I was debating on how to start this article because I didn’t want to start something with a negative connotation.  I wanted to discuss with other Lesbian couples how to know when it’s the right time to switch from one Fertility Clinic to another.

Let’s start off by talking about why we choose, as Lesbian Couples, to go to Fertility Clinics.  We go for these reasons:

1). It’s a sterile environment with doctors and nurses who are trained in how to do IUI and ICI procedures.  I, myself, do not feel comfortable using a technique on my partner in the comforts of our home because our home, no matter how clean, is not a sterile environment.  So I’m willing to pay someone to do that service for me.

2). We use sperm samples that we buy from places like California Cryobank, www.cryobank.com or Fairfax Cryobank, www.fairfaxcryobank.com and the like….those samples require thawing and preparing.  I am not a trained scientist and I am no expert at doing those types of things.  Also, how would I be sure that CCB is sending me a good sample if not for the expertise of these labs in letting us know if we had a good sample with good motility and live sperm swimming around in our sample?  So I’m willing to pay someone to do that service for me.

3). Fertility Drugs….when you use drugs like Clomid or Letrozole, you produce more eggs, giving you more of a chance of insemination, as opposed to just relying on the one egg you produce naturally every month.  So I’m willing to pay someone to provide that service for me.

4). Fertility Clinics have ultrasound devices which can look and see if you’ve produced more than one follicle and what size those follicles are and at least give me a better timing of when it’s good to actually inseminate my partner.  So, again, I’m willing to pay someone to do that service for me.

5). Finally, if there is some type of fertility issue, such as endometriosis, bad ovaries or something that might prevent you from getting pregnant, that can be diagnosed and taken care of so that you have more of a chance of success.  So, I am willing to pay someone to do that service for me.

For those reasons I listed above is why 99% Lesbian Couples seek out the expertise of a Fertility Clinic.  What we don’t want is for a doctor at a clinic to decide for us what service they think we should have as a couple.  I have found in my experience so far, most Fertility Clinics push you toward having IVF which is a very expensive procedure.  With no more of a guarantee than if you had an IUI done.  But it’s more expensive so that’s what the doctors push you toward.

If you feel that your doctor keeps pushing you toward those procedures and you do not want to do it, then say so and be willing to leave that clinic if the doctor’s persistence continues.  Fertility Clinics all have different procedures they use to try to help couples get pregnant, but you should never feel bullied to do something you cannot afford and are not willing to participate in.

We met with our 2nd Fertility clinic the other day, and after talking to him for an hour, he had already decided that we need to do IVF.  So again we find ourselves having to explain to another doctor the only reason we sought out the help of a fertility clinic.

Not all women have fertility issues.  And those of us who do not are willing to take the time to do the procedures we choose, IUI, to start our family.  No matter who you ask, only 20-25% of women get pregnant within the first 6 IUI tries….that number increases to 60% for the next 12-18 tries.  The numbers are no different for IVF procedures, but the cost certainly is more expensive.  But doctors will try to convince you that it’s a much higher rate, when in reality it is not.  As couples, you must decide which procedure fits your budget.

If you think you can afford a procedure like IVF, by all means try it.  But if you cannot and you need to be more responsible with your money, then IUI is your best bet and patience will be your companion.  As with all InVitro Fertilization techniques it takes time.  It is a very rare occurrence that you will get pregnant on the first try.

I really think doctors should stop pushing patients into costly procedures, because the only person it helps is the doctor and his or her bank account.  Now if a woman truly has some fertility issues, IVF might be a solution.  But I’ve talked to women who do have some issues and IVF was no help or guarantee for them either.  Every woman is an island.  She is different and unique in her own way.  You cannot use a cookie-cutter plan on every woman.

But please realize it is important for you as a patient to stay vigilant in your knowledge of what goes on and stand fast in your solutions for your own fertility.  We only use these fertility clinics to help us in this process.  It is important to communicate with your doctor, but you do not have to live as if his word is bond.  You can question his diagnosis and you do have a choice.  You can say NO.  And as a professional he must respect you and move on.


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