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If you’ve been here for a while you know that I spent a good couple of years at my fertility clinic, and that I feel like a total pro these days!
If you’re new to fertility clinics, do also make sure that you check out another two of my past episodes Your first appointment at the fertility clinic: what to expect and FW 007 : 11 questions to ask your fertility specialist.
So, ready for my insider tips?
1. Try to foresee your appointments and book in advance
Book in your future appointments, so you can get in early and quicker without having to necessarily wait for three months after you have that next step. Sometimes it can take up to three months to get a review appointment with your fertility specialist.
2. Ask to go on the cancellation list
If you’re new to a fertility clinic and you’re making your first appointment, ask to go on the cancellation wait list, so if there’s an earlier appointment you can be notified.
3. Always arrive early for the blood work
I used to arrive 5 minutes before they opened for blood work. Sometimes there would be no one there or sometimes you may have to wait for an hour–you just can’t pick it! Arriving early meant that I also wouldn’t be late for work.
4. Ask for handouts and demonstrations
Quite often we can feel that nurses and specialists are in a rush to hand us information and get us out of the clinic, when often we don’t quite understand what’s going on. It’s important we feel strong enough to not feel rushed to exit the clinic, because you may leave forgetting everything that they’ve just told you. Ask for a handout with the information or if it’s something like your injections, ask if they can give you a demonstration. If they don’t have a handout, you can Google it, but if enough people ask for handouts, your clinic might decide to create some.
I wish that they would give you a binder that fully explains exactly what’s going on with your cycle, the success rates and all of that information. Imagine how awesome that would be, if you felt completely informed? You deserve to fully understand what is going on with your cycle.
5. Bring a pen and paper (and write your questions in advance)
This is handy to take notes or if you think of a question that you can come back to at a later stage. Also write down any questions you may have, in advance.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation
You’re the patient here and you deserve to know exactly what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to ask your specialist to explain something to you in plain English. Don’t be afraid to slow them down and ask them for an explanation. You’re the client here. This is your life, this is your body, this is your baby. You have a lot at stake here so don’t be afraid to ask.
7. Take charge when you need to
This is 100% your journey or if you have a partner, you’re in this together. This might mean that you might have to take charge of the scenario. You might need to ask the tough questions, instead of always going along with the flow.
8. Ask about the future
For example, ask your specialist, “How many times are you going to tell me to do an IUI? How many IUIs are you planning to do?” Ask questions about the future and what their future plans look like for your treatment. Get a good sense of what your treatment plan will look like down the track.
9. Don’t let them continue with the same treatment, expecting a different outcome
Don’t let your specialist continue cycle after cycle, without trying something new. Don’t keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, if it’s not working.
10. NEVER be afraid of getting a second or third opinion
There are so many different options out there for you. If your gut instinct is that something’s not right or if you have a specialist that just wants to do the same thing, go out and get an appointment with another specialist and get their take on the situation. How much time do you have to waste?
11. Remember you are the client and you are paying the money
Don’t be afraid to act like a consumer and expect to receive a certain level of customer service. If you don’t receive that, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself, to complain, if people are rude or make you feel disempowered. You are the customer and this is your journey.
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