Preparing For Your First Fertility Clinic Visit
You may feel helpless and hopeless when pregnancy does not come easily. You might even feel alone, like no one understands what you are going through.
Few people discuss their fertility problems openly, yet 1 in 6 American couples will deal with infertility at some point in their lives. This means that you are not alone. And rest assured that your situation is not hopeless, either. A fertility specialist, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist, may be able to help you get pregnant.
What to bring
Wondering what to take with you to your first fertility clinic appointment and what to leave at home? Here are three things that you do not want to leave behind:
- Your partner (or a close friend or relative if your partner cannot make it)
- A list of questions to ask your fertility doctor (do not be afraid to speak up and advocate for yourself!)
- Relevant medical records and test results
During your appointment, use your time wisely. When it comes to infertility, time is not always on your side. The sooner you seek help and begin treatment, the better your chances of success.
What to expect
Reproductive endocrinologists are doctors trained to evaluate and treat fertility problems. At your first fertility appointment, your doctor will ask you many questions to make an accurate diagnosis. Be prepared to share details about the following:
- Previous pregnancies, births, and miscarriages
- Ovulation and menstrual cycle patterns
- Current and past symptoms, medications, surgeries, illnesses, and injuries
- Exposures to environmental toxins or major stressors
- Any family history of infertility or reproductive health problems
Your doctor will need to know your full medical history. Unfortunately, health problems from the past can put you at risk for infertility. Some examples of these problems include:
- Certain illnesses like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and others
- Birth defects and previous surgeries
- Scar tissue, fibroids, or polyps in the pelvis
If you have had any of these issues in the past, be prepared to discuss them with your fertility doctor.
Fertility tests and treatments
A reproductive endocrinologist may perform a physical exam at your first visit. Your partner may also be questioned and examined.
After your first fertility appointment, you may need to come back for more fertility tests on your reproductive organs. After extensive review, your doctor will create a fertility treatment plan just for you. This plan may include a combination of fertility drugs and procedures.
Scheduling your appointment
Your first visit may go quickly, and you may feel like you did not get all the answers you were seeking. You can streamline the process and save time. When scheduling your fertility appointment, take the following steps to make the most out of your visit:
- Ask what to bring to your visit.
- Ask to speak with a financial counselor about insurance coverage, fees and payment.
- Ask about other services offered by the fertility clinic, such as support groups and counseling.
Many people experience setbacks on the journey to conceive. To get the answers you want about how to achieve your dream of pregnancy and motherhood, make an appointment with a fertility specialist as soon as possible.