Relieving The Stress Of The First Fertility Appointment
Scheduling the first appointment at a fertility clinic signals a few things. First, the individual or couple is coming to terms with the fact that there’s a problem. Second, there’s also the uncertainty of the process from financial, emotional, and medical perspectives. Third, an appointment even brings about the thought that there’s no solution to the problem. Whatever the reason, the first appointment can be stressful. To relieve the stress somewhat, start by preparing questions to ask the fertility specialist. These 5 questions are a great starting point.
1. Why can’t we get pregnant?
The number one burning question is often why a patient cannot get pregnant. About 12% of Americans struggle with infertility. Men and women are also affected at similar rates. What’s worse, there is a wide range of reasons why pregnancy is not happening. A fertility specialist can only answer the question after a comprehensive health check. From there, the doctor may reveal the root cause. If not, the patient has unexplained infertility.
2. What tests should we get to find out what’s wrong?
The fertility specialist must first find out the root cause of infertility to take action. The clinic will order blood tests to check hormone levels and other health markers. Most couples would require physical tests and ultrasounds or fluoroscopy to reveal any physical damage to reproductive organs. If these fail, the doctor may perform a testicular biopsy, sperm review, or review the woman’s ovarian reserve. If these tests fail to reveal a problem, the couple will have unexplained infertility.
3. What treatment solutions do you offer?
Most fertility clinics have a range of solutions to help with infertility. Some can be as simple as lifestyle changes, medication, and supplementation. For some issues, minor surgery can significantly improve fertility. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often the first physical solution if these fail. The next step is in vitro fertilization (IVF), the gold standard of treatment. IVF also has a range of supplementary techniques like ICSI, IVM, and assisted hatching to improve the success rates.
4. How much would treatment cost?
The cost of treatment would depend on the suggested course of action. Each patient will have a different reproductive health challenge. Each challenge will need one or more treatment options for the best results. Initial fertility consultations are covered by insurance. However, most follow-up procedures, like IVF, are not covered by insurance. The clinic will provide estimates and payment options accordingly.
5. What are the next steps?
Patients will be anxious to know the next steps with the details covered. The doctor will want to get an idea of the patient’s overall health. Follow-up appointments will consist of blood tests, physical tests, and other particulars. The doctor will outline how long tests will take to be completed and any requirements. The next steps also consist of completing paperwork or arranging payments. This information helps patients plan out the treatment journey effectively.
Preparation helps with a smooth journey
These are just 5 of many questions hopeful parents will have. There will be some anxiety about the issue, so be patient and transparent. The physician or clinic staff will outline how to overcome an infertility diagnosis. Take note of the clinic’s approach to treatment, and don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. From there, choose a clinic that can help patients through this anxious but exciting time.