4 Tips for Talking to Your Fertility Doctor
Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.
Written on 8/5/21
The doctor’s office can be intimidating which is why today Amy wants to share her top 4 tips for talking to your fertility doctor.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while now, you’ve probably thought about seeing or already have seen a doctor. After all, your doctor is the best place to go to get treatment fast.
But what I, and so many of our Proovers, have experienced is that the doctor’s office can be intimidating. The rooms can be cold and bleak, and I was so nervous I often forgot all the things I wanted to say. I know I’m not alone in these feelings which is why today I want to share my top 4 tips for talking to your fertility doctor.
Tip #1: Get to know your body
I’ve said it a million times, but I will continue to say it again and again: your doctor is the expert in medicine and you are the expert in you. The more you can learn about your body and your cycle before your doctor’s appointment, the better equipped you will be to have meaningful conversations with them.
The easiest way to start learning about your cycle is by testing your hormone levels at home. With Proov, you can better understand your ovulation and ovarian status. Here’s how our at-home urine hormone tests can help you:
Proov Predict is our LH test (also called an ovulation test). With Proov Predict, you can track your LH levels in order to detect a surge and predict your two most fertile days. This is the time to “try”!
A positive Proov Predict test can help you accurately time intercourse around your fertile window in order to get pregnant faster. Studies actually show that one of the main causes of infertility is mistimed intercouse.
If you never get a positive LH test, this could be a sign that you are not ovulating properly, have PCOS or another underlying condition. This is great information to share with your doctor.
Proov Confirm is the original Proov test — the first and only FDA cleared PdG test kit to confirm successful ovulation at home. Successful ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg is released and PdG (progesterone metabolite) levels remain adequately elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at conception.
Without enough PdG present for long enough after ovulation, it can be more difficult to successfully conceive. In fact, studies show that elevated and sustained levels of PdG during the luteal phase (the second half of your cycle) increase chances of successful pregnancy from just 19% all the way to 92%.
Ensuring your PdG levels look good before visiting your doctor can help you better use your time on other factors. On the other hand, if your Proov Confirm tests show a problem with ovulation, that may be preventing you from conceiving. The good news is that the fix is often simple and you can work with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
Together, Proov Predict and Confirm tests can give you insight into your cycle and ovulation quality.
Proov FSH Tests
Proov FSH tests measure follicle stimulating hormone levels to assess your ovarian reserve. High FSH levels over several cycles can be an indication that your ovaries may not be working properly. This can mean they may not be maturing follicles, producing eggs, or ovulating which can impact your ability to conceive.
Elevated FSH levels over time can be an indicator of premature ovarian failure (POF) if you are TTC under 40, which can impact your fertility. If you have elevated FSH levels for several cycles, we recommend consulting your doctor.
Tip #2: Come prepared
With all these different hormone tests comes a LOT of new information. All of which can’t really help your doctor if you don’t document it!
Luckily, the Proov Insight app provides all-month digital tracking, immediate quantitative results, help interpreting your data, and tips to support your goals. It also stores several cycles of data so you can track your test results over time and have all the information you need on hand to share with your doctor. Hormones are powerful!
In addition to the Proov Insight app, it’s important to write down any other questions you may have. As I mentioned, I often felt nervous during my doctor’s appointments and would forget what I wanted to say. Having a list of notes and questions on my phone helped me better use the short amount of time I had with my fertility doctor.
Having a list of notes and questions will help you better use the short amount of time you have with your fertility doctor.
Tip #3: Advocate for yourself
Above all, you have to be willing to advocate for yourself and your individual needs. As I’ve said, you are the expert in you, and you know what’s happening in your body during your day-to-day life better than anyone else.
I’d like to tell you a story about our friend, Arden. Arden experienced several early miscarriages and, based on the length of her cycle, suspected she had low progesterone or a luteal phase defect. However, when she brought these issues to her fertility doctor, he did not deem a serum progesterone blood test necessary.
Frustrated, Arden turned to Proov Confirm tests to see whether or not her post-ovulation PdG levels were good. It turned out that Arden’s Proov Confirm results showed “weak” ovulation. Armed with this newfound information, Arden was able to go back to her doctor and advocate for the treatment she needed — a progesterone supplement. Her son, Cameron, is now almost 2 years old!
Tip #4: If it doesn’t feel right, try someone new
Sometimes, our doctors aren’t the best fit. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad doctors or you’re a bad patient; it simply means they might not be the best for your needs at that specific moment.
And that’s okay! Luckily there are plenty of other options out there. One of which is a virtual fertility clinic called Fertility Cloud that provides online consultations with US-licensed, board-certified fertility specialists. Fertility Cloud offers comprehensive male and female fertility testing and treatment delivered directly to your door.
You can speak to a doctor about your unique situation from the comfort of your home. Even better, Fertility Cloud doctors can interpret your Proov test results and help you plan for the best course of action, whether that be further testing, supplementation, or lifestyle changes.
Our goal here at Proov is to empower you with information to help you reach your fertility goals faster! Hopefully these tips will help you have better conversations with your doctor.