How to be a better patient at your fertility clinic

On today’s podcast episode I discuss how you can be a better patient at your fertility clinic, and the benefit of doing this, is that by being a better patient and working WITH your fertility clinic or OBGYN, you are giving yourself the best changes of success on your journey.

Because the reality is, that we want to fall pregnant and have a baby.

But by working against our fertility clinic, we aren’t giving ourselves the best odds, and sometimes the actions we take can work against us and actually harm our chances of falling pregnant.

Before I dive in though, at the beginning of the podcast I mentioned my upcoming webinar on 11 May – where I’ll show you 5 actions you can take today, to help yourself go from stressed out worrier to confident warrior. I’m really excited to share these with you and I know they’ll provide you with some ACTIONABLE takeaways. You can register here.

How to be a better patient at your fertility clinic:

  1. Ask questions

If you don’t understand your treatments, what is going wrong, the angle that your specialist is coming from, it makes it really easy to lose trust, lose faith, work against them. So therefore, we need to ask as many questions as we can to ensure that we fully understand how our treatment is working and get the very best from our clinic. You are paying good money to be there, so don’t feel scared to ask questions – write them down, feel empowered and ensure that you know exactly what is happening and why.

2. Show them respect

Your fertility specialist has the same goal as you – to help you fall pregnant, and they have studied very hard (and continue to do so) as well as work, every single day, with women like you and the latest technology, to help you reach your goal of falling pregnant. It’s a very specialised field that is still very new (there is still SO much we don’t know about fertility and reproduction). Please show them the respect that they deserve as a professional.

3. Tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

How many times have we been guilty of feeling ashamed or scared to tell something to a medical professional? I know I have. But I also know that it is SO important that we tell them the absolute truth about everything, because, there may be elements of our lifestyle that will greatly affect our treatment or we might be seeing another practitioner on our journey whose treatment might contraindicate theirs, so it’s really important that we disclose everything to them. We can feel like a ticking time bomb with our fertility and we are paying A LOT of money for the privilege, so let’s not waste these precious opportunities.

4. Listen to what they’re saying (with an open mind)

When it feels like someone has our lives in their hands, and we are already feeling hurt, sad and angry inside, it can feel really easy to be offended and closed to suggestions, and I know that if you haven’t been full circle on your journey like I have, you may not believe what I’m about to say, but…. how you get there, isn’t as important as getting there (unless you’re planning on stealing a baby… and then that’s another story… but you get where I’m going, right?). Everything else melts away once where is a little person in your arms who is relying on you for their survival. So if your Doctor suggests for you to lose weight, or consider donor eggs or IVF, try to be open where you can, and try to remember that they are suggesting this based on their experience and their joint wish for you to have a baby.

5. Don’t rely on them to work miracles

Sometimes, you just can’t fit a square into a circle. Your Doctor is only PART of your journey. They may be a necessary cog in your wheel, but there may be other professionals that will help you greatly on your journey, and there is most definitely lots of action that you can take yourself on your journey to give you the best chances of success, quickly. Consider what part you play, and consider that the medical aspect of treatment overcomes many barriers to falling pregnant, but there may still be others.

6. Keep your Doctor in the loop

Are you feeling like death warmed up on your cycle? Have you started seeing a new complementary practitioner? Is there a revolutionary new treatment that you’ve heard of and would like to try?

It is SO important that they are kept in the loop. They need to know about all of these things, because not only can this help them to tailor your treatment, but it may also help the industry progress as a whole. Make sure you keep them in the loop.

7. Show courtesy

Did I ever mention that I spent a year in Japan? Well, I did. And in Japan, manners are everything. And being late shows the utmost disrespect. So, if you ever choose to meet me, 99.9% of the time, I will be dead on time or early. I’m sure you’ll agree that your journey is pretty much the most important thing in your life right now. Please treat it as such and show courtesy not only to your specialist, but also to the other fertility warriors at the clinic, and be on time, and give good notice to cancel your appointments so someone else can take it.

8. Send them a baby picture

Please remember this one. After we fall pregnant and then ‘graduate’ from our fertility clinic, it can be easy to move on, and life gets busy, but I guarantee that the nurses, embryologists, specialists, receptionists – everyone at your clinic  (and all other professionals who have helped on your journey), would love to see everything come full circle. Please don’t forget about them and make sure you let them know just how much you appreciate their support. It would make their day.

Respect, and working together (not butting heads with each other) is a beautiful way for patients and practitioners to support each other to help bring your dream (a baby!) into reality, and I hope that these tips will help you better navigate the patient/Doctor relationship moving forward.

Robyn xx

How to be a better patient at your fertility clinic - new podcast episode - Fertility Warriors Podcast with Robyn Birkin


Listen here.