5.25.2010

Advice - NFP Style

Ok friends, I need some help/advice.

Since I finally have health insurance again, I made a doctor's appointment with a well-respected doctors' office here in town.

When I made the appointment, I asked if any of the doctors or midwives in the practice were familiar with NFP.  It was clear from the response that the receptionist herself was not familiar with NFP and I'm doubtful that she will relay this information to anyone else.  I'm sure she'd just never heard the term before as she wasn't rude, her question (and I can't remember her exact words) just made it clear to me that she didn't know what I was talking about.

My question is:
What do I need to do to be prepared for this appointment?
Is there information out there that I can take with me to give to the doctor/midwife who sees me?
Or am I just being my usual over-thinking-worried-about-nothing self and I should just not worry about it at this point (since there is no problem and we aren't trying to achieve pregnancy)?

(The Man and I continue to use NFP to prevent pregnancy.  There is nothing (physically or in my charts) to indicate that there is any type of problem.)

I don't want to be *that* patient who is a know-it-all; but I also don't want to mess up this first-impression in explaining NFP (as I did when trying to explain it to The Man).

Help.  Please and thank-you!

7 comments:

  1. Well...if it were me, I would take in my charts...all of them since you started charting. Explain them to the doc the way you understand it. Take an article or a book recommendation on how they can learn more about it (if they don't already know)...something like Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a secular book that might help bridge the gap. I think if you are confident in what you are doing and able to explain what you understand about your cycle/charts, you'll be good. Don't worry about being a "know-it-all"...the doctor is there to serve you...if s/he is put off by you knowing about your body, then maybe you can shop for another physician.

    You might look into a Family Practice if you haven't already as opposed to OB/GYN or Specialist. often times (at least in my experience) a Family Practice physician is more interested in treating you as a whole person and not just the one part of your body s/he specialized in during med school. Then if there ever IS a problem...go the route of the specialist or OB/GYN.

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  2. If you go to onemoresoul.com, they have a directory of NFP-only doctors. However, I don't think that includes "NFP-friendly" doctors. Also, now that I think about it, you probably already know about this resource, since you knew there were no NFP teachers near you. I'd imagine if there are no NFP teachers, there are no NFP doctors.

    Let's see, what were your questions? I would take my charts with me, just in case you do get an enlightened doc/midwife. You might not need to worry about it since as you said you aren't expecting or trying, although I imagine the doc will ask what type of contraception you use. There are a few pamphlets out there that you might find helpful, if you have the courage to give them to your doctor and if they seem receptive to that. I had one specifically for doctors, but now I can't find it online anywhere. I got it from taking the class with Alison and Mike - maybe ask them?

    Finally, to be mentally prepared, don't worry about being laughed out of the office. You're the one who is knowledgeable about this. You know it's not the rhythm method, you know it works, and you know it's the right thing to do. No matter how condescending the doctor may be (and hopefully they aren't!), don't let their ignorance shake you. Remain a calm, well-informed, charitable patient. Hm, this is starting to sound scary. You'll be fine!

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  3. I think you may be surprised to find out that perhaps your doctor knows about NFP. I agree with the other 2...take your charts in. He/She will probably be really impressed that you know your body so well! Go in with confidence & your charts and you'll be fine!
    We used NFP after the birth of our 1st son, and my gyno was impressed with how well I knew my body. Hope you have one that is as informed as mine was!

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  4. Ok, so I've had a good experience and a bad-ish experience in terms of NFP with gyn's.

    The Bad-ish: a male OB-GYN was openly skeptical, but he didn't exactly laugh me out of the office, either.

    The Good: my female midwives were/are supportive of my "birth control" choice... the only could-be-construed-as-negative thing was that, after LB was born, I was strongly cautioned to use some other form of birth control as the charts are less reliable when nursing. Of course, I knew that, since LB was the result of screwed-up nursing charts. =)

    I never took my charts into an appt. Are you going in for your yearly? If you take your charts, they'll probably appreciate it b/c you'll be able to tell them exactly when your LMP started, etc. I wouldn't worry about it too much - just tell them NFP when they ask what form of BC you're using. The fact that you might get a midwife means that the whole office is likely pretty okay with less mainstream ways of doing things.

    xoxo

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  5. Ok, so I saw you emailed me about this but I'll just respond here. Elizabeth is right, there should have been one or two pamphlets in the kit I sent you that pertain directly to dealing with doctors. One is white and has a female doctor on it, one is tan with green writing and says "Dear Physician". Those should help. Also, if they are anything like mine, be prepared for them to push oral contraceptives on you hard core. I even signed a form saying "NO, I do not want birth control information" and they still brought it up like 5 times. They will probably recommend you getting on folic acid too, and this is probably a good idea for any woman of child-bearing years.

    I think the best advice is to prepare to just smile and not snap back. My doctor was running around so fast I ultimately just felt sorry for her since she really was unable to meet the needs of the patient. Like others have said YOU are in control and YOU have the knowledge that they don't. If you do talk about it, a simple statement like "Oh, I use my mucus signs and temperature to confirm the period when ovulation happens and I'm most likely to conceive, and we avoid intercourse during that time. There's a long history of studying these algorithms." If you could throw our Dr. Roetzer's name that'd be even cooler! Be sure not to say "We know which day we ovulate" because even with NFP and peak, you can't know for sure which day, but only which DAYS.

    Also, if they push anything really hard, just say you hate the way oral contraceptives made you feel (which is also true). Doctors have a right to know what their patients are thinking/feeling.

    Just try to relax, who knows, they might just not say anything. I was so anxious the first time I went into my doctor that I had high blood pressure! Never had it before or since.
    You can't change the world but you can keep your cool and be confident, and you'll be surprised what affects that has on people!

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  6. Wow, everyone else has given wonderful advice, that I don't really feel like I can add anything. With my ob/gyn, when I told him I was on NFP he kind of just smiled, but didn't say anything. I wonder if they will try and push putting me on something when I have the baby. Hmm...

    Anywho, just know I'll be praying that you have a positive experience with your doc. Mine has been so far.. better than telling my family I'm on NFP. They look at me like I'm wacko!

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  7. I've never taken a chart in. That said, I would hope that it would be fine for you to take your chart. I'd recommend carrying it in your bag and then you can bring it out when it seems appropriate or not mention it depending on how the visit goes.

    Be prepared for them to offer contraception multiple times and ask you whether you're prepared for pregnancy. You can "spread the word" if you like, or you can just smile and say that you're confident with your method and happy to accept the results. But in any case, don't feel as though you have to "represent" NFP. The most important thing is that you are getting the best medical care in the most supportive environment possible. Just make sure that you say and do what you need to say and do for yourself.

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