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From Your Reproductive Endocrinologist/Infertility Doctor:  Questions I Wish My Patients Would Ask Me…. Or Just Because I Want You To See The Therapist Does Not Mean I Think You Are Crazy

Excerpted from original blog on MD.com

After over twenty years of taking care of patients, I realize that patients often do not ask me the questions that are really on their minds.  Of course, I try to tease that out when I meet with you and make sure I address the most common questions that patients in your situation ask. But still, many patients walk out the door with unanswered questions. Wouldn’t you feel better if I just addressed ALL your questions? This is what I’m here for please just ask!  Check out these questions I wish my patients would ask.  For more questions please see the full post on MD.com

Ask Me What You Are Really Wondering And Thinking About

If you think you might have cancer,then ask me: “Dr Chen, I’m worried that I might have cancer, do I?”. If you think that you are not having sex at the right time to conceive, then ask me: “Dr Chen, when is the best time to have sex in order to have the best chance to conceive a baby?”  No question is off limits or is something that I haven’t been asked before.  The only stupid questions are the ones left unasked.  (Sorry guys, but no, you don’t need to have sex twice a day, every day, in order to have a baby).

Ask Me Why I Am Recommending This Particular Treatment/Course of Action For You

I want you to understand where I’m coming from. I want you to know what I think and what the pros and cons are. I want you to be informed. I want you on board with your treatment, both heart and mind. You can only do that if you understand why I’m making the recommendations I make. You may have come in with some preconceived notions and ideas and it can be difficult to let go of these. Even if you completely agree with my recommendations, I still feel that your treatment will go a lot more smoothly and your stress levels will be a lot less if you understand the process as well as you can. You will be living with the consequences of these decisions for the rest of your life. Your active participation and understanding will prevent regrets later. (Yes, a baby can be exhausting. No, you cannot return the baby).

Ask Me For A Recommendation For A Therapist That Can Help You With Stress Management

Yes! I’m serious! See the therapist! No I don’t think you are crazy, but I do know that you are in my office for a reason and that reason causes a tremendous amount of stress no matter how grounded and well-adjusted you are. We have many studies demonstrating that while stress does not cause infertility, infertility causes huge amounts of stress. Really awful stress. Pathologic stress.  Stress that leads to clinical depression and anxiety disorders. Stress that leads to marital issues, even divorce.  Stress that affects parents even after a healthy baby is born. We don’t want to make healthy babies while making our patients mentally unhealthy.

Counseling patients on stress management really works. We have the data to prove it. No, we’re not taking about lying on a couch for years analyzing how your mother toilet trained you. We’re talking healthy stress management strategies because medical treatment is very stressful and the better you handle the stress the more successful your treatment will be. Yes! There is data! Lots if it! Please consider.  Please. (It’s ok if you are a little bit crazy, I’ll still take good care of you. :-))

OK. Enough yakking. Back to work making babies and freezing eggs. I can’t wait to hear what you think of my suggestions. Have any questions you were too nervous to ask your Reproductive Endocrinologist? Leave them in the comments below. I really want to hear from you – please write!

Xoxox

Serena H Chen MD