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The Third Opinion — Because Two Wasn't Enough
a blog by Jay Pal, March 22, 2011
As depressing as the phrase sounds, I like have post-mortems after failures. They may seem like you are just harping on the negative, but really, you’re looking objectively at what could have been handled better, what went wrong, what went right and ways all this information informs your future actions. I think the key is to not judge the failure. It’s about learning from it.
Since I’ve now done two in vitro fertilizations (IVFs) and both have failed, I’ve clearly learned that the universe hates me and will not be satisfied until I’m broke, homeless and insane. Come to think of it — those three factors may be the perfect combination to getting pregnant, as the whole "I have a job with a steady income and insurance" doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere.
But I digress…
One of the things that came up in our post-mortem was that we should get yet another opinion. We’ve already seen two doctors regarding the state of our fertility (or lack thereof) and since the first two, as lovely as they were, don’t seem to have insight, we’re on the market for another doctor who’d like to check out private parts. Overall, my husband and I figured that talking to a third doctor would either give us some answers or confirm that we’re basically screwed (but in a bad way).
When I first started down the "Let’s get pregnant! It’ll be fun!" path, I never dreamed of getting a second opinion, let alone a third. However, after our first IVF with our first doctor, it became clear that we really should have considered it. Every time I think about how I didn’t get a second opinion before getting my first in vitro done, I could kick myself. Hard.
I trusted my first doctor, and really, I had no reason not to. He was a very nice man and I had been with him for years as my gynecologist. He also happens to be a fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist), so when my husband and I started having issues, it seemed only logical to stick to the person who already knows both me ... and my vagina.
It’s not that he did anything horrible as much as it was his methods were a bit antiquated. In addition, there were a few key decisions he made that in retrospect, were probably not the best. Also, if your insurance only covers one IVF your entire life (like mine did), it would behoove you (yes, I’m pulling out an S.A.T. word) to get another opinion before you blow your one-time coverage. I only learned the importance of this when I had no more insurance coverage and no baby at the end of IVF No. 1.
As for my current doctor, he’s done nothing I find even remotely suspicious or questionable. I also get along with him just fine. That doesn’t change the fact though that we just finished IVF No. 2, and I still have no baby to show for it. And what’s worse, there is no reason why the whole in vitro approach doesn’t seem to be working for us.
So what’s wrong with asking yet another doctor WTF? Learn from my initial mistake and stop being so nervous about “stepping out” on your reproductive endocrinologist. Ladies, it’s OUR uterus! We can shop it around and show it off to whomever wants to look at it! (Just make sure you keep up with your bikini waxes. That’s all I’m saying.)
The reality is that although I don’t blame either of my first two doctors, before I spend approximately $15,000 on something that hasn’t been successful so far, I think getting yet another pair of fresh eyes in on the issue can’t hurt. In matters of finances and fertility, you can never have too many opinions. The stakes are rather high. and they need to be treated as such. I trust myself to collect these opinions, suggestions, thoughts, etc., (as well as a few free hospital gowns and rubber gloves along the way) and sort them out with my husband. In the end, we can decide who we like, who we feel comfortable with and which doctor we think can get us knocked up once and for all.
So, we’re off to see Doctor No. 3. It’s kind of fitting as this will be my third IVF. Here’s hoping the third time really IS the charm! Stay tuned…