Evaluating Your Fertility: When to Seek a Second Opinion?

So you can't conceive and have read our articles, listened to our pod casts and engaged in public forums with us. This is all good and the first step in creating an understanding for the need to explore expert assistance.

At some point in your fertility journey, you might take a step back to evaluate your protocol and ways to increase your chances of having a baby sooner than later.

For starters, do you know what's affecting your fertility? How do your lifestyle habits impact your ability to conceive? What is preventing you from pursuing treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertlization (IVF)? When should you see a fertility doctor for a second opinion in order to proactively treat your fertility?

Is this your 3rd cycle or more on the same fertility protocol?

Yes: Most fertility experts will advise that if you havenít seen success in 3 cycles, itís time to move on and explore what's affecting your fertility. At BUMP® we may suggest to try working with your doctor to tweak your medication levels or add in acupuncture if it is recommended by your fertility doctor.

No: It can take up to 3 cycles to see success with a particular fertility treatment, but donít waste time on a treatment that isnít working for you. Time is of the essence when it comes to fertility!

Are you choosing this fertility treatment for financial reasons?

Yes: Try reviewing the reasons behind what's affecting your fertility. Investing in multiple rounds of fertility treatment may be expenses you do not need to incur if your body is baby ready. Review your health insurance. Make sure you are clear on what is covered for fertility preparation services. It doesnít hurt to call the insurance company, either. In some cases, preparing before each treatment for 3 months and moving to a higher tech treatment like IVF can be less expensive in the long run versus multiple IUI cycles.

No: If finances arenít the reason youíve been hung up on a particular fertility treatment, ask yourself what is the reason. Is it fear of the unknown? Comfort? Feeling like youíre advancing through treatments too quickly? Remember, the goal of fertility treatment is to get you the baby youíve been longing for. You shouldnít do anything that is against your personal morals, but sometimes a fresh start is exactly what you need.

Do you understand your fertility doctorís plans for your next cycle?

Yes: Good. It is important to advocate for your own health, especially when it comes to making a baby. Donít be afraid to ask questions and make phone calls. Do you know what's affecting your fertility? Have you worked on improving your health? If not, it's time to consider this path first.

No: Call your fertility doctor and ask for clarification. In many cases, your doctor wants you to be a part of the fertility treatment team. They will help you to understand the protocol and you should voice your concerns, if any. If your doctor isnít available to answer your questions before your next cycle, ask your fertility nurse. They are there to help.

Are you at ease with your treatment? Are you afraid to speak up?

Yes: If something doesnít sound right to you, question it. Your doctor will explain why they have chosen a specific fertility treatment protocol. If youíre still not satisfied after getting clarification, it may be time for a second opinion.

No: Sounds like youíre one of the fertility treatment team. Great job! If at any time you do feel uneasy about the fertility treatment plan, speak up. Itís the best thing you can do for yourself and your future baby!

Have you been considering a second opinion but not done it?

Yes: Surprisingly, fertility patients report the reason they haven't sought out a second opinion as fear of insulting their fertility doctor. The truth is, your doctor knows just as well as you do that a good fit is important. If you aren't getting a good vibe, remember this is a professional relationship and your care is dependent upon it. Don't look at it as "breaking up" with your fertility doctor- they have your best interests in mind and often take your feedback to improve their practice. It is a step in the right direction for treating your fertility.

No: Should you consider a second opinion? Take all of the above factors into consideration to ensure you are comfortable with your fertility treatment. Start this year fresh and confident that you WILL reach your goal of having a baby!