How to Be Your Own Fertility Patient Advocate
It’s not easy for everyone to be the champion of a cause. However, when the cause is your own fertility and the prospect of starting your own family, becoming your own fervent supporter is a great way to get the most out of fertility treatment. At Chicago IVF, our staff is dedicated to advocating for patients each and every day, through these efforts, we are firm supporters of patients being their own advocates throughout the treatment process.
Here’s how to be your own fertility patient advocate and make the treatment process easier for all parties involved:
Organize your life
There’s a lot of potentially overwhelming minutiae associated with fertility treatment. During treatment, you are navigating medical insurance, legal paperwork and contracts (when working with donors or gestational surrogates), appointments for testing and procedures, and post-procedure care instructions. We understand that there’s a lot on your plate.
However, there is good news for tech lovers: There’s an app for this. From digital scheduling apps to ovulation-tracking apps, you’re likely to find a smartphone application that can help you get all these new details in order. However, you can also do it the old-fashioned way. Consider trying something like a five-subject notebook with pockets and divide your fertility patient notes across these categories:
- Health and wellness
- Financial information
- Self-care or personal and partner support
- Ideas for making life better or easier
When you decide that you are going to commit to fertility treatment and be your own fertility advocate for success, it helps to be proactive about taking care of yourself. This includes keeping your appointments and paperwork in order, documenting how you feel about what’s happening to your body and your life (including partner support), and thinking optimistically about the future.
No one was born knowing everything about assisted reproduction. If your profession does not involve the language of fertility care, it’s important to understand the basics. Chicago IVF provides a patient education specialist to answer questions during your initial stages of fertility treatment and maintains a robust video library and blog with plenty of information and how-tos.
Build a support system
It’s wonderful if you have a partner to support you during fertility treatment, or family and friends you can trust to provide only the most knowledgeable, sensitive feedback during this process. That’s not always the case, especially for singles and LGBT individuals who may wish for additional help and guidance from support groups. Chicago IVF recommends using these resources to find community support:
● RESOLVE’s Find a Support Group database
● FertilityAuthority.com’s Fertile Thoughts forum
Aligning yourself with others of a like mind or situation can help you feel stronger about your choice. Remember, you are an advocate for a cause...your own cause: growing your family.