Are you feeling nervous? Excited? Apprehensive? You’re likely experiencing a range of as you prepare for your first fertility appointment and that’s ok! This is the next step towards achieving your goals and just might be the opportunity you’ve been looking for to grow your family.
Before you visit the fertility clinic for your initial consultation, keep these tips in mind to uncover the answers you need.
Understand the Goal of the Consultation
To ensure the process of your fertility treatment is manageable, it is important that you work with your doctor to create a roadmap of things you’ll encounter along the way. By understanding the process step-by-step, it’ll make you feel more comfortable, align your expectations with those of the care giver and provide an opportunity to ask questions along the way.
Bring Your Medical Records
Your doctor will want to see everything from your medical background. Most clinics will provide you with a specific timeframe for how far you’ll need to go back to review medical history. By ordering your records ahead of time, this gives your doctor a chance to review your information prior to your first consultation which can make the first appointment run more efficiently.
Create a List of Questions
You’re going to have the doctor right in front of you so make sure to ask all the questions you feel will help clarify the fertility treatment process. Be specific with your concerns but use the following a guide to get the conversation started:
- What kind of tests will you perform to determine my fertility levels?
- What treatment do you think will give us the best chance to conceive?
- Why do you feel we haven’t been successful in conceiving?
- Are there any major side effects I should know about when working through the treatment?
- How many times will we try this approach before moving on to another option?
- Are there any real health complications I should know about before starting treatment?
Your fertility doctor will have lots of questions for you too. Here are a few you can expect to hear.
- How long have you been trying to conceive? What is the frequency of intercourse?
- Have you constructed any fertility charts or created records that can help us figure out the issue?
- What is your menstrual cycle like? Has it changed at all recently, and at what age did it start?
- Do you have any family history of infertility, on either side?
- Have you seen any recent changes in body weight or composition?
- Do you experience any pain in the scrotum or post-ejaculatory discomfort?
- Have you been able to conceive with previous partners?
- Do you have any diagnosed sexual problems, such as an inability to maintain an erection?
- Do you take any muscle-building substances, or do you have a hard time putting on weight or muscle mass in general?
For the Couple
- Do either of you use recreational drugs?
- Do either of you smoke?
- How often do you have intercourse?
- Does your job expose you to any hazardous substances, like radiation or pesticides?
- How long have you been trying to conceive?
- Do either of you take dietary supplements, steroids, or prescription medications?
As you can see, the majority of the first fertility appointment is to collect as much information as possible, so be prepared to talk, take notes, and ask questions. This is the meeting both you and your partner want to attend, as you’ll each find questions to ask that the other may never have thought of and you’ll want to provide a complete picture of fertility challenges. Most importantly, starting this journey together will provide the support you’ll each need and the confidence you deserve.