Planning to see a fertility doctor can create an intense mixture of feelings. Between the excitement, nervousness, and concern, understanding what is ahead may feel a little confusing.
There may be a variety of reasons behind why you have made an appointment to see a fertility doctor. These can instigate a broad array of questions.
To get the most out of your appointment, it’s a great idea to have some clear questions in mind. We will explore some questions that may be helpful to discuss with your fertility doctor.
Why Visit A Fertility Doctor?
Fertility doctors see a diverse range of patients with varying objectives and motivations. There may be an overall goal of exploring your pregnancy options, but the specific reasons can differ from patient to patient.
If you are concerned about your fertility or want support as you explore your options, talk to your GP first. They will evaluate your medical history, discuss your situation with you, and undertake a physical assessment if required.
If your doctor determines it is a suitable option, they may refer you to a fertility doctor. Your GP may send you for further testing when appropriate, or your fertility doctor may do so before or during your initial consultation.
In most cases, you must have been actively trying to become pregnant for at least a year before seeing a fertility doctor. This may not include people at high risk of infertility, such as those who have undergone or are undergoing cancer treatments.
Some of the most common reasons why people see a fertility doctor include:
Fertility reduces with age for most people. This can affect males and females but is typically more of an issue for females. It may be advantageous to consult with a doctor regarding your fertility earlier rather than later.
If you have passed 40 years of age, fertility support may be particularly pertinent. Some doctors will consider fertility support for people over 35 years of age who have been trying to conceive for six months rather than twelve.
Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Having an unpredictable menstrual cycle may impact your ability to become pregnant. This may involve factors such as varying lengths of your cycle or of your menstruation each month.
Fertility issues may stem from male factors, such as low sperm count, abnormal breast growth, hormone imbalances, ejaculation problems, and low muscle mass.
Low Sex Drive
There may be various causes of low sex drive for men and women. This could range from factors such as chronic health conditions to emotional issues.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
As an infection or inflammation that affects the female reproduction system, this disease may have a significant impact on fertility or the ability to become pregnant.
Symptoms that may determine whether you have had pelvic inflammatory disease can include fever, urination difficulties, and pain during intercourse.
Ovulation is a major factor when it comes to becoming pregnant. If there is irregularity or issues with ovulation, such as hormone regulation or ovary disorders, further exploration may be advantageous.
If you have experienced miscarriages, you may find an appointment with a fertility doctor helpful and supportive.
Certain Medical Conditions And Treatments
There are a variety of health issues that may impact fertility and the ability to become or stay pregnant. This may include issues such as thyroid abnormalities, endometriosis, autoimmune disorders, and fibroids. Some medications and treatments may also be a factor.
No matter the reason for or the purpose of your appointment, most people have at least a few questions. Thinking about these before your appointment may help you to explore your options more deeply. It may also help your doctor get a more comprehensive picture of your situation.
Your questions could range from ‘What tests do I need?’ to ‘How much does fertility treatment cost?’. They may be relevant to aspects such as your health, counseling, success rates, and medications. Fertility and pregnancy are multi-faceted topics, and as such, questions abound.
Some questions that may be useful to ask your fertility doctor include:
How Long Is The IVF Process?
This typically differs from one patient to the next, but your doctor may be able to give you an idea based on your unique set of circumstances and target outcomes.
What Are The Chances IVF Will Work?
Your doctor will go through your medical history and other relevant factors, such as your partner’s health, donor options, and freezing considerations. They will lay out the risks, advantages, and disadvantages as clearly as possible.
What Services Are Offered At This Clinic?
If you are interested in IVF, it may be good to know how involved the clinic is in the process. Do they perform embryo transfers? Where do you access egg or sperm donor services? Needing to visit more than one facility may be part of your decision regarding whether this doctor is for you.
How Long Can Frozen Embryos be Kept?
This may be an important question for you to ask if you are not planning to become pregnant soon. This may be because of factors such as your age, lifestyle, or medical treatments.
What Happens To Embryos I Don’t Use?
It can be important to consider what happens after a course of IVF, not just before and during.
Do You Test And Treat Female And Male Infertility?
Difficulty becoming pregnant may be due to female or male factors. Being able to explore these with the same doctor may be highly advantageous.
Do You Have Experience With My Health Condition?
You may have a health condition that is affecting your ability to become or stay pregnant. Knowing that your fertility doctor understands your condition could be useful.
Are You Experienced With Older Patients?
Not all fertility doctors regularly see patients on the higher end of the age spectrum. If this is relevant to your circumstances, it may be worth knowing how experienced they are in the area.
Is This Clinic LGBTQ+ Friendly?
Feeling comfortable and well-supported is fundamental for everyone. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding your treatment.
What Qualifications Do You Have?
Doctors who diagnose and treat fertility and pregnancy-related issues and conditions may have different training and experience. Find out what their particular areas of interest and expertise are.
Feel Understood On Your Fertility And Pregnancy Journey
If you are experiencing fertility or pregnancy difficulties and setbacks, it can be a highly challenging time. Being aware of the information you may need to help you throughout the process can make a difference.
When you go to your fertility appointment, it may be beneficial to have your questions written down. That way, you can minimize your confusion and frustration if you forget something. You can also make notes next to your questions as your doctor discusses the information with you.
Feel more empowered when you visit your fertility doctor by planning your questions ahead of time.
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