The Referral Adventure

Super-Secret Post
Originally written mid-month-15

At the beginning of “month 14” we were officially past 13 cycles of trying and justified in seeking help. However, our first attempt for a referral had some annoying hiccups.

We don’t have a family doctor. I tried to procure one after moving to this province four-and-a-half years ago but got added to the walk-in clinic at that location instead of as a regular patient. By the time this was discovered, we thought we’d be moving within three years, so we didn’t bother trying again to find anyone; there’s a different and handier walk-in clinic close by that we like.

But this visit, all the doctor did was recommend we see a GP who he used to work with and does a lot of prenatal care who was now at another walk-in clinic. He also threw in that I should contact a local group that does a lot of work with couples to learn CF analysis. Why this would be preferable to the ovulation predictor kits I’m perfectly happy using he didn’t specify – I suppose the cost differential is the major reason but my preference for precision outweighs that consideration.

(After spending 5 years doing tech support, I try to respect other professionals’ opinions even when I want to do something like yell “Just refer us to a fertility clinic!”)

So I called this other walk-in GP clinic but, of course, without a referral (because what we had was a suggestion) we can’t make an appointment. So now we had to find time to visit another walk-in clinic and wait around. Yay.

Luckily, it was open on a weekend that worked for us and we got there early enough that we could be seen by the doctor of our choice after only a two-and-a-half hour wait. She was very pleased with the detailed records I was keeping (it’s nice to have hard work appreciated) and immediately referred us to a fertility clinic.

The clinic called us two days later and we have our lab work requisitions for the first round of testing. With any luck, I’ll be able to get my bloodwork done when it’s needed (day three of my next cycle); that particular day hovers around a stat holiday so I’m nervous.

The literature they sent us outlines a typical series of steps taken for couples based on how the preliminary tests turn out. Although men are only responsible for 20% of cases, their testing is so less invasive that their causes are completely ruled out before the ladies have to have any transvaginal ultrasounds. So that’s good news, I guess.

Reading their info makes me realize how little I know about this stuff. Just like with pregnancies and childbirth, Hollywood glosses over a lot of steps – the typical progression for infertile couples is a few months of fun sex, a bunch with cycle tracking via temperature or predictor kits, an undefined invasive exam for the lady, the on-site awkward sample production for the dude, and poof, it’s time for IVF. From the get go I can tell it’s different for us because of these blood tests we’re already scheduled for and a bunch of interventions outlined by the clinic I’ve never heard of.

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