For anyone who’s on the “fertility train”, it can seem like there is only a way to get on and that there is no getting off it. Any couple that has faced infertility and gone through any treatment for it will know that the journey can be extremely frustrating, confusing and overwhelming to say the least. When the only all-consuming thought for you, is about having a baby, it’s not difficult to lose perspective of all other things that may be important too.
There are times when certain patients find me blunt in my approach, while others may feel I demand too much of them when I tell them to be well-informed and read up on the topic of IVF and specifically the treatment they will be undergoing. I tell them they shouldn’t be blindly taking medication and following their doctor’s instructions and that they should learn to question their doctors.
The Patient- Doctor Relationship
While most of my patients eventually do see the sense of my words, there are others who feel that I am not in-sync with their needs and feelings. This is not uncommon when it comes to a patient-doctor relationship and in many ways it is a very important aspect of the patient’s IVF journey. Making a decision to consult an IVF doctor requires a certain amount of courage; this is because, very simply, you are entrusting very personal goals of becoming a mother to a person who essentially doesn’t know you- your values, dreams and hopes.
Support on a Turbulent Journey
Of course, it’s important that a doctor be compassionate and warm and empathetic too; this is especially true when it comes to IVF treatment. Sometimes, IVF can be a long journey and it’s important for you to be sure that you are able to vibe well with your doctor. Here are a few attributes you should be looking for in your IVF doctor; it will help you ascertain whether he understands you:
• Value of Time- You may have been trying to conceive for several years before you set foot in an IVF clinic. Your fear may be that you have waited too long and you may feel defeated even before you start out on the treatment. After such a long wait, all you want is to get pregnant. Your IVF doctor should be able to schedule a consultation without delay, start out with the tests as soon as possible and tell you what options you have before you, without wasting too much time.
• Not one Who Says “Just Relax”- This is the last thing an infertile patient wants to hear. When you just don’t feel any closer to your goal of becoming a parent and you go through one month after the next disappointed with a negative pregnancy test, “relax” is the most difficult thing to do; and no matter who tells you to relax, it just stresses you even further. Your doctor should be able to give you a solid action plan and tell you to be good to yourself even as you struggle with your infertility.
• Recognizes that You Feel Social Pressure- When you’re attempting to get pregnant it seems like everyone you know is getting pregnant. Especially in India, it’s not uncommon for everyone from relatives to friends to pry and ask “So, when are you‘ll planning to have a baby?” Over time, this social pressure just builds up and your doctor should be able to empathize with you on this count.
• Gives No False Hopes – A good IVF doctor is one who will tell you to be realistic and who won’t give you any false hope. Keep in mind that though IVF is a very effective treatment for infertility, there are no guarantees and you should be wary of a doctor who tells you that with treatment at his clinic you will “definitely” have a baby.
• Gives You the Scope to Be You- IVF is nothing less than a rollercoaster ride and you will go through many challenging moments. There could be times when you need to scream, cry, challenge or sometimes, just go through the motions. Your doctor has to be able to understand that it may not always be possible for you to be positive, cheerful and optimistic; but he should be able and willing to support you through it all.
• Is easily Accessible- It’s true that IVF is not an emergency treatment, but a patient will, at one time or the other have doubts and qualms that will have to be addressed as soon as possible. Not all fears can be kept on the back burner till your next consultation. Though it wouldn’t be possible for a doctor to function efficiently if every patient would frantically dial his number when she had a teeny tiny doubt; it’s important that your doctor be accessible. Many a times, that is reassurance enough for a patient.
Your IVF doctor should understand that being a parent is important to you and that its part of your identity; the minute your doctor understands this, most other things fall in place. At our clinic we make sure that our entire team makes your experience a priority.
Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better!