These Fertility Doctors sef!

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I have always believed that Doctors, in general, are pessimistic in nature. They tell you all the side effects of medications, and tell you that so and so procedure has fifty percent chance of success and fifty percent chance of failure. I understand that they do so mostly to prepare you for the worst, and to have you ready for anything, which is fine if we are talking just general medicine. When it comes to reproductive health however, I think the doctors need to be more sensitive. I, just as many others, have suffered from the insensitivity of doctors. When I was TTC, and went for investigations in this seemingly big hospital at Opebi, I spent hours in waiting, despite having booked an appointment, and I was already exhausted by the time it was my turn. So, I entered the Ob/Gyn consultation room, and greeted the man sitting behind the desk. He didn’t look up from my file that he was perusing and just simply nodded. I sat and waited for about five minutes, before he looked at me and asked casually So, how may we help you?”

I shrugged off the thought in my head to just get up and leave, and said “I am trying to get pregnant and I don’t seem to know what the problem is”. He looked at me, dimmed his eyes and asked again For how long have you being trying and why is your husband not here with you?”. I told him my husband was busy at work, and asked me to go in for the preliminary meeting first. If there was any need for him, he would come. The Doctor said “Issues like this are best treated as a couple, we have to examine you both, and if your husband isn’t here, it simply means this is not important to him”. I didn’t want to start telling Oga Doctor that having a baby was just as important as having the money to take care of the baby. If my husband loses his job, or gets queried for always being at the hospital, our search for a baby would definitely be put on hold. I just muttered When he is needed, he would come Doctor”. He started scribbling in my file! Wetin I don talk wey this man dey write already?

He looked up again, and asked how long we had been trying to get pregnant. Four months”, I said. The doctor looked at me like I was nuts, and shook his head at my ‘stupidity’. At this point I was getting very upset and uneasy; he then says so casually I can’t help you madam. WHO says you have to have tried for two years before it is termed infertility and we can begin investigations then, so go home and keep trying”.

Go home and keep trying! Chai! I had to beat back the tears that were threatening to disgrace me. Doctor couldn’t even ask if I was eating right, having sex right, being in a good mental place etc. He couldn’t even recommend Pregnacare for me, or zinc and iron supplements for my husband, or even attempt to help me calculate my ovulation. Go home and keep trying! Oh well, I did go home and tried, with the help of Dr. Google, and I never had to go back to that hospital again.

Infertility is such a psychological issue, just as it is physiological, and specialists in this department need to be aware of the sensitive cases they handle. A fertility patient should feel as if her/his doctor is an ally in their effort to conceive. I won’€™t be the first to complain. We all have firsthand experience in this, or probably know someone who does. Some doctors have this cold, dismissive, arrogant, nonchalant attitude that makes you feel as though you are silly for trying to conceive, or for being so worried. Granted, many of them have seen cases upon cases, so a woman walking into their consultation room distraught because she has ovulation problems isn’t new to them. But they need to realize that it is a peculiar situation to this woman, and it is imperative to be kind, attentive and sensitive. The issue of fertility is private, sensitive and intimate and our doctors must understand this and work in light of this. Often, it is about the solutions they provide, as much as it is about the way they provide these solutions.

On our part, we have to delicately choose and sift through hospitals and doctors until we find the ones that we feel most comfortable with. Make it a point of duty to observe how much the doctor listens to you, answers your questions and treats you. If a doctor rushes through the consultation, or refuses to explain certain medical terms or options, such as surgery without giving good explanations, these are red flags to take seriously. A friend of mine in Port-Harcourt went through an IVF cycle that failed. In the two weeks she stayed at home healing from the pain of disappointment and trying to get back on her feet, the hospital never bothered to call her. If you ask her, she would say that she believes it was the nonchalant attitude of the fertility nurses that was responsible for the failure of the cycle. I asked her why she didn’t change hospitals when she noticed she didn’t like their attitude, but she said a friend recommended the hospital to her, so she decided to stick it through. When she was back on her feet, she went hospital-hunting, and was particularly annoying and demanding in her quest to find the right one. She only settled for the hospital where the nurses and doctors seemed to understand what was crawling under her skin. They answered her mirage of questions with a smile and always encouraged her to be positive. After her initial consultation, as she got up to leave, the doctor got up too, took her right hand in both his hands and said Madam, this would be over soon. I can assure you that you would carry twins in no time”. No need stating that it is this hospital that she is sticking with; despite having another failed cycle with them, she is positive and ready to try again simply because of the awesome way they treat her.

In conclusion, when it comes to fertility, relationship management is just as important as expertise! So, take note Docs!

 

 

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31 COMMENTS

  1. I love these guest writers and their write ups!I always try to find time to read something up here once a day atleast,I’m not ttc nor married,just a huge fan of d page!keep up with d good work and thumbs up to nicole,oluwakemi and ipheoma(funkified spelling I must say..lol) and baby dust to all…kisses

  2. I can relate to this article , I went to a hospital few months ago to see a gyn , in search of good hospital and this particular one seems okay, only for me to get there after the waiting and huge consultation fee the doctor put me on the scan bed swipe the roller on my tummy and said ” you have fibroid and you need to pay $2500 for operation that’s the only solution” then I asked what about testing me and doing other check up? He said no no , once the fibroid is removed you will get pregnant. I was so sad and went home crying because i don’t even know where to begin with that amount of money and even if truly that’s d only solution. Some doctors are really insensitive.

    • Gosh, what an insensitive man! It was his duty to discuss all your options with you, which also should have included some sort of management plan!!! So sorry my dear! Have you seen another one now?

  3. Awww…thanks Aisha for the beautiful comment. You made my weekend! God bless you. Hi Fola, @chloesams can you just imagine??? Some of these doctors can be really insensitive! No empathy for the patient, just bam, you have fibroid and you should pay $2500. It’s obviously all about the money for some of them. God help us

    • These doctors can really have poor bedside manner!!! This should be hammered on them when they are in medical school, to avoid them adding to the pain of their patients. Very annoying! So sorry, Ivie!

  4. I can so relate with this. Mine was in the case of going to see the gynae alone and the man told me we weren’t ready cos my husband didn’t come along with me. I told him sir,pls let’s start with me and he will come,he just shouted saying,madam,what if you are not the one with the problem?

    That was how I left his office almost crying. I continued my search till I got to my present clinic with wonderful nurses who even call you on your day of ovulation to say “Mrs …,today is the day o,do am well o”.

  5. i so relate with this, one of the doctors tactically told me that women are suppose to marry and try to get pregnant early cos as u get older it becomes difficult and there was i sitting down there an older woman trying to get pregnant. so insensitive!

  6. Too bad, they are living in a cloud then. I know one woman who acted a mini drama, when her gynae told her on her birthday that, her baby’s heartbeat had stopped and that she would need an evacuation.

    She was so angry that she shouted and attracted the attention of other people, “You are a wicked woman, you don’t know when to give someone a birthday present.” The gynae was perplexed and then looked through her files, only to discover, it was her birthday and she was telling her, a child, she had been doing all sorts of things for, including daily injections was dead in utero. It was too much to bear.

    Before she went back to the clinic, they called , begged and did all sorts to things to apologise to her, before she calmed down enough to hear anything from them.

    Too painful, I tell you Elsie @elsiano.

    • I recently changed fertility clinics because of the same reason. My former doctor always seemed to be busy and distracted. No time to answer any questions. All my questions were referred to a junior doctor who looked bored or the resident counsellor. It hurt when i had an early miscarriage and they looked sorry for about 5minutes. They need to learn compassion especially with TTC women.

      • Misi, sorry about that. Honestly, compassion and empathy is something most doctors need to learn, especially fertility experts, who happen to be dealing with a TTC folks.

        How’s your new clinic/doctor working out? It can be hard to start doctor-shopping again.

  7. I think I know the hospital..St ives …very insensitive set of staffs….No manners or proper customer service…I dnt think they know what they are doing ther sef

      • Of course maam.. my husband says he can never refer them.
        I had an ovulation induction and IUI cycle with them…The IUI cycle ,I had a follicle size of 8mm…I wasnt informed though.The lady just said the result was as expected…After 2weeks…I had a PT and it was negative…the nurse called the 3rd week and she was like hope I had done a test..I said nope..She said I shld better go and do a test o…That was exactly how she sounded…I just didnt want to accept the result …I tested again and it was still negative..I faced reality and I went back to this so called st ives..Fortunately I met a more experiences doctor…and he said your follicles only grew to 8mm it wouldnt even have worked. i was dissapointed like what rubbish..So whoever it was had to lie or misrepresent results jst to do whatever..I went to another hospital..I narrated this story and the doctor was like”Did they really induce with that follicle size”.You know what…they dont jave anytyn to loose by the way.I think there shld a half pay back policy…probably that wld make them more committed

        • Hi Debbie @teey, I don’t even know what to say to you dear. Such blatant disregard and nonchalant attitude. Nawa o. Like you said, a policy like that might work, but will it see daylight? The medical field will band together and frustrate efforts but with the right structure, it shouldn’t be so hard. It’s just like, whatever happens, we still get our money. So sorry about your experience.
          cc:@nicole.

        • St. Ives!!!! The horror stories are getting too much, haba! That was outright deception!!! So sorry about your experience Debbie hun! It’s hospitals like that that give Nigerian clinics a bad name!

  8. Aw I wish I knew dis forum before I got married…. I hate hospitals and their smell but here am I ttc with all this my non patience gyne. Ave ran away 5month back and waiting for God. But hubby en my sis not happy with me. They said I should go back on appointment with my gyne. Wat am passing through.. .hospital odour. Am praying to be strong and want to attend fertility centre not just gyne any more. But I believe nothing is wrong with. Also doctor said it. But with ttc i can’t just sit down….

    • LOL! Hospital smell that has prevented many of us from being great :haha:. I feel you my dear. But how we for do? However, if you try a fertility clinic, and not a hospital proper, you might the smell is not as offensive. It is well hun. Hoping your TTC journey ends soon :heart:

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