IVF: Finding the Right Specialist

When we first got started with infertility specialists, we had only been trying for six months to get pregnant.   Typically, doctors ask that you try for at least one year if you’re under the age of 35 before seeking fertility support because it’s normal for it to take that long for any healthy couple without infertility struggles to fall pregnant.

So why did we go early?  Something just didn’t seem right to us.

And to be honest.  We were ready for kids.  Now.

We knew that by the time we sought advice from first my OBGYN, and then got a referral and appointment with a reproductive specialist, AND got through diagnostic testing, we would be around the one year mark before we would be looking into treatment plans.

So, that’s just the route we took.

You can read about our diagnostic testing and results in another post, but I would really like to talk for a minute about finding the right team of professionals for your infertility journey.

After all,  this is an emotionally and physically trying time, and you want to have someone who will be sensitive and attuned to your needs.

And let me tell you… we did NOT like the first fertility clinic, or my original OBGYN.  What a disaster that would have been to move forward with that team.

But can I also tell you, we fell in love with our current team of professionals and it has made the journey much more enjoyable, hopeful, and easier to get through.

Infertility - Finding A Specialist - Finding the Right Specialist 2

I had first made an appointment with my OBGYN to discuss my speculation of endometriosis and see what she recommended as far as further testing and treatment options for getting pregnant.  She didn’t have anything to say about the endometriosis, but she did promptly give us a referral for a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), and a referral to a urologist for my husband.

We went our rounds with diagnostic testing through both specialists.  Hubby went in for his appointments with the urologist, I had my diagnostic testing done, and we had a consultation with the reproductive endocrinologist to discuss our options.

Though this was the now third doctor I had spoken to about my suspicion of endometriosis, he was also the third doctor to assure me it wasn’t something I needed to worry about, though I exhibited typical symptoms for endometriosis and there was a family history of it.  He did not find any fertility obstacles with me, and basically said our only option was to move forward with IVF, which was well over $20,000 at his clinic.  You can read more about our diagnosis here. 

Infertility - Diagnostic Testing - Our Infertility Testing Diagnosis and What We Did About It

These are just a few of the reasons we chose not to move forward with this reproductive endocrinologist or any treatments.  For one, we did NOT have that kind of money and didn’t want to go into debt at the time for any treatment.  Our insurance covers diagnostic testing for infertility, but does not infertility treatment, and we don’t have any mandatory fertility treatment coverage in Arizona.  Deep down, we also did not trust the diagnosis of this specialist and could not comfortably move forward with their office.

We weren’t particularly fond of the reproductive specialist at this office.  He was difficult to understand and wasn’t very personable.  This made it difficult to ask questions and get a clear understanding of our treatment options.  We didn’t feel a connection to him, and it didn’t feel right in our guts.  And quite frankly, the nurses and staff at this office were rude and difficult to deal with.  We did not want this to be our experience to becoming parents.

Where did we go from here?

We found a new team of professionals who we felt could get on board with our dreams for our family in a way that made sense for us!  And this is something I believe every couple maneuvering through the infertility world should strive for.  You want a TEAM of people who will work alongside you to make your dreams possible!

Infertility - Finding A Specialist - Choosing a Fertility Team

Before it was all said and done, I switched my OBGYN because I found another doctor who I could actually see myself being comfortable with when I did get pregnant and needed to deliver a baby.  And go figure, this doctor listened to his patients and was open to exploring possible infertility obstacles and find a solution!  I LOVED that he was a doctor with a great deal of experience, who happened worked alongside multiple midwives in the office on a daily basis.  This gave me the peace of mind to have a doctor follow our pregnancy journey, but also have someone who wasn’t foreign to the idea of natural remedies and wellness options.

We also found an AMAZING reproductive endocrinologist team just 5 miles down the road from our last one, who also had his own urologist he highly recommended and referred patients to.  We got our second opinion and second round of diagnostic testing performed through them.  Though we did do some retesting with our new specialists, we were thankfully able to use the results from some previous diagnostic testing we had done as well to come up with a plan.  Curious about our diagnostic tests?  You can read about them here.

Here we were with a brand new team of people!

These three changes were the best decisions of our journey and made a difference for us and how we felt about our infertility journey.  We finally felt like there was hope and we had a team of people who were ready to work with us through this process.

Infertility - Preparing for Conception 3

Throughout this time was also when I found the natural options to help support fertility. With these new doctors on our fertility team, I brought up the possibility of me having endometriosis, AGAIN, based on my symptoms and my mother having had severe endometriosis and difficult getting pregnant.

Both the OBGYN and RE suspected endometriosis could be playing a huge part in our infertility struggles and decided to look further into that possibility.  My hubby’s new urologist changed his Clomid dosage, which actually improved his sperm.  And, he followed up very often enough give us the very best outcome, which was greatly appreciated. We later added natural supplements and essential oils which further increased sperm health.  We were on the road to success!

Based on the results of our second round of diagnostic testing, our new RE asked if we wanted to try a couple rounds of IUI, which was an inexpensive treatment, or move forward with further diagnostic testing.  Impatience got the better of us, mostly me, and we chose to try IUIs.  You can read about out IUI experiences here.

In the end, we needed to move forward with IVF.  The doctor also performed an outpatient hysteroscopy procedure on me and found that our infertility struggles, indeed, may have been more due to issues with me and now very little was because of my husband’s sperm.   Check out how my hysteroscopy procedure went HERE and find out why I would have done this SOONER!

None the less, I truly believe we would not have been able to successfully reach this point in our fertility journey had we stayed with the health care professionals we were initially working with.  They may have been just who another couple needed for their journey.  But, we knew we needed a different team surrounding us.

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It is very important to find the right doctors when entering into a fertility journey.  Whether there are multiple or limited clinic options in your area, I would recommend you still do a great amount of research on the doctors in your area and see what’s out there.  You want to find a doctor you feel comfortable with.

Remember, this is a trying and sensitive time in your parenting journey.  Emotions are high, and hormones might be all out of whack.  Between the stress and medications, your body will physically be in a foreign state which can take its tole.

You want someone who is wholeheartedly in this with you.

We did NOT like the first fertility clinic, or my original OBGYN, but fell in love with our current team of professionals and it has made the journey much more enjoyable, hopeful, and easier to get through.  The front desk staff was always very sweet and made it a point to learn your name.  Now, obviously that becomes second nature when you enter the IVF stage and are going in for blood work and ultrasound nearly every day, but in the beginning when we were simply trying IUIs and just going in for consultations, the front desk staff learned our names within the first few visits, some of which were weeks apart.

The nurses were very nice to work with, helpful with answering questions and walking us through the next steps and what will be taking place.  They were great to deal with during appointments and made us feel very welcome.  Our doctor was also amazing to work with throughout the entire process.  He was great at explaining procedures and answering all questions, even the silly ones we felt stupid for asking.  He made us feel like we were part of the process and had a say in our treatment plan.  He didn’t at all make us feel uncomfortable.

We were blessed to find a doctor and staff who had incredible bedside manner, actually cared about our feelings and our family journey, who used updated technology and techniques, and had access to a greater network of resources and experience.  This is SO important to have better chances at success, and a great fertility experience, if there is such a thing!

Have you found the right specialists for you?  What has your infertility journey been like so far?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Want a fun way to document your infertility journey?  Check out our Infertility Journey Milestone cards you can print and use as photo props on your blog or to share your journey with friends and family on social media, or you can even print these and journal on the back for a special keepsake of all the special moments in your journey!


Infertility - Finding A Specialist


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