meditation, etc.)

    • Opportunity to work with a new team of fertility specialists

    Cost- Yes Fertility Treatments Get Pricey

    Cost is also something to consider. That and insurance. If you’ve been on the fertility train for a while, you know treatment gets pricey.  But just like other doctors, some specialists are covered or could be covered within the network- it all depends. There’s no harm in checking out different clinics, specialists and types of medications. Or at least partially cover. 

    So shop around. Just like you’d do for a new or used car. Take the time to investigate all your options, don’t rush into the first offering and be confident and secure with your decision. This is an important one and a huge step forward in your life.

    Your Fertility, Your Choice

    The bottom line is this is your journey. It’s one filled with emotions, ups and downs and questions. You should never compromise those feelings or what comes along with them- your health and well-being. Be proactive and feel confident in knowing that yes there are other options for you. Your doctor’s feelings aren’t going to be hurt, and you won’t be looked upon differently for getting a second opinion or choosing another option. You deserve the best and a path that’ll make you happiest.  So take the time to research, become familiar with all avenues and believe in your journey. You’ll be happy you did.