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What to ask your doctor


Questions to Ask Your Fertility Doctor


·        Will I see the same doctor all the way through my treatment?
Some women find that seeing one doctor all the way through is preferable to having a different doctor each time, as it provides consistency and often means a patient does not have to explain the same things more than once.


·        Can we choose to see a female (or male) doctor?


·        What drugs and the exact dose of these drugs are you going to put me on and why? It is helpful to understand what drugs you are going to take, why the doctor is putting you on a particular dose and any other questions that may arise as a result.


·        What are the side-effects of these drugs? It is important to know how these drugs may effect you, so that you don’t worry if you start feeling some of the side-effects.


·        Will you give me a print out of the number of follicles I have produced each time I go for a scan? Some patients want the precise details, if you do, ask if they will be provided before you start the treatment. It is easy for most people who scan patients to press a button and print out the final screen which should show the size and number of each follicle in each ovary.


·        Will you tell me precisely how many follicles were aspirated from each ovary when I have my egg collection and what happened to each one of them? Some patients are not being told the exact details of what took place during their egg collection, which can cause a great deal of stress and sadness for them. Patients often want to be empowered by knowing exactly what is happening to their bodies all the way through their treatment and they are entitled to this information.


·        Will I be able to stay lying down for half an hour to an hour at the clinic straight after my egg transfer? Some doctors believe it is preferable to remain lying down for half an hour or more after the egg transfer.


·        If I phone up the clinic during my treatment, how long on average will it take me to get through to a receptionist? If I want to speak to a nurse, how long will it take for me to get to speak to a nurse? If I want to speak to a doctor how long will it take for me to get to speak to a doctor on average? It can be difficult to get through to the receptionist at some clinics as it is engaged for a long time and when you do get through the receptionist may say that all the nurses and doctors are busy. If the receptionist takes a message at some clinics, a nurse or doctor does not always call back and in some cases if they do call back it is a long time after you first made the phone call.


·        If I am booked in for an appointment, is it likely that I will be seen at that time? If not, how long on average am I likely to be kept waiting? Some doctors take on so many patients that they tend to be behind schedule most of the time. So if you arrive for an appointment at, for example, 10am, you may be kept waiting until 10.45am. In some cases, you may be told that the consultant you have booked an appointment with weeks before is “too busy” to see you and in this case you may be palmed off to another less experienced doctor who you have not heard of and know little about.


·        Exactly how much will I have to pay for the treatment as a whole and  precisely what this will and won’t include? For example, some patients want to see the same doctor all the way through your treatment, which often makes it simpler for the patient as they don’t have to keep going over the same things and it often makes a patient feel more comfortable. However, some clinics charge a patient to see the same doctor all the way through the treatment, but do not make this clear to the patient this is the case at the outset. They may suddenly add this cost to the bill at some point and when questioned answer that it is in the list of charges. However, when you look you cannot find it and when it is eventually pointed out to you it is hidden away in small text in a place that is not obvious. Charges can mount up very quickly. Some doctors include blood tests in the fees for a treatment cycle, others charge patients for each one which can increase the bill substantially.


·        What facilities does the clinic have to store eggs or embryos if I want to freeze them?


·        Does the clinic have access to donor eggs or embryos or donor sperm?


·        What is the clinic’s live birth rate for my particular age group? The live birth rate for each age group differs, so asking this question will give you more relevant information then simply asking for the overall live birth rate at the clinic.