After seven years, two doctors, and one precious baby, my husband and I were faced with the dilemma of trying a new clinic for baby number two.
Our second doctor had helped us to conceive our son after four years and multiple IUI and IVF procedures. We so were so grateful to him and wanted the good luck to continue that we stayed on with him after the 12-week mark since in addition to being an RE, he was also a practicing OBGYN. But when my son turned one, I was four months shy of my 39th birthday and based on what I read about aging and egg quality I knew I might not have another four years to conceive a second child.
So I began a brief but intense research project.
I looked online for couples who switched doctors even after a successful conception and pregnancy and found that it was not as uncommon as I thought. I spoke to my infertility sisters who had gone on to become parents and they all said that seeking out a second, or even third opinion wouldn’t hurt. Lastly, I heard of a new clinic that had opened up in my area that was boasting high success rates, especially in the category of women ages 35-39.
But I was reluctant.
This doctor was familiar. After four years with him, I knew what to expect at every turn. In addition, my ties to him were overwhelmingly sentimental. With his help, I had gotten pregnant and he had continued to take care of my son during my pregnancy and was the first person to touch him and hand him over to me after a long and grueling journey. But I knew that at 38 ½ years old my situation had changed. Things were also changing rapidly in the world of infertility medicine like with the transfer of Day 5 blastocysts, the use of endometrial biopsies before the transfer, and the addition of medications like blood thinners and corticosteroids to treatment regimens— all of which he had been hesitant to do.
So after some soul-searching and long discussions with my husband, I called a new clinic and made an appointment for a consultation. Right away, things were different. The doctor was friendly but brief and succinct in his answers and explanations. I discovered that the nurses did all the ultrasounds and he only did the procedures. He also ordered tests and procedures I had never heard of like the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) blood test and a sonohysterogram to check for uterine abnormalities. He also asked me to take supplements like CoQ10 and DHEA.
After the consultation, it was a whirlwind
There was an investigative cycle, a surgical procedure to remove previously undetected endometrial polyps, supplements, stimulation, retrieval, transfer and a positive pregnancy test. From start to finish, it took four months, and then after 39 weeks and 2 days, I delivered my second child, the day after turning 40.
I am thankful that I listened to my gut and made these changes. Can I say for certain that a clinic change was the reason things went much more smoothly and quickly the second time around? No, I can’t. There are so many variables when carrying out fertility treatments and certainly no guarantees. But I knew that staying for sentimental reasons was probably not the way to go when there was so much at stake.
For others, the reasons for seeking out a second opinion may be different. It could be the countless negative results, a lack of chemistry with a particular doctor, time constraints, distance, or financial reasons. Whatever it is, if a move feels right for you, then do it. It is your time, money, and happiness. It’s your life and hopefully the life of your future child.