Of late, a lot of my IFer friends – cyber, and IRL, are beginning to go with their gut on part of their treatments.

I have always been a very strong believer of believing in my gut. If I feel something is wrong, I believe the best thing is to find out if it is wrong. Specially with IF and other health related issues.

Nichole recently talked about taking the plunge and setting up an appointment with her doctor to see if she could possibly have the endo that she suspects she does.

Yesterday one of my friends IRL called and said she has decided she wants to request her RE for a laparoscopy because she is not convinced that “nothing is wrong”. She has been through several IUIs, 2 IVFs – all BFN. Her DH had varicocele surgery, and after that, her RE wanted them to do IUI for a few cycles before moving ahead with another IVF. My friend though has a feeling that the doctors are missing something. She plans to ask for a lap to see if her gut was right.

Another friend from one of the message boards did just that. She has had 4 losses, and with her pregnancies and losses, the doctors discovered that her tubes had got blocked. They recommended IVF to her. She did one IVF, got pregnant, and unfortunately lost that baby too. The RE said she could proceed with FET of her frozen embryos. Before that she decided to request a lap. Her RE did not think it would help, but she insisted. Guess what? They found stage 3 endometriosis, cysts, and endometrioma. They cleared all that up. They also managed to unblock both her tubes!!

Shelby recently is feeling let down by the NP at her clinic for handling her IUI cycle not as well as it could have been handled. She too says she will question and maybe cancel her next IUI if she feels her questions are not answered.

2 years ago, in Nov 2006, I remember re-grouping with my then RE. Our first IVF had failed in 2005, and to me, that was the end of the world. IVF was the mother of all treatments – how could it not work? And something about the “All your tests are fine, this is just pure bad luck that none of your treatment cycles are working out” reasoning that the doctors were giving us was not right. I “knew” there was something more, and beyond “Is there any other test we can do”, I did not know how to question the doctor’s judgment. During that regroup meeting, I did ask. I was furious from all my failures, and I wanted answers. DH was holding my hand under the table to calm me down, lest I get too aggressive with the RE. I finally asked the doctor “What if there is something in us on a more genetic level, and what if my eggs and his sperm are just making bad embryos?” He said “Well, there is one test, but nothing comes of it most of the time. Since you are insisting, let’s have you do this test.”

The test was a karyotype. A simple blood test – yes a little expensive, but in the grand scheme of things, considering how much we had spent by then, an additional $800 didn’t seem very large. DH’s result came back with a translocation. That RE all but dropped us like hot potatoes telling is to give up and go adopt.

I wonder today, if I had not asked that day, we may have not known what we know today. We would have continued with FET, maybe more IVFs with the same RE, not knowing how bad things could turn if I did get pregnant with a baby with an unbalanced translocation!

There are way too many patients (of IF and otherwise) who “feel” something is not right, but they don’t ask their doctors. All of us have the hesitation that stems from the feeling that the doctor is the medical professional, and he will know what is right and what is not. How can we, as patients, question a diagnosis or a treatment plan?

The thing is, we know our bodies so well. Specially us IFers. We are so in tune with every twinge in the body that we sometimes feel and know things that doctors cannot see. We have to step up and help our doctors diagnose and treat us well.

When in doubt, ask. When you feel you have been given too little medication, or too much, or when you feel you have a nagging feeling about something – ask. In the worst-case scenario, you will be wrong. That may not be that bad a scenario after all, right?

The author of “How Doctors Think” also says this in his book. He says we should help our medical professionals chart our treatment plans. Sometimes we may unwittingly hold back information, which, while seemingly unrelated, may change the entire treatment perspective!

So speak up my friends. Speak up if you think something is being overlooked, or if your gut tells you something isn't right.

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