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Infertility Is … A Journey Best Taken in Small Steps

a blog by Catherine Arizan, April 26, 2013

Beginning treatment for infertility can let loose a dam of information and emotions, all of which can be overwhelming and difficult to organize, let alone process. A word of advice from medical professionals: take it one step at a time.

  1. Do your research.

    Before deciding what reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) to see, study the Society for Reproductive Assisted Technologies’ clinic-specific IVF success rates, organized by state on their website. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, read each clinic’s website carefully – learn about their doctors, understand their processes, and explore their financial cost. Use a search engine to find information about the clinics you’re considering and read about others’ experiences! Once you’ve decided on a clinic, research your pharmacy options as meticulously – although the medications themselves don’t differ from pharmacy to pharmacy, the educational resources, customer service, and pricing for certain medications do. For example: many specialty fertility pharmacies participate in drug manufacturer-sponsored discount plans, which could save you a hefty amount of money if your prescription insurance doesn’t cover your medications.

  2. Write it down. All of it.

    From your research to your appointments to your drug protocol to your emotions, you’ll feel more confident moving forward if you’ve written everything down. If you start second-guessing yourself about the timing of an injection, you can reassure yourself by glancing at your calendar, and writing about the way you feel in a journal or on a blog can help release some of your anxiety. Several services and products exist to help you manage the schedule of your cycle, but a plain old diary and calendar work just as well.

  3. Focus on one thing at a time.

    If you start thinking about your egg retrieval before you’ve even taken your medication protocol, you’re bound to wind up in a tizzy of trying to keep everything straight. This is where Step 2 comes in handy – if you’ve written everything down, you can simply break each step down day by day and dedicate yourself to making sure that you’re doing everything that you need to do on that particular day. Are you starting your drug protocol with Leuprolide? Then focus on Leuprolide that day. Consult your written drug protocol to make sure you are using the correct needles and syringes and that you’re taking the medication at the right time of day. Watch a video medication injection lesson online if you’re feeling nervous – but don’t go jumping ahead to the next drug you’ll be taking! Focus on the task at hand and you’ll feel confident along each step of the way.

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