Starting fertility treatments can feel mysterious. What will the treatments be like? How do you choose a doctor or a clinic? When is the right time to start seeking help? If you’ve ever had any of these questions, know that you’re not alone. Many families delay the start of their fertility treatments for longer than necessary because they are not sure exactly how or when to begin. Deciding to visit a fertility clinic to help build your dream family can feel stressful enough, so we want to demystify what your initial appointment will be like.
Much like when you visit any other doctor for the first time, most fertility clinics will request that you come to your appointment a little early to complete some new patient paperwork. Before your appointment make sure you have all of your insurance information, as well as your (and, if relevant, your partner’s) medical history. Your appointment, and beginning your journey to parenthood, will run more smoothly if you bring in as much information as possible.
Bring Your Partner and Your Questions
Infertility and fertility treatments are complicated. Though it is often thought that infertility is caused by the female partner, sometimes male factor infertility or a combination of factors are at play. Even if both partners are not contributing genetic material to the pregnancy - for example, same sex couples that will be using donor eggs or sperm, or any couple that has a partner with known damage to their reproductive organs - having support through the process of working with a fertility specialist can be comforting.
It is also helpful to prepare your questions with your partner in advance. Write everything down - there is no question too small or too basic to ask your doctor, so don’t feel silly asking any questions that you have. Your doctor will also have questions for you. Some common questions at a first appointment include:
- How long have you been trying to get pregnant?
- Have you been tracking your ovulation? If so, using what method?
- Do you smoke or drink regularly?
- Have you ever been pregnant before?
These questions will continue to round out the story of your medical history and help your doctor determine the best treatments for you.
Be Prepared for Tests and Examinations
Even if you bring a detailed and complete medical history to your first appointment, that history itself won’t tell your doctor the whole story. Depending on your family’s unique situation, you can expect tests ranging from a pelvic exam, transvaginal ultrasound, blood tests, or semen analysis. These tests will give your doctor a better understanding about the underlying cause or causes of your infertility, and will allow them to begin creating a treatment plan.
Decide if You Want To Work Together
An important part of your research into different fertility clinics, as well as your first appointment with the fertility expert you have chosen, is to decide if you want to work with this doctor and their team throughout the process of growing your family. Even more so than with some other types of doctors, the relationship between fertility experts and their patients can feel especially emotional and intimate. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor and their staff, it may become harder to work with them or trust their recommendations. Setting clear goals, boundaries, and expectations from the beginning will make future decisions about your fertility care easier.
We believe the relationship aspect of fertility treatment is one of the most important. That’s why we provide an initial 30-minute phone consultation before you book an appointment to talk about your family, your goals, and how we can work together. The family of your dreams is possible! Contact us for your free consultation today.