Maximizing Your Consultation with an IVF Specialist: Key Steps for Informed Fertility Treatment Decisions

Consulting with an IVF specialist is crucial when seeking fertility treatment, but many people are unsure how to make the most of such a consultation. To ensure you get the maximum value from your visit, it's important to prepare both before and after meeting with the doctor.

Firstly, identify your personal preferences and priorities so that you can have a well-informed discussion with the specialist. Being knowledgeable about your situation will earn their respect and lead to more productive conversations. Good doctors welcome questions from patients because they understand the importance of forming a partnership in this journey.

I know there are still some doctors who don't like it when patients ask questions, but these are bad doctors because a good doctor will encourage a patient's questions! They know they need to form a partnership with the patient to help them build their family, and because doctors aren't mind readers, we need input from patients.

During the consultation, please take notes as it's common for patients to experience "brain freeze" and forget their concerns. Afterward, review these notes and seek answers to any remaining questions. This preparation and follow-up process will help you better understand your options while fostering a strong relationship with your IVF specialist.

Don't try to make decisions during the consultation, and please don't let the doctor precipitate you into taking any action during this visit! The fact of the matter is that infertility treatment is always elective, and you need to give yourself time to process the information, so you can make a well-informed decision for yourself. The purpose of a consultation is first to understand what your medical treatment options are and to think about these. The right way to do this is to get a second opinion if you want and also to verify the information the doctor has told you. You can use the information on to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your choices and that the doctor has been transparent open, and honest with you! You should explore all your options, including nonmedical options ( such as adoption)! None of these are mutually exclusive, and you can process them in parallel, so you don’t waste precious time. After doing your homework, start listening to your heart, so you know what your personal preferences are. How much time, money and energy are you willing to devote to this pursuit of a baby? Only after doing all this groundwork should you think about making a decision. This may require a follow-up appointment with the doctor to clarify any remaining doubts. We encourage our patients to ask us questions by email, because the signal-to-noise ratio is much better, and there is much less scope for confusion because everything is in black and white. They can share the email with other family members, or with friends who are going through infertility treatment, so they can make sure they are on the right path. This can be very valuable in giving them peace of mind at the end of the day, that they have taken the right treatment at the best possible clinic!

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.