The clinic is part of the huge HMO that is both insurance company and medical provider, so everything is in-house - pharmacy, labs, GP, OB/GYN, and of course the fertility clinic. In order to get an appointment at the fertility clinic, you have to first attend a class on fertility. Now, who do you think would teach such a class - an RE? A nurse practitioner from the fertility* clinic? No, of course not. That’s what the education department is for.
The educator was nice enough, and she is a nurse, but you could just tell that this class (which they offer at least once a month) is all the contact she has with infertiles, and most of us were just sitting there silently. Among the pearls of wisdom:
- Some people just need the information from the class and no medical intervention. This would be, apparently, the people that don’t know that they need to have sex.
- ”Lifestyle factors” are more important than learning about tests, possible causes, potential treatments, or the nuts and bolts of how this particular clinic works. No, we need to spend a lot of time talking about how smoking and drinking are bad for fertility (”But I’m not suggesting you walk out of here and just quit drinking. Maybe try cutting back gradually.” Thanks. That was helpful for those of us who have already given up not just alcohol and caffeine, but flour, sugar, and dairy.)
- Stress managament is important. They offer yoga classes.
- Taking your BBT is pointless, because it’s hard to interpret correctly.
- Fertility monitors are pointless because now that we’re patients of the fertility clinic, they’ll do the monitoring.
- Ovulation predictor kits work like pregnancy tests. (I guess because you pee on them?)
- Two things we could do right away (or rather, after we got home): fill out the intake forms [yeah, so we filled them out right there in the classroom and hand delivered them to the clinic - who needs to waste a stamp or all that time] and practice “coital factors” - have sex around ovulation [hee - ovulation - that’s funny!] and stay lying down for 20-30 minutes after intercourse.
This doesn’t take into account the little
Otherwise, I tried to restrain myself from the snide comments [I saved them for you all - now don’t you feel lucky?], because I suppose it’s nice that they offer this orientation class. J learned that fat holds on to estrogen, and that there were versions of ART beyond a ‘simple’ IVF. I learned that they offer a class on how to do injectibles - now that’s something for which I’ll
We also watched a video from the ASRM called “To Have a Child” - this was actually probably the most useful part of the class for people who don’t already have a Google degree in infertility. The video explained the most common diagnostics for male and female factors, and talked some about treatment options. The best part was the section of clips from an infertility support group - cheesy 1990s clothing to be sure (I was going to say 1980s, but I really think it was 90s - and how weird that that’s long ago enough to look dated!), but suggested some of the conflicts in relationships that seem so common to infertiles - dealing with well-meaning but obnoxious relatives, personal questions from everyone and their mother, strained marital relationships - the laundry list of infertile emotional issues. No pat solutions were offered, which was also good.
So since we’re such overachievers (not only did we already deliver our paperwork, complete with my last three FF temp charts, but we’ve already had a ton of diagnostics run) we should be first in line for an appointment. They have to read over our questionnaire forms and figure out how much our situation sucks. And then we’ll see what they offer next.
* I just mistyped this as FRETility, which really does make sense. A clinic designed just for my fretting. What more could a girl want?