You have started visiting with a fertility clinic and maybe even started treatment. Yet, something just doesn’t seem to be right. You initially may have had a good feeling about this doctor, but something has changed and you feel too guilty to back out and begin looking for other options to truly suit your needs.
The important thing to remember is that this is not about the doctor’s feelings, and a good doctor will not be offended if you decide that it is time to make a change. They may encourage you to give your treatment a bit more time, but if something in your gut is telling you that it’s time to go, then there probably is a reason.
Still, it is understandable if you are concerned that your impatience may be getting the best of you. When deciding if it is time to make a change, it is always helpful to consider the positives and negatives of your situation. Let’s take a look at what an ideal fertility clinic should be providing you, and when it probably is a good time to start researching other options.
Knowing You Are Getting The Quality You Deserve
A good fertility clinic isn’t solely defined by its’ promising success rates. There are a number of different factors that contribute to those numbers. Just because some people may have had a good experience doesn’t always mean that you will feel the same way.
There are certain priorities a fertility clinic should have in order to ensure your needs are being met, such as:
- Patient Satisfaction: A clinic’s ultimate priority should be the satisfaction of the patient. It may happen that the doctor believes they are giving the right advice, however, if the patient wishes to go another way, it is important that they feel heard and taken care of. A clinic should welcome feedback and be ready to offer alternatives if you are unhappy with your experience.
- Communication: You should always feel that communication is wide open and easy between you and your doctor. Your fertility treatment is something you do not want to feel insecure about. Keeping you up to date and making sure you are always on the same page is the best way a health care provider can help with that.
- Quality Control: A clinic should always be paying close attention to their procedures and making sure standards, policies, and protocols are maintained. Knowing that your clinic is concerned about the quality of your experience is key to providing a safe and focused environment.
- Providing Options: Even if you have already made your decision for treatment, a good doctor should always make you aware of all of your options. There may be a new type of testing that you didn’t know about, and they should never assume that you have done all of the necessary research in order to know what is best for you.
- Laboratory Methods: The quality of the equipment used in the lab is essential when it comes to ensuring that you receive the treatment you deserve. A lab should always have well-maintained, up-to-date equipment. Cleanliness of staff and equipment should be immaculate, and safety procedures clearly defined.
- Staff Training: It should be evident that all staff members are well-trained. Their skills and training should be documented through clearly posted diplomas, certifications and/or such information being provided in brochures and on websites. Staff should continually update their knowledge by attending conferences as new research is developed.
Making The Decision to Move On
It is not abnormal for people to decide to switch fertility clinics. Often they will do so if they begin to feel:
- Like “just another number” at their clinic: If you are not getting enough one on one time with your doctor it is understandable that you may begin to feel that you aren’t getting the attention you require.
- Another clinic has more options: Some clinics do not offer quite as large of a variety of treatment options and you may decide you want to try something different.
- The amount of traveling you are doing isn’t worth it: You may have chosen a clinic you have to travel quite a ways for because of their stellar success rates, but find that there is one closer to you that you hadn’t heard of before. Having your clinic near you can eliminate a great deal of stress and unnecessary costs.
- It is simply time to move on: There is nothing wrong with this and is completely up to your discretion.
Doing What is Right For You
The overall culture and organization of your fertility clinic can make a huge difference in your experience. You should feel welcome, well taken care of, and truly heard by your doctor and the rest of the employees you come into contact with.
If you feel you are not getting that where you currently are, you have every right to make a change. If you are ready to move on and try a new clinic, don’t worry, make the decision that feels right for you. Remember that your medical records are your property and your new physician and staff should be able to help you transfer any of your materials from your previous clinic.
Changing doctors is not personal, it is about advocating for yourself. Take your time, make your decisions wisely, and remember -- you have the right to work with any clinic or doctor that you feel is best for you.