Fertility Treatment is quite different from any other treatments . It’s long, exhausting and not that pocket friendly for sure. So, before you start the process you need to build a road map of your fertility journey: where you have come from and where you are headed to.
Your first consultation with a fertility doctor is an opportunity to start looking for some answers. What should you expect and how can you prepare ? A checklist that can help you out before you make your first visit.
During consultation, you would meet your doctor for an in-depth evaluation of your medical history.Once they get a hold of your case, they begin to outline diagnostic and treatment plan. Usually the first time visit can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.
WHAT TO BRING
- Copies of Medical records – Every piece of background information is vital, the more accurately you supply your medical history and past evaluation if any, they can better chalk out your treatment plan. Try to keep all your medical records in one folder in sequence as per date .It’s easy to check as well as show to any consultant.
Moreover, all your records would be in order as well as organised.
- A list of questions for your doctor It is a very good idea to have your questions written down or printed out before you go for the visit. While diagnosis you would be asked several questions but it’s equally important to ask your set of doubts also.
- A notebook to write down any instructions or details – With so much to cover in the first visit and the possibility of intense emotions surrounding the event ” information overload” is a common scenario. Noting down important points would help you to remember things.
- Your Partner, if you like – This is a journey of a couple and the efforts should be from both from all aspects, physical as well as emotional. Your partner can question of their own, which can help them feel supported and clear up any fears or misgivings they may have about the fertility treatment.
What to ask during your first consultation
- Fertility Evaluation : What specific tests would they recommend, after diagnose your infertility? How much do they cost? This is important information for you to know as financially you would start preparing for it. If you are recommended for medicines and natural trials it’s not that expensive but if you have to go for IUI or IVF it’s a pretty expensive affair and you need to have that backup financially before you jump into it.
- Diagnosis : How long will it take? Every case varies depending on age factor, infertility type, problems regarding infertility so your doctor won’t be able to tell you the exact number of months but would definitely give you a tentative idea of the timeline.
- Treatment : Based on the results of those tests, what are my treatment options? What is the national success rate for those treatments in terms of live births? What are this clinic’s success rate? What are the side effects and risks of these treatments?
You need to do your homework on these questions before you step inside any fertility clinic.
- About the Clinic: You need to know where the tests will be conducted, on site or at a separate facility? How many patients do you see of your age group? How many have your fertility problem? What are the live-birth success rate for your age group and with the treatment that you are undergoing? How is communication handled at the clinic? what are the office hours and what numbers should you call with problems or questions? Is there an out-of-hours emergency line?
- Tests administered – Multiple tests are regular part of any fertility treatment. At your first consultation, the tests are to help you diagnose your fertility issues, establish a baseline for future tests, and to screen out any problems that could interfere with fertility treatments.At your first visit, you are likely to encounter following tests
i. Ultrasound to assess ovaries
ii. Standard blood tests( to check hormone levels) such as FSH ( follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), TSH ( Thyroid stimulating hormone) PRL ( prolactin)
i. Sperm sample
ii. Infectious disease panel before IUI ( Intrauterine Insemination) or IVF ( In Vitro Fertilization).
To kick-start your fertility treatment is a powerful decision, and this first visit is an important moment. As you move through the process, remember that you are an equal partner and participant in your treatment and possess all the right to be informed and knowledgeable about every phase and stage. Being prepared for your first consultation will provide you with great head start and allow you to begin this journey with confidence.