Infertility Medical History - Part Two
Sharing Medical History with your Fertility Doctor and Team
Yesterday I talked about what you needed to share with your fertility doctor and clinical team in regards to your medical, physical and life history.
Today, I wanted to ask you about some other, less obvious, more personal parts of yourself that you might want to consider sharing.
Our medical and personal history is very personal. I know that. Particularly our sexual history. That’s not something that we would ordinarily share with someone we’ve just met, even a doctor.
There are decisions that we may have made years ago that we feel far less comfortable with now. That is true particularly with birth control and abortion. It may even be true of having waited to become pregnant. Especially if the wait was for a career or educational goal to have been met. Now, in this moment, those may feel like superfluous and superficial reasons to have put off having a baby.
Hindsight, another form of Monday morning quarterbacking, both amount to “what if”. What if I hadn’t, what if I had.
One thing we know for sure is that your path in life would have been different. No way of knowing whether the obstacles and pain that you would have faced would have been substantially less or even dramatically different. Your life, my life, would however, have been somewhat different. Maybe not this job, this home, in this town, these friends, this partner. And maybe you feel right now that you would give all those up to have your baby.
Aren’t you glad, right now, that you don’t have that choice to make? Because those are the things that help make you who you are. And one of those things is that you are ready. You are ready to become a parent. All of the choices that you have made up until now brought you right here.
Seems like it’s exactly the right place to be today.
That brings me back, in a long winded way, to sharing with your doctor.
Patient Confidentiality: Honoring the Truth
Tell them the truth. Answer the questions honestly.
When did you become sexually active? What type of birth control have you used? How long have you not used any birth control at all? Have you ever been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases?
We know that these questions may unearth some things that are hard to look at squarely in the light of today. We know that. Your doctors know that. They aren’t going to dwell on it or judge you about it. (And if they do or are, find another doctor.)
We all want the same things. The best possible fertility and medical treatment possible for you. The safest course of treatment. That can be done with correct and accurate information given by you, to us.
We at RMACT, promise that we will treat you with respect and care, regardless of what you reveal. And that you and your history are safe with us.
We know it’s not easy and we are here to help.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.