What to Know Before Seeing A Fertility Specialist
If you’ve been trying to achieve pregnancy without success, there are recommendations to consider when seeking care from a specialist. Here are some guidelines for when to seek care:
- If you are under the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than 12 months
- If you are over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than 6 months
- If you have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss
- If you have a known fertility diagnosis such as PCOS or Endometriosis that prevents you from achieving pregnancy naturally
- If you are an LGBTQ+ family who will need the assistance of a third party
Preparing for Your First Consultation
Once you’ve booked your first appointment with a specialist, it’s important to know that our team will ask a variety of health questions and recommend general testing to better determine your fertility concerns.
You may be asked about your medical and reproductive history, current illnesses, prescribed medications and lifestyle habits. These questions are all designed to help your specialist gain an understanding of your reproductive health and ensure that the best personalized treatment can be created for you.
Some insurance policies may cover a portion of your treatment expenses such as an initial consultation. Plans and coverage can vary for each individual, which is why it is always recommended to learn as much as possible about your individual insurance policy.
Our patient care team will verify your insurance policy when scheduling your initial consultation. If needed, they will also recommend a financial consultation to help determine your coverage and what out of pocket costs will be involved. Find a list of insurance providers we accept on our website.
Testing and Preparation
At your consultation, your specialist will recommend the necessary tests that will provide an overall picture of your reproductive health.
For women, this includes a full physical examination, ovulation evaluation, blood work, urine tests, and STD screening. An ultrasound can also be performed to evaluate follicle growth and egg release. In some cases, an X-ray of the uterus will be taken to view the shape of the uterus, condition of the fallopian tubes, and to check the uterine lining for hormonal imbalances.
Men will undergo a physical exam, have blood work done, get screened for STDs, and have their urine tested. A semen analysis is also performed to monitor sperm count, motility, and morphology. In some cases, a biopsy of the testicle is done to inspect sperm levels if it is absent from the semen sample. An x-ray exam could be necessary if your specialist suspects the presence of varicocele, a common infertility issue that men face.
When these tests are complete, your fertility specialist will inform you about the results and review your options for treatment. Considering what your fertility goals are, a specialist may recommend several different treatment plans. For instance, some individuals may be need treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) while some may be a good candidate for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
We’re Here to Help
At Laurel Fertility Care, our team of specialists will present you with every possibility and is here to encourage you through every step of the process. Our supportive and knowledgeable team is here to guide you when you are ready to pursue your dream of a family.
For more information about your first appointment, contact us at (415) 673-9199.