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Your First Appointment with a Fertility Doctor: The Fertility Workup

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Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, October 13, 2015

An appointment with a fertility doctor can be empowering. It will provide you with answers and a plan of action for getting pregnant.

Dr. Jane Frederick, Medical Director of HRC Fertility in Newport Beach, CA, wants to demystify that first visit. “The first appointment can take one to two hours, meeting with the fertility doctor and a nurse coordinator. Both partners are encourage to attend. Spending one-on-one time allows us to get a very thorough medical history of both partners, as well as do some preliminary testing.”

Patients are asked to submit medical records and lab results in advance. The medical history includes:

  • Use of medications
  • Current or past medical issues
  • Surgeries
  • Genetic history
  • Pregnancies, miscarriages
  • Mother’s history – how many children, age of menopause

The medical history is followed by a physical exam and a baseline ultrasound to assess ovarian reserve. “I find it’s important, at the physical exam, to look at the patient's weight, because we see a lot of data coming out showing that the underweight and the overweight patient do play a role in the success of pregnancy. So, I do check a BMI on the patient, based on her height and weight,” Frederick says.

“The ultrasound, in addition to one or more blood tests to assess hormone levels– AMH, FSH, E2 – will help us get a good indication of the quality and quantity of your eggs,” Frederick adds.

In addition, a semen analysis will be scheduled.

Once the results of those tests are available – and others, based on your particular history – your fertility doctor will recommend a treatment plan.

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