Choosing Your Fertility Doctor
A fertility doctor plays a very important role in our journey to getting pregnant. They are the ones who will be with us throughout our IVF journey.
How do we choose our fertility doctor for IVF? There are no hard and fast rules in choosing a doctor. At the end of the day, it boils down to what we need and want. We will list down several points to help you choose your fertility doctor:
A fertility doctor is generally an obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) specialist who has subspecialized in fertility and reproductive medicine. Almost all the doctors whom you would meet in fertility clinics would fit the criteria above.
Additionally, some would have completed the Certificate in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI) or other studies in special areas of interest. For example, an andrologist is a doctor who specializes in male reproductive health.
However, it would be important to take note, as certain doctors who are not well trained can claim to be fertility doctors or specialists.
2. Communication Style
Your doctor’s bedside manner is important. Every fertility doctor is human too, just like the rest of us. This means that they have their own specific way when it comes to communicating and suggesting solutions.
Most of the fertility doctors in Malaysia are genuinely great people. However, each one of them has their own distinct way of listening and talking. The same goes for us, all of us are comfortable with different communication styles.
For example, some of us may prefer doctors who can spend time explaining things in detail. While others may prefer doctors who go straight to the point.
Hence, it would be good to find a doctor who matches our style, to help us understand our condition and treatment options. Ultimately, you need to choose a doctor who is compassionate and understanding. The IVF process will be smoother and less stressful if you are comfortable with the doctor. Doing so will help us to make better informed decisions.
But the big question is, how do we know who to meet if we haven’t met any of the doctors in person? That’s where we at Fertility Space come in, to help connect you to the right fertility doctors.
3. Experience with IVF
A fertility doctor who has experience with IVF would be able to plan your IVF cycle better, based on his or her experience. He or she would also be able to improvise better when things do not go according to plan.
Again, there is no rule of thumb when it comes to a doctor’s experience with pregnancy success rates. For example, a doctor who has practised for 20 years would not necessarily have a higher pregnancy success rate compared to a doctor who has practised for 5 years. Also, doctors are people too. Some of them pick up real fast, and are able to help couples get pregnant from the moment they start practising.
However when starting IVF, we would generally advise to go to fertility doctors who have had at least a year of experience in the fertility field. Do speak to our fertility advisors if you need more information or recommendations.
4. Fertility Clinic
While a fertility doctor is important, the IVF process is not a one man show. It is the teamwork between the fertility specialist, the embryologists, nurses and even geneticists that help dictate the outcome. IVF is a procedure whose success rates are influenced largely by the laboratory and the laboratory team that operates behind the scenes too. Without the team of embryologists and geneticists, your little precious embryos may not develop as well as they should be. This reduces our chances of conceiving. Nurses also play an important role in ensuring you understand your medications and administer them accurately.
Hence it is vital to pick a fertility clinic with an advanced laboratory and IVF facilities, and a good team of doctors, nurses, embryologists and geneticists. Again, advanced facilities and services would usually mean slightly higher fees as well.
Other factors for assessing a fertility specialist
Here are some other things to consider before deciding on a fertility specialist:
- Pregnancy success rates
- Type of fertility treatments that are offered
- Support services that are available
- Doctor’s reputation
What questions should I ask a fertility specialist?
It is always wise to ask as many questions as you can before you start treatment so that you know what to expect in the IVF process. Here are a few questions that you can bring up with your doctor:
- What are my chances of getting pregnant with IVF?
- How many cycles of IVF I may need before I am likely to be successfully pregnant?
- Are there any changes in my lifestyle that I can make to increase the chances of having a baby with (or without) IVF?
- How will you let me know if you think I should stop IVF?
- What can I expect from the clinic if IVF fails? WIll there be any counselling services provided?
- Will there be any long term side effects?
- How many visits to the clinic will be required?
- What will be the estimated cost for IVF per cycle?
It ultimately boils down to what we want or need. There is no one size fits all choice when it comes to choosing a fertility doctor to embark our IVF journey with. When in doubt, do reach out to our Fertility Advisors to help you understand your options better.
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