So every month we have a series on doing IVF… Its a simple guide to what we see and do every day and hopefully help you on your own IVF Journey. One of my wonderful patients last week put me under pressure to get this out by friday. So this… Is for you… 🙂 So this week Im going to talk about ‘MY IVF – The Diagnosis’
Its hard to believe what your being told by your fertility doctor, ‘Im recommending you do IVF’ ‘Did I just hear the word IVF’, hold on a second dude, I’m here for you to give me a diagnosis, where the hell did ‘IVF’ come from… Seriously Im only 38…. I’m in my prime, we’re just married and now your telling me I’m one of those people…… Heart rate increases, there’s a tightness in the chest…. Hubby goes pale and looks at me where i can see in his eyes of ‘FUCK…‘
And now it begins…. The doubts, the fear and the anger…
Every day, couples are sitting in waiting rooms, staring at walls, floors, their phones, looking at anything that doesnt allow then to see the other couples in the waiting rooms, where the waiting feels like forever for that initial consultation.
Yesterday was one of those days where I was listening to a Podcast with Tony Robins the motivator guy, yes I know, how 90’s of me…. But podcasting is back in vogue… Believe it or not… did you know that there are over 21 million hours a day now listened to in podcasts…. Insane.
So, Tony mentions two very interesting things…the ‘2mm effect….’ and the ‘The Structure of your Language.’ which I found VERYYYYYY interesting…..
‘The Dog bit Jonny’ AND ‘Jonny bit the Dog’ – Take a second…
Wait, and look at them again…. And tell me one interesting thing about the two sentences… Well.. of course its the use of the same four words. The four words are the same, but the structure makes them have very different meanings. And this to me struck a cord.. Its very similar to our fertility lives, its not the words we use in our thoughts or what we say, its how we structure those words. And this is how we will completely change how we approach our infertility. Will it make you stronger or will it DESTROY YOU. So the next time your talking to yourself about you fertility and the journey your on. What are you saying to yourself… Does Jonny bite the dog… OR does the dog bite Jonny…..
One thing I haven’t figured out is why ivf fertility clinics have such fear associated with them. Maybe its the Fear of the unknown, definitely the fear if I’m seen there, and absolutely the fear of failure.
Of course… no one goes in their happy about the idea of attending an ivf clinic… But I can promise you one thing… A lot of people come out happy, pregnant, and complete… Its intimidating, doctors scare the crap out of us at the best of times… Now bring in the question of your fertility…. Then theres the whole new language of fertility we have to learn…. Where most Fertility doctors speak a very alien language, from FSH, AMH ,IUI, IVF, ICSI, IMSI, and that’s just the first consultation….
So what do u do… When instincts say to you… Run….. Run like a bat out of hell…. And don’t look back. Its really unfortunate that 99% of us can’t do that… We want a baby… And these people sitting in front of us have the solution. Whether we like it or not……
Take a deep breath….
I always tell my patients before they attend a clinic the night before to write down 10 questions…. Breaking them into the ‘what if’ scenario…
What if the fertility doctors says.
– go away for 6 months and give me a call then if your not pregnant
– we need to do some more tests here
– let’s do a few scan and see what were dealing with.
– the sperm analysis is a little poor but we can work with it.
– I think we will start with an IUI
– we need to go straight to IVF
– you need to do donor egg.
There is a 90% chance your going to get one of these responses from your fertility doctor. So what information will you need to get from the doctor before you leave. So many times people get overwhelmed and intimidated by their doctor and leave completely confused…. Actually if you like download our ESSENTIALS PAGE for you initial consult… It will give you somewhere to start. And don’t be afraid to bring it with you on the day….
When you arrive at the clinic its going to be either a quick and easy ‘in and out’.. or a seriously frustrating longggggg wait in reception…. So bring something to read or listen to.. You don’t need to suffer the 2-3 hours of a wait.,.. Which can happen if your doc gets called out on an emergency to their other real day job…. In the local hospital..
In my experience the support team and nursing staff are always amazing so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you might have before the meeting. The really truly appreciate and understand what your going through…
So back to our meeting with your IVF Consultant.
You are going to be nervous…. This is normal. Your not going to completely understand what they are talking about. Its very overwhelming being in front of your IVF doctor. They are holding you future in their hands. So take a deep breadth. And stay strong. Before you go in, have your 10 questions in front of you. At each phase of the conversation here, prepare to stop the consultant and ask them to explain in further detail anything that you are confused by… Your not going to look stupid. As I mentioned before this is all new to you. So take your time with them. They may be in a rush, your not.
The most important thing is to understand the diagnosis…. You will hear the word ‘Normal’ a lot,which is great. Its very important to always make sure you get the numbers and the ranges for your bloods.
For example, with male sperm analysis. I constantly hear the words normal, or the results are a little low. Or the numbers are not great but we can work with them. You will be fine.
Get the numbers…. The reason, well, so many times patients come into me with unexplained infertility. And when you ask about certain numbers, patients will say, yes, the doctor mentioned the numbers were a little low, or the number were a little high, or the ovaries and uterus were a little smaller than normal. The question here is how small or how low. Get and understand the numbers….
Its very common for the clinic to do a scan to check everything out. This will check the ovaries and uterus, where they are looking out for things like cysts, endometriosis and any reasons as to why you may not be getting pregnant. Take your time when these scans are being explained to you. Again… Ask questions… remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question only a stupid answer. So…. Ask Ask Ask……
Once the doctor has all the information they are going to put a plan together for you and your partner.. And this is where we are going to start, this is where we are going to take a BIG bit out of fertility and not the other way around with fertility biting us…..
So my top 10 things to understand and do before you meet your doc are….
– Get there a little early, find parking, go for a little walk before your meeting, clear your head.
– You could be waiting for a few hours, so bring your iPod, or a book to read, theres nothing worse than keeping hour head down and twirling your fingers.
– Bring your partner, sounds obvious, but if your the only person sitting there for your first consult without a partner, well, its weird….
– Write out your 10 questions before the consult. And remember there are no silly questions just stupid answers from your doc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
– The nursing teams are amazing and very understanding, agin, if you have any questions… Thats why they are there.
– This is just the first step of many. So try to not over worry or over think this. You will have many many more meeting and consults here with the clinic.
– Your not on your own, you are not broken. This is fixable. Stay strong, stay focused and be 100% determined. You will get there. This is too important..
– Understand no one will get what your going through, how could they, and maybe you might unwittingly bump into some one in the clinic who was the last person in the planet you thought you would see. Maybe, just maybe…. She gets it too…
– Get my free download of hypnosis programs from the website, they are free, they are good and they will help you through each portion of your cycle.
– And finally the most important thing to realise and acknowledge, its really OK, its really ok to ask for help. You don’t have to do this on your own.