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When Is it Time to Move On? Five Signs That it’s Time to Find a New Fertility Doctor

a blog by Ebru Halper, May 21, 2013

It’s not easy finding a fertility doctor. Once you find one, who quickly give yourself to his/her capable hands and hope for the best. What happens when it’s been several unsuccessful cycles; you have watched your emotional and financial currency dwindle away? Well, that was the question posed to me recently. So here are five signs that it may be time to bid your fertility doctor farewell.

  1. The first and most alarming warning sign comes from looking at your past cycles with your doctor or clinic. You may have become a pro at injecting yourself with a plethora of medications, but if every cycle feels like groundhog day, then there’s something wrong. Your RE should look at each cycle as an opportunity to garner information about your body, your eggs and your embryos. Whether it’s tweaking the dosage or changing the timing of your trigger, look for a “lessons learned” checklist when you regroup with your doctor. A good doctor will take the time to go over every failed cycle with you (on the phone or in person) and make slight adjustments for the next one.

  2. When you go in for an initial consultation, you get to spend some time with your new doctor, who goes over your history, does a routine ultrasound and bloodwork. But if you haven’t seen your fertility doctor in quite some time, it’s important that you sound the alarms. While in most large clinics you will meet all of the doctors at various points of your cycles, it’s important that you get face-time with your actual doctor—the one who ultimately decides your protocols and makes important decisions. You want your doctor to take personal care of your case and if he/she is around, to check-in in person with you at every opportunity. No one wants to feel like a number.

  3. I strongly encourage everyone to make second-opinion appointments once you’ve had a few unsuccessful cycles with a clinic. While it may feel like cheating on your current doctor, I urge you not to think of it that way. It’s an opportunity for a fresh set of eyes to go over your case and past cycles. Every clinic and doctor has a different perspective on the options at hand. Some might suggest a dosage variation, others may offer up alternative treatments. You have nothing to lose and it can only benefit you to get a second opinion. And who knows, maybe switch over to someone who has some fresh ideas.

  4. I clearly remember sitting at one of my regroups with our then fertility doctor, where I was told that my eggs were mediocre and they were the reason for our failed cycles (well, early miscarriages). Don’t ever let a doctor scapegoat you for unsuccessful cycles. You wouldn’t be at that clinic if everything was working swimmingly. It’s time to move on if your doctor is making you feel even worse about yourself than you already do. What goes on in your body is not under your control and it is your doctor’s job to give you a sense of security. If your doctor’s bedside manners are not making you feel well taken care of, it’s time to move on.

  5. Lastly, there is the intangible reason: the one where you cannot bare to look at the generic painting staring at you in the exam room or the nurse’s voice who’s been leaving you the same disappointing messages month after month... Point is, sometimes, you just need a fresh-start somewhere else. I’m not suggesting you should leave your top notch clinic because you’re “bored” but perhaps either take a break (yes, you can take a break!) or switch to another reputable clinic.

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