Do you remember your teachers telling you there was no such thing as a ‘silly’ question? That was wise advice. Questioning the world around you and your particular situation can help you manage life’s challenges. Knowledge is power and starts with asking questions.

Sunday, April 25 is the start of this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, spearheads this occasion and is encouraging you to #StartAsking as this year’s theme. They want you to #startasking your doctors, legislators, employers, insurance companies and others about how they can help you better navigate your infertility journey.

The physicians at HRC Fertility/Orange County agree that asking questions is an important part of achieving a successful infertility experience. Here are examples of questions you might want to ask the staff at your clinic.

What are your success rates with treating infertility patients like me?
Every fertility clinic is required to submit its IVF cycle statistics to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and/or voluntarily to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). The latest SART data includes new and relevant data such as the live birth rate per patient and information about embryo cryopreservation, genetic screening, single embryo transfer and other techniques currently used by many infertility practices. The goal of these revisions is to help patients have a better understanding of how they might fare with treatment.

The most important question you can ask, however, is how your particular diagnosis is reflected in these success rates and what your doctor would do to ensure your success. How many cycles would he or she recommend? What medication protocol would they recommend? We encourage you to have a frank discussion with any of us so you can feel more empowered.

How can you help me pay for treatment?
Paying out of pocket for infertility treatment can be very expensive. But there are many options for paying for care, including researching whether your insurance company will pay for some or all of the expenses, which our staff will verify for you, using a flexible spending account and/or investigating one of our financing options. Please ask our trained financial coordinators if they can help you navigate the world of insurance coverage and financing or if you qualify for a military discount or a clinical study. They are happy to help.

Infertility is like an emotional roller coaster. How can I get help to cope?
Many people describe infertility as an emotional pendulum. One week you are hopeful and anticipating a positive result, but your emotions can come crashing down when your period arrives. Living through these changes can be very debilitating, especially if you don’t have a good support system.

At HRC Fertility/Orange County, we can refer you to a mental health professional specializing in infertility and/or connect you with mind/body practitioners who can help you learn relaxation techniques to deal with the stress of your treatment. In addition, each member of our staff is here to listen to you and offer support. All you need to do is ask us. We want to support you.

For more information about National Infertility Awareness Week (#NIAW) and its #StartAsking campaign, please visit www.resolve.org/niaw. We look forward to answering your questions.