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Houston Fertility Journal

    Is It Ok to Get a Second Opinion When Picking a Fertility Specialist?

    February 23, 2017 / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

    Center of Reproductive Medicine


    It is natural to feel skeptical when it comes to your fertility treatment. You have already been putting a lot of effort into making a baby, and you want to make sure that any efforts you make moving forward are not in vain. So, seeking out a second medical opinion (SMO) after meeting with a fertility specialist makes complete sense. In fact, it is a very common thing to do.

    If you feel like you need reassurance about something, you should not hesitate to find it. In fact, healthcare providers also seek second opinions from their trusted colleagues when they are considering their patient’s cases. These are important decisions you are making, and you should give yourself all the reassurance that you need. Below we will discuss the obvious signs that indicate you should seek another opinion and how to go about doing just that.

    Signs That You Should Seek a Second Medical Opinion

    Below are some clear indicators that something may be off about a fertility specialist and the recommendation of treatment that they give you.

    • They give you one option without much consideration. If the specialist took a test and came back confidently stating you need in vitro fertilization without discussing other options, you have a right to be suspicious. A fertility specialist should always include that there are other possibilities and you could do more tests. You should never feel like you only have one choice.
    • They only tell you the positives. If your fertility specialist doesn’t consult you about the risks included in treatment then they are keeping information from you. Every treatment has it’s advantages and disadvantages and the communication between the two of you should be completely transparent. If you are not aware of all of the conditions that come with your decision, you aren’t being given the opportunity to make an informed choice.
    • They are offering their own unique procedure. This seems pretty sketchy. How is it that they are the only fertility specialist with the knowledge of this procedure? And if they aren’t, why are they the only one using it?
    • They suggest doing things the holistic way. Any person can go on the internet and find the recommended holistic approaches that are supposed to help you make a baby. That is why you are paying a fertility specialist, for their educated opinion.
    • They are only helping the most ideal candidates. If your fertility specialist has good numbers because they are only helping the most ideal candidates, this does not prove that they can provide you with the best treatment that is uniquely right for you.

    Questions to Ask Yourself

    Do you understand the treatment that you will be receiving? If you don’t, ask for more clarification. If you doctor isn’t available to give you answers, you may need to ask the fertility nurse or find someone else who can.

    Are you feeling nervous about the treatment? If you don’t feel right about it, say something. Your doctor should explain to you how and why this is the best way to move forward. It this doesn’t make you feel better, you should seek a second opinion.

    Have you been thinking about getting a second opinion, but haven’t yet? A lot of people are afraid of asking for a second opinion because they do not want to insult their fertility specialist. When it comes down to it, a good doctor will understand that you need to feel sure about these decisions. They should only have your best interest in mind.

    How to Go About It

    You can ask your primary care provider to suggest a SMO. It is not uncommon to seek a referral from them and they will know some people in the field that would be good to ask. The SMO should have as much, or greater, expertise as the first specialist has. Make sure to review and fully understand the conclusions and recommendations that the first specialist gave you before consulting with the SMO. Try to find out what documents you should bring, as doctors often want to review lab results, x-rays, and other medical records if you have them. Check to see if you need a handwritten referral before making your appointment.

    What’s Next

    It happens quite often that the SMO will agree with the first doctor’s opinion. If this doesn’t happen, the person providing the second opinion will tell you why their opinion differs and it will be up to you what decision to make next. A third opinion may be necessary. If you feel trust with the second doctor, you may want to stick with them. Trust your instincts and don’t make any decisions until you feel truly confident with your choice.

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    Topics: Reproductive Specialist

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