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How to Advocate for Yourself During Treatment 

Fertility Articles, Fertility Blog, Katie's Journey

How to Advocate for Yourself During Fertility Treatment

In doctors we trust! But we also need to trust ourselves and not be afraid to speak up or bring something to the table. Your doctor is seeing dozens of patients every week and while they will take copious post-visit notes in your chart, they aren’t going to personally remember every little nuance or detail about you and your history off the top of their head. I wholeheartedly believe that I played a role in the success of my IUI because I advocated for myself.  

I had been through multiple cycles with my general OB before coming to my fertility doctor and during that time, I got to know my body better than I ever imagined I would. I paid close attention at each ultrasound as they were measuring everything. I developed a relationship with the ultrasound tech and asked her questions about what the measurements meant, what they were looking for and where they wanted me to be. I got educated about what I was going through by reading articles and journals about ovulation, infertility, fertility treatments, the roles each reproductive organ plays in creating life, etc. I began to notice a pattern with my cycle as I was being monitored which caused me to ask questions and do further research about how to counteract what was happening each month.  

By the time I got to my fertility doctor, I had a really strong understanding of my own body. I knew that the medication typically prescribed wasn’t right for me and that the alternative would be better for me. I knew that I had to be proactive in taking care of my body to get it ready to accept a pregnancy. Because I knew these things, and I had an understanding of what was going on at each ultrasound, I asked if it was okay for me to take certain supplements for a specific reason. I reminded my doctor that my body typically doesn’t get to where it needs to be on its own and brought up proactively what I thought should be added to my protocol.  

The best way to advocate for yourself is to get educated. The goal isn’t to undermine the doctor or feel like you know more than him/her. The goal is to get acquainted with your body, have a comprehensive understanding of what you’re going through, learn about different approaches or additional aids and be brave enough to speak up. Your doctor will decide if what you’re bringing to the table will be helpful or not but dare to ask.  

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