Appointments at fertility clinics can be emotionally and physically exhausting. It is easy to become overwhelmed by complicated medical information while trying to navigate the stress and uncertainty of treatment. Here are a few ways you can advocate for yourself during your fertility appointments and treatment.
Keep complete records of all your appointments, test results, medications, and procedures. Organise them in one file by date, category and clinic/doctor.
Do your own research
Learn as much about your diagnosis and treatment options as you can. Learn how to read your test results and ask questions until you understand what they mean. You might need to request tests if you think they will help.
Find a support community
Join support groups or online communities to connect with and learn from people who are experiencing similar things or have been going through it longer.
Bring a list of questions with you to your appointments and go through them with your doctor. Don’t let them rush you or ignore your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to slow down or repeat information.
Fertility treatments are often trial and error, and clinics often follow a standardised protocol that may not be right for you. Ask your doctor why they have chosen the treatment for you and your specific issues. Keep asking until you are satisfied with the explanation.
Record your appointments
There’s often a lot of information to absorb and it can be difficult to remember exactly what your doctor has said. Having a recording of your appointment to listen back to can be very helpful in understanding your treatment. If your doctor asks you not to record, take detailed notes instead.
Trust your intuition
If you feel something isn’t right, don’t let your doctor dismiss your concerns. You deserve to be listened to, and it’s ok to change doctors or get a second opinion if that’s not happening.
It’s OK to take a step back
Know when to take breaks or stop treatment. Fertility treatment is hard and can be all consuming. You can resume treatment if and when you feel better.