Most of us grew up believing we could, and should, trust our doctors implicitly. We followed what we were told with blind faith, because, after-all – these people had degrees, and experience, and a medical understanding that we could never possibly compete with.
As adults, that blind faith often continues for many, particularly when there are no major health issues to combat. For men and women who have had to fight for the chance to conceive, however, some of that implicit trust we once held for the medical community begins to fade. We no longer imbue super-hero powers upon the doctors in charge of our care. Instead, particularly after months of failures, we begin to question whether they even know how to treat us at all.
The truth is, most doctors are fighting for you to the absolute best of their ability. They are invested in your case, and in helping you to achieve the dream you came to see them about in the first place. Unfortunately, even doctors are fallible, and western medicine often proves to be particularly fallible when it comes to personalized care. There is no one answer which can serve to get everyone pregnant. If there were, the heartbreak of infertility wouldn’t be something anyone would ever have to endure.
Instead, there are gambles to be taken and hopes left riding on possibilities and chances. Doctors are doing their absolute best to help you achieve a successful pregnancy, but they are not magicians, and sometimes… they are not equipped to handle all the variables involved in each individual case.
That is why it becomes incredibly important for each individual to be willing to advocate for themselves. When the traditional bag of tricks western medicine has to work with is getting you nowhere, or when the implications of many of those tricks feels out of your comfort zone, you have to be willing to look beyond the obvious – seeking answers your doctors may not be able to find on their own.
How to Be Your Own Advocate
The world of fertility medicine is constantly changing, and our understanding of what does and does not work evolves so quickly that often, doctors can’t keep up with each new study and advance. You have the ability to do your own research though; to ask questions and seek answers to some of the more unique aspects of your personal case. Learn about the various tests available, and request those which you think could shed a light on your situation. Read up on dietary changes and alternative methods of care. When you choose to become your own advocate, you are making a decision to fight for yourself. You are choosing to turn every stone in order to reach your own conclusions, rather than relying solely upon your doctors to provide those conclusions for you.
There is a renewed sense of confidence and strength to be found in fighting for yourself.
Infertility is a complicated road map driven from 1,000 different possible directions. Sometimes, it may take thinking outside the box in order to pinpoint the origins of your issues and come up with a solution which will lead to your baby. Traditional Chinese Medicine may be able to open doors for you that Western medicine could not find, and it is possible that an integrated approach could be the key to achieving the pregnancy you so desire. Rather than discounting any of the many possibilities, learn from them all. Now is the time to soak up information like a sponge, latching upon the explanations which seem to resonate the most with you and your specific case.
Occasionally, you will run into doctors who are not open to your own personal exploration. When that happens, it is time to seek second and third opinions until you find someone willing to work with you as a partner; not a dictator with an ego that cannot be questioned. Infertility is hard, and the road to success can be painful and littered with partial failures along the way. But the most likely way to wind up empty handed in the end, is to remain rigidly affixed to a single road – refusing to deviate towards any of the other potential paths.
- Use your voice.
- Speak up.
- Be willing to forge another trail, if that is what it takes to lead you to your baby.
- Now is the time to learn how to be your own advocate.
- So that somewhere down the line, you can have the voice to further advocate for the child you are finally able to conceive.
- Self-Advocacy During Infertility Treatments: Claiming What You Need From Your Doctors. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.resolve.org/diagnosis-management/self-advocacy-during-infertility-treatments-claiming-what-you-need-from-your-doctors.html
- Be an advocate for your fertility. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.chicagonow.com/sane-girls-guide/2013/08/advocate-for-your-fertility/
- Communication Series Intro: Self-Advocacy – Fertility Within Reach. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.circlebloom.com/communication-series-intro-self-advocacy-fertility-within-reach/