The second medical opinion

The second medical opinion

One of the basic principles of medicine is that there are no diseases, but the sick.

Each patient has a whole story, bundled with the problem for which he addresses the doctor: age, medical history, lifestyle, beliefs and goals that may be completely different from other patients.

Moreover, each medical condition may manifest differently or may be perceived differently, depending on multiple individual variables.

Infertility is not a simple condition caused by a specific cause.

It has multiple and combined causes (male, female, mixed or unknown), various treatments and age-dependent outcomes or other individual factors.

What can happen if you go to 2 different doctors?

  • Make different diagnoses – e.g. male cause or mixed cause, from both partners
  • Recommend different investigations – more or less relevant
  • Recommend different treatments – e.g. “Try again naturally” or “go straight to IVF”
  • Give yourself different chances of success – from no chance to over 50% chance of success
  • Present your risks and benefits differently
  • To be presented with a single treatment option or the alternatives and expectations from each one

Why is this happening?

Patient-related factors
  • Age, medical history and different lifestyle
  • Patients react differently to disease
  • Diseases may be in different stages and are often not detected (eg asymptomatic endometriosis)
  • Patients react differently to medication, depending on weight or genetic factors
  • Patients do not say, do not have time to say or are not asked about details that matter
  • Patients have different goals, fears and beliefs
  • Patients with the same diagnosis have different chances depending on age or acceptance or non-acceptance of certain treatments (eg IVF or donors)
Factors related to the specialist
  • The field is extremely complex, requires overspecialization and experience

Doctors have a hard time keeping up with the rapid evolution and studies in the field

  • Specialists do not always allocate enough time to find out all the details and for advice
  • Specialists do not have the same experience with rare situations or are not aware of all the news
Context factors
  • There are no investigations for all possible causes of infertility; the evaluation and recommendations are based a lot on statistics and the experience of the specialist
  • Medical centers have different expertise and success rates and advise based on their own results (team expertise, facilities, experience in certain procedures)
  • The availability of some services is different – if there is the option of donors or rare services
  • There can be several treatment options, with different chances, advantages and disadvantages
  • You can choose what suits you, only if you have all the information
  • Certain discount or financial programs can influence decisions
  • Age, domicile, frequent departures can radically change recommendations and prognosis

What can you do?

Patient-related factors
  • Contact a doctor who specializes in reproduction
  • Contact a center specializing in assisted reproduction, not necessarily multidisciplinary
  • Request all necessary information: the purpose of each investigation or treatment, how they occur, the risks, benefits, alternatives, chances of success with each treatment option, total costs, financial programs, other facilities
  • Request a second opinion if:
    • You have not received all the information you need
    • You have not been given enough time for evaluation and counseling before and during treatment
    • You did not get the expected and estimated result

For a second medical opinion, we are here for you!

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