This morning I started looking up some infertility information (I was researching for a loved one), and I came across this site. Reading Dr. Sher’s message, I was reminded me how lucky I was to find the amazing RE and the team who helped create Bean.
You see, there is a secret that no one tells you when you first start down the assisted reproduction path, and that is that not all REs are created equal. Some are brilliant, some kind but lousy, some are up on the latest information and technologies, while others prefer to rest on their laurels, and some are just pretentious bastards. Some are caring and sympathetic, others are cold and callous, some offer options and advice, while others can’t be bothered with explanations or questions, and to be honest…your RE may be an expert in 10 different types of infertility diagnoses, but if they aren’t an expert in yours, you may want to find yourself a new doctor.
My own doctor was the second RE I saw, and I met with him mainly to get a second opinion after a slightly traumatic first RE interaction (which you can read more about here and here, on my old blog). Disregarding for a moment the terribleness of this particular doctor’s manner or that of her evil nurse, I would also like to point out that she was also quite wrong. She was an expert in recurrent miscarriages, implantation failure and immunological issues. I had never been pregnant, so she went with implantation failure and immunological issues.
My second RE (an expert in PCOS), basically threw all that out the window, explaining to me – in detail – why he felt both diagnoses were incorrect and not supported by my blood work. He really listened to me, he spent time with me, read over all of my medical history information before laying out multiple plan options for how he could help me, and – a small perk – he let me cry all over his desk.
When it came time to start our very expensive and very scary IVF treatment, I knew at least that I felt safe and confident in my doctor’s knowledge, experience in treating women with PCOS, and his success with PCOS and IVF. The protocol he selected was similar to the one Dr. Sher talks about in his followup section, and it was incredibly successful – yielding Bean, plus two high quality frosties.
Now, I know not every couple pursuing infertility treatments, lives within an easy distance of multiple infertility specialists, but if given a choice of caregivers I would beg you to consider carefully your options. I have heard too many sad stories of couples seeking help from medical professionals who just wasted their time and money; thousands of dollars drained on bills for procedures that didn’t work, couldn’t have worked, and yet were repeated two, three, even four times. Some of these tales have happy endings – usually because the couples sought help elsewhere and found someone fantastic – but that isn’t often the case.
So there you have it…the secret is out! Tell the reproductive endocrinologists of the world to tremble and shake in their surgical masks and latex gloves, and my best wishes to anyone out there reading this who may be struggling with infertility and looking for a doctor to help make their dreams come true.
Arm yourself in knowledge, be your own advocate, and don’t be afraid of a second, third or even fourth opinion.