Many patients experience a wide range of emotions prior to their first visit with an infertility doctor. These emotions can range from frustration to fear to excitement. Having cared for countless couples with infertility, I have collected the top 5 patient fears patients have when seeing an infertility doctor for the first time.
When my wife and I made our first appointment with our infertility doctor, we experienced all sorts of emotions. We felt everything: from frustration to fear to excitement. We were feeling frustrated because we couldn’t get pregnant on our own. We were feeling excited that we finally made the first step towards parenthood through an appointment with an infertility doctor. We were also fearful of what the infertility doctor might say or discover.
Having helped thousands of women overcome the seemingly impossible odds of infertility, I have encountered many fears that my patients have expressed to me during their treatment. I present the top 5 fears that many patients experience before seeing an infertility doctor for the first time:
- Patients fear that the infertility doctor will tell them that they are sterile and will never be able to have a baby. This is probably the worst fear for all new patients. Like my wife and I, patients worry that a fertility test will confirm their worst nightmares of never being able to conceive. Fortunately, the truth is that most patients are not sterile (sterile meaning there are no eggs left in the ovaries, leading to menopause and the inability to get pregnant). Most couples do still have the ability to conceive. They just have difficulty getting pregnant and need a little assistance with infertility treatments.
- Patients fear that the costs of infertility treatments are very high. All patients think that infertility treatments are more expensive than they really are. Many of the patients are surprised to hear that the costs for their care are more affordable than initially imagined. Fortunately, Dallas IVF offers the Attain IVF Refund and Multi-cycle Programs that help alleviate some of the financial burdens from IVF treatments.
- Patients fear multiple gestations. The reality is that the chance of becoming pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, or more) does not increase by very much. Depending upon the type of infertility treatment used and the age of the patient, the odds of multiple gestations are relatively low.
- Patients fear that the infertility specialist will be a scary or negative experience. Much like going to the cancer doctor and fearing a bad diagnosis that “something is wrong,” patients also develop anxiety and fear before they visit the infertility doctor. The reality is that infertility doctors are compassionate, hard working, and optimistic people. Having suffered from infertility, I know firsthand the pain of infertility. I use this experience of infertility as a never-ending source of energy to work hard for my patients so that they will be able to achieve their dreams of parenthood!
- Patients fear they would be mistaken if they made an appointment directly with a fertility specialist. Patients think that they need a referral to see an infertility specialist. The reality is that you do not need a referral and can make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) at any time. Many infertility specialists can even see you that same day!
Hopefully, this discussion will help to reduce any fears that one may develop before visiting an infertility doctor. Some infertility doctors, like myself, have even suffered infertility ourselves. I know I work harder to help my patients get pregnant because of the struggles I experienced with infertility. Remember, we are on your team and are here to help you achieve the dream of parenthood.
Source: My amazing and strong patients! You have always been and always will be my inspiration to continue to work hard to help you grow your families!
Dr. Lowell T. Ku, M.D. is an award winning and leading Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist at Dallas IVF, one the nation’s premiere infertility centers. Doctor Ku clarifies the many confusing terms used in the world of Infertility using straightforward explanations.