4 Key Questions to Ask at Your First Infertility Appointment
Meeting with an infertility specialist or reproductive endocrinologist can be a huge milestone for couples trying to conceive. I was under prepared for my first appointment. I had been tracking my cycles, I knew when I was ovulating and how long my luteal phase was. I just wasn't prepared to speak to any of the trends I had seen in these. I was caught off guard by a comment the doctor made and as a result, I was feeling completely unprepared for my appointment, I wish I had prepared a few key questions before going into our appointment.
If I could re-do it, these are the questions I would have asked my doctor:
1. What are the first steps to figuring out why this hasn't been working?
Your doctor will likely review any previous tests from your referring doctor, they'll probably consider doing some tests on their own including, but not limited to Blood tests, Ultrasound, Semen Analysis. These are usually done to get a basic understanding of your reproductive health. Women will often undergo a sonohystogram with Echovist to see if tubes are clear, and to check for any growths.
2. How do we move forward if there is no clear diagnosis?
This one is selfish, because for me, I had no clear diagnosis, or Unexplained Infertility. A large portion of couples experience unexplained infertility, sometimes it's hard not knowing what the issue is, but there are many ways to treat unexplained infertility, but understanding that there are options available, and what they are, will help ease your mind.
3. What procedure do you recommend we start with first, and why?
Fertility clinics will help with everything from Timed Intercourse or Monitored Cycles,
4. How soon after starting the exploration, do you expect patients to become pregnant?
Some clinics actually have a published number of months where they expect to see a patient get pregnant, obviously some people will get pregnant faster and other slower, but understanding their average, which will help you understand their urgency in the treatment schedule. Some clinics will push faster than others, some insurance companies require you to have a certain number of IUIs before they will cover IVF. If you're in Ontario like me, there's a wait list for the government funded IVF procedure.
I'm sure there are others that I am missing, but these are the biggest questions I wish I had asked my doctor on my first visit, it would have helped me create a clear road map instead of leaving feeling like we had no plan, and were just waiting for things to happen naturally. For anyone who's been through this process, what questions did you want to ask at your first appointment?