How many times have you sat and replayed your day, week, or even the last few years in your head? You say to yourself things like, “I shouldn’t have said that,” “I shouldn’t have done that,” and “I definitely shouldn’t have gone there.” Trust us, we get it (because we do it too!) But unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you can’t turn back the clock. This includes your reproductive clock (as well as your reproductive treatment to date). You can’t recreate eggs, IVF cycles, or treatment outcomes. However, what you can do is change your future—and we are here to get you started and tell you how.
Second opinions are essential in medicine. No matter whether we are talking about a major operation or the blood pressure medication your primary care doc recommended, you have to be certain that you are comfortable, both with the physician providing the care AND the care that they are providing. And while you may be on board with the former, you may not agree with the latter. Don’t settle for second best just because the office is near your house, you don’t want to go through the trouble of retrieving your medical records, or all of your friends said “this doc is the best.” You owe it to yourself to hear what another professional who specializes in the field has to say. While support groups (both in person and online) are excellent resources (many experienced patients could almost be doctors themselves!), you should give major thought to seeking out an official second opinion.
We are going to let you in on a little secret… patients are not the only people who seek out other opinions and question their care. We do too! While this may come as a surprise to many of you, doctors don’t always have all the answers. We talk—A LOT! Many of us engage in weekly educational seminars, including conferences, journal clubs, and treatment planning meetings, to discuss our patients and how to provide them with the best care. We go through the literature and review the most recent studies to determine the optimum methods of treatment. Most of us are not afraid to ask for help or advice from our colleagues. Most of us recognize our limitations and welcome the perspectives and knowledge of our peers. Take it from me, we understand that we are human and only as good as the other players on the field.
Your health and care is your business. Don’t be afraid of offending your doctor or the friend who sent you there by switching practices. What works for one person may not work for another. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek out other opinions (no, this will not annoy anyone!). Always be sure to transfer your medical records (they are your holy grail) and don’t be afraid of what someone thinks of you when you go elsewhere for another opinion. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself. Do what you need to do to feel like you gave it your best shot—you don’t know how many chances you will have and you want to feel like you gave it your all!