Challenging the medical “experts”

I’m feeling very frustrated with our fertility clinic right now. I’m trying to figure out what to do about it, if anything.

Here’s the recap. Diagnosis: low sperm count. Treatment: pump female with drugs, insert catheter into uterus with washed up sperms named Tom and Jerry (okay, I’m exaggerating, there were more than two) x 4. Recommendation: IVF (translation: invasive, expensive, unpleasant, and not guaranteed and again all about the female). Response by me: What the fuck? Is that all there is? I’ll consult Dr. Google.

So, by my own doing, I discovered that my husband likely has low testosterone and sent him to get tested. Test shows low testosterone. Now, our family physician has been absolutely marvelous. She full out admitted that she does not have a clue about this kind of stuff. When the tests came back confirming the low testosterone, her initial suggestion for treatment was testosterone replacement therapy. BY THE GRACE OF THE INTERNET AND SOME BRAIN CELLS BEING RUBBED TOGETHER, my husband (not a doctor) informed our physician (a doctor) that treating a male with infertility with testosterone is detrimental to the little viable sperm he makes. Thankfully, she valued his research and knowledge and listened to him. What if he hadn’t done the research? Seriously, it’s not rocket science. But my issue is not with her. She has been working very hard to expedite things and will be referring my husband to a urologist who specializes in male infertility. Hallelujah! So now, we just hurry up and wait.

Along with the IVF recommendation, it was suggested that I see an OBGYN to schedule a laproscopy for my ovarian cyst. So I hurried up and waited for that appointment too…. which finally happened on Monday. The OBGYN looked at me like I had 2 heads. He seriously didn’t know why it was recommended that I have surgery. My cyst is a clear-walled (??) benign-looking cyst under 5cm that doesn’t respond to estrogen. He said, “if they’re doing IVF, they can just aspirate it while they are in there harvesting your eggs”. When I said, that they were concerned that it might be emitting hormones that were interfering with conception, his response was “are you ovulating? (the answer is yes), then there’s nothing interfering”.

In summary, let’s hack up my body and pump it full of drugs. NONE OF WHICH ADDRESSES THE FUCKING PROBLEM AT HAND WHICH HAS A VERY REAL SOLUTION. We have an appointment with the fertility clinic physician in mid-April. Nothing like a 6 week wait to throw fuel on the fire. But I honestly don’t know why we have this appointment. Part of me wants to go in there and tear a strip off of the physician. The rational part of me just wants an explanation about why we’ve just wasted a year and over a thousand dollars on treatment that wasn’t fixing the problem. A problem that wasn’t even explored. I appreciate that our fertilty physician isn’t an expert in male infertility, but if I can find the informatin on Google, for Christsakes, this is just bad medical care.

I don’t know if I can resume care at this clinic. They have a good reputation, but they have dropped the ball, and with it my faith in them.

The urologist also practices at a fertility clinic in a town in the opposite direction from here. Maybe it’s time to make a switch. Goddess willing, maybe we won’t need a clinic at all after this testosterone stuff gets treated.

The moral of the story is this: take your medical care into your own hands. Do your research. Ask questions. Doubt answers. Physicians aren’t God, they are humans and they are fallible.

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9 responses to “Challenging the medical “experts”

  • Kathleen

    its great advice. you MUST advocate for yourself… but yes, you will find, that they way through this infertility shit is really just to try some treatments and see if they work… costly if you don’t have insurance.. and very emotionally draining.

  • The Tao of Pig Pen

    We were lucky in our journey but I hope it all pays off.

  • mommyodyssey

    hear hear! Good for you for being pro-active about this. Dr. Go. Ogle has his flaws – but being armed with information is critical in our situations.
    I say switch to the other clinic. You don’t trust these guys anymore. That is enough of a reason. Are you paying for the appointment in April? If not – then i would suggest keeping it – just to “close the circle” and let them know what you managed to do on your own. Who knows – it may help some other couple in the future. If you do need to pay for it – screw that and send the old doc an email or something.
    In short – good for you!!!

    • Wannabemom

      I don’t have to pay for the appointment itself, but it does mean using 2.5 vacation hours to attend it. I have to decide if it’s worth it and how badly I want to state my case.

  • Elphaba

    Ugh, I’m sorry you’re dealing with so much inconsistent advice. And yes, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about all this it’s that you have to be your own advocate and do your own research!

  • bodegabliss

    Hm…so are you saying ovarian cysts (not polycystic cysts) can interfere with ovualation? That might explain why my chart claims I didn’t ovulate last month (I could feel a large cyst on my left ovary). I realize putting two and two together should have been easy for me, but I think I was just in denial. Crap!

    • Wannabemom

      Yeah… apparently. You can just have annovulatory cycles too. Has it only interfered the once? Most cysts (not PCOS) will apparently disappear after a few cycles. Mine’s stubborn.

      • bodegabliss

        Well damn. Up until last month, I hadn’t ever temped while having a cyst, so I’m not sure. I honestly seem to have cysts every month, so that scares me. And I’m not temping this month and I have one again, so I’m not able to see if it happened again. But, I haven’t had any sign of ovulation, so maybe it is happening again.

      • Wannabemom

        Hmm.. cysts are basically follicles that don’t erupt, I think. So is there something to that if you’re not “erupting”?

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