What to Expect at Your First Fertility Appointment
April 13, 2023
If you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year and have been struggling to get pregnant or keep a pregnancy, it may be time to set up an appointment with a fertility specialist. You probably have lots of feelings, worries, and questions surrounding the idea of setting up your first fertility appointment, which is completely understandable and expected. Continue reading to learn how best to prepare yourself and calm those pre-appointment jitters.
How to Prepare for Your First Fertility Appointment
Things you can prepare for your fertility specialist ahead of your first fertility appointment include:
A record of your ovulatory cycle
A record of your intimacy patterns
Your personal & familial medical history
Any previous testing results you may have completed to date
An insurance referral or authorizations, if applicable
Insurance cards and government-issued identification cards
We recognize this can feel like a lot to handle ahead of your appointment. However, we do encourage you to take the time to personally prepare for your appointment as best you can. Do whatever it is that you need to feel secure. Maybe this looks like writing down your questions ahead of time – something we recommend everyone do! – or having a conversation with your partner about your expectations or feelings around your appointment.
It’s normal to feel a little anxious for your first fertility appointment, but if you find yourself feeling over-anxious, then reach out to your clinic ahead of time. You may be able to visit the clinic and meet the staff before coming in for your appointment or you can have it noted in your file that the specialist should take extra care and patience during your visit.
What Happens During Your First Fertility Appointment
The first fertility appointment is all about gathering important information.
Once you arrive at the clinic for your first fertility appointment, filling out a questionnaire on your medical history and particular fertility situation is likely the first thing the staff will have you do. It’ll be quite extensive, as there are many things that could impact fertility. So, it may take 20-30 minutes to complete. Check with your clinic to see if this initial paperwork can be completed ahead of time if you want to avoid being in the waiting room longer than you have to be.
In addition to the questionnaire, there will also be a physical exam. This may involve blood and urine tests, semen analysis, and a vaginal exam plus an ultrasound. There may also be other specialized tests the specialist recommends based on your health history.
Once the results of your physical exams and tests are available, your fertility specialist can explain what the results mean and provide a recommended course of action. It’s important to remember that about one in five cases of infertility have no definite cause or explanation. This doesn’t mean the fertility specialist cannot work with you to overcome these fertility problems. The specialist can work with you to find a fertility treatment that best aligns with your test results and your own family planning goals.
Questions to Ask at Your First Fertility Appointment
In addition to gathering as much information as possible in order to make an informed diagnosis, your fertility specialist will also be available during your first fertility appointment to answer any questions you may have. These questions can be about your unique circumstances, the fertility treatment process in general, or about the clinic itself. No question is too small.
Questions to Ask at Your Fertility Specialist
Is there something physically that has prevented me from conceiving?
Who will I be communicating with regarding treatment questions or medical evaluations?
One burning question you might have is: How long will it take? The unfortunate reality is that it all depends. You can absolutely ask your fertility specialist this. They should be able to give you a general idea of how long extended test results may take and how long you can expect your chosen treatment to be effective. This will give you a rough timeline. However, please keep in mind that these are just estimates. Every case and patient is different.
You might find it helpful to bring a notebook or have a dedicated note on your phone to write down the answers to your questions. This is also where you can take notes on everything else your fertility specialist covered during your first fertility appointment. There will be a wealth of new information regarding the course of action, any important recommendations, contacts, and financial information. Don’t stress yourself out trying to remember it all!
What Happens After Your First Fertility Appointment
This may be a blog post on your first fertility appointment, but we want to bring up a few things to consider after your appointment, just so they’re top of mind.
Following your appointment, take some time to consider how the appointment made you feel. If it left you feeling unsure, ignored, or uncomfortable, then look for a second opinion and a doctor who makes you feel at ease. We also recommend looking into local support groups and mental health professionals who specialize in fertility issues. The fertility journey you’re about to embark on can have many highs and lows. Having a support system in place early can help you navigate tough times.
Setting up and attending your first fertility appointment is a huge step in one’s fertility journey. It comes with lots of feelings and lots of information to sort through. We hope in reading this blog post you were able to feel a little more prepared and excited for everything new about to come. Take the next step in your fertility journey and schedule your first fertility appointment with Red Rock Fertility Center to speak with fertility specialists who care and are excited to help you throughout your fertility journey!
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