So, you are going through a treatment cycle and have had an intrauterine insemination or an embryo transfer. You are now in the two week waiting period for the pregnancy test results that will be a potentially life-changing event, especially if the result is positive. The big day arrives and you are anxiously waiting for the test result. The question is, would you prefer to get a personal phone call from the doctor, or an email or voice message with your pregnancy test results?
Disadvantages of Personal Phone Calls
It is great that the first pregnancy test result is positive. However, that does necessarily not mean that the pregnancy will progress normally. At least 15% of pregnancies will be abnormal--miscarriage or tubal. It is not good to raise the woman's hopes very high with a call. We fear the “crash” will be severe if the pregnancy does not progress normally.
A detailed message, good or bad, results in the same outcome as a personal call.
The message can be retrieved in private at the patient’s convenience, unlike phone calls. It also gives a chance for both partners to read the message at the same time and celebrate or grieve together.
Phone calls don't allow patients to process the news. When the result is negative, instructions may not register. It may be much better to sit with the couple a week later to discuss the cycle and the next step.
Advantages of Making a Personal Call
A positive pregnancy test can be a huge event. The personal touch associated with a phone call can make the moment more memorable.
Many women will appreciate the fact that the doctor took the time and effort to communicate the news personally. Perhaps a personal call along with a follow up message may be the ideal process.
This is something that we have been debating at InVia Fertility Specialists. At InVia, we have electronic medical records and routinely communicate with our patients via messages posted in the patient portal. The woman is sent a text message informing her that there is a message waiting for her. Our patients generally love the system.
They get to see all their test results in real time.
They can read them at their convenience
Written results reduces the chances of the patient misunderstanding the message
A written message protects the privacy of patients that may not feel comfortable with having others know that they are going through fertility treatment.
Please let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
Dr. Karande is Board Certified in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.