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How to Choose a Fertility Clinic or Doctor That’s Right for You

a blog by Maya Moskin, July 2, 2014

I’ve been dealing with infertility for several years now, and I’ve stayed with the same doctor. I chose my doctor because he came recommended by my cousin, who happens to be his anesthesiologist. Though I sought a second opinion at one point during our treatment, (which I think is always an important thing to do) I opted to stay with my doctor through IVF and IVF with eggs donated by my sister. But it isn’t until now, as I’m preparing for an embryo donation at a clinic in another state, that I understand why I like my doctor so much (even though he has yet to get me pregnant).

In order to choose a doctor who will be a good fit for you, you really have to know the kind of patient you are. Do you like a super optimistic doc, or do you appreciate the facts, even when they’re grim? Do you want to be collaborative with your doctor or do you want to be told what to do? Do you need your hand held or would you rather just be in and out of the office? Do you ask a billion questions or are you able to trust the process and go with the flow? These are things to consider when choosing who will be the doctor to help you, hopefully, bring your child into the world. It’s also someone who could potentially be with you for years, so at the very least you’ll need to be able to communicate with them effectively.

I am a super needy patient. I want to know what’s going on and why. I want to know the worst case scenario before being hopeful is even an option. I want a doctor who can break it all down for me without getting too annoyed by my anxiety. It’s important my doctor be available when I need questions answered, even if those questions come at 10pm when my husband can’t get the entire contents of a progesterone shot into my butt cheek. I need a doctor who is confident and authoritative, but also willing to hear me out. That’s why I chose a doctor who has a boutique practice. He is the sole doctor and never hesitated to give me his cell phone number and email. He answers immediately and only sometimes seems annoyed. He is very straight to the point, and tells me things, even when I don’t want to hear them. He isn’t cheery and he doesn’t sugar coat. I’m fine with that.

I really began to appreciate him now that I have been dealing with a very large clinic in another state. My husband and I have decided to pursue embryo adoption, and the embryo we have selected happens to be at this specific clinic, so we have no choice. While they are very reputable, and everyone we have dealt with has been very nice, I feel like a number. I am assigned a nurse who rarely calls or emails me back until five minutes before the clinic closes, and my questions (which really are never very pressing) are often left lingering overnight. This clinic is much more laid back and nonchalant. When I asked if I should add more of a specific medication, the nurse said, “sure,” as if I’d just asked if she wanted more sprinkles on her ice cream sundae. Though I am fully aware that many of the protocols used are far from an exact science, the word “sure” just doesn’t sit well with me. The doctor will not give out her email and will never get on the phone unless it’s a scheduled call. This clinic has boundaries. But I’ve been assured there is always a doctor available if need be. If I were a more laid back person, this clinic would probably work for me just fine. But I’m not, so needless to say I’m a bit stressed out preparing for this frozen transfer.

The type and size of clinic and the personality and style of your doctor can make a big difference in your overall experience. Dealing with infertility is stressful enough, so finding a medical team who is a good fit is imperative to keeping sane.


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