How To Prepare For Your First Visit To A Fertility Specialist
An infertility consultation can be a stress-inducing situation for many reasons. From the associated costs to the diagnosis, an appointment with a fertility specialist is not the most pleasant situation. While making the appointment can be challenging, a bit of preparation before the big day can help give couples peace of mind.
Before the appointment
One obstacle during the fertility treatment process is finding someone to work with. Patients can ask primary care doctors, friends, and family for referrals of a reproductive endocrinologist who works in a fertility clinic. With a recommendation, couples can research the doctor online via forums and reviews. Asking questions by phone is also encouraged.
What questions should I ask?
Couples should start by asking insurance providers about coverage. Questions for clinics should touch on BMI restrictions, pricing, and insurance options. For women, the doctor may ask a patient to track the ovulation cycle, including cervical mucus and basal body temperature. Finally, patients should complete the health history questionnaire before the appointment to save time.
What to bring
Patients are advised to bring insurance cards and physical or digital copies of the medical records. Patients should also bring a list of medications, vitamins, herbs, and other supplements. A list of questions can help patients remember specific talking points. Specialists will guide patients through every step of the way.
During the consultation
The consultation usually begins in the doctor’s office to discuss health history, ovulation cycle, and other relevant health factors. Afterward, the patient will undergo a physical exam that could involve blood, semen, and urine analysis. A thorough physical exam of the body will help identify any obvious problems relating to fertility.
Tests help doctors diagnose fertility issues. For women, an ultrasound gives doctors a better view of ovarian health. Blood tests determine appropriate hormone levels that stimulate the ovarian cycle. For men, a sperm sample is collected. An infectious disease panel may be collected before intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
After the visit
Completing the initial consultation is a big deal. The doctor’s visit is the first step in overcoming fertility issues. Couples should consider looking for a second opinion to have a range of options. Finding support groups online can help couples handle the fertility treatment process. Finding the right support can make a significant difference.