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Consultation with a Fertility Doctor
Once you have decided to transition your care to a fertility doctor, you next need to make the important decision regarding which one to choose. Choosing a fertility doctor is an important step. One way to gain a better understanding of the fertility doctors you are considering is to schedule an initial fertility consultation.
What to Expect at an Infertility Consultation
While fertility consultations are not the same for each fertility clinic or fertility doctor, there are a number of things you can expect at a consultation.
Before you arrive at your fertility consultation, it may be helpful to send over your medical records. This will allow your fertility doctor to review your records ahead of time, as well as become aware of any prior fertility treatments you may have had.
Your fertility doctor will likely begin by asking you some basic questions: How long have you been trying to conceive? If you have received any kind of fertility treatments before, what were they, and how did you respond? Have you ever been pregnant before? Have you ever had any sexually transmitted diseases? What is your family medical history?
At your infertility consultation visit, you may also have the opportunity to talk with financial representatives from the fertility clinic. They will be able to answer your questions about cost, payment plans, and insurance issues.
Female Infertility Consultations
Your fertility doctor will also focus on your medical history, especially on conditions that may affect trying to conceive, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), recurrent miscarriages, tubal disease, endometriosis, or premature ovarian failure. He or she will ask about current medications that you are taking. Make sure to share all of the medications with your fertility doctor, even if they are over the counter.
If your doctor suspects you may have conditions that may make trying to conceive more difficult, he or she may recommend certain tests. It is also common to have blood work done at a consultation. This fertility blood work will test for infectious diseases, hormone levels, or genetic abnormalities.
A complete physical exam may also be performed. An ultrasound, called a sonogram, may also be performed to give the fertility doctor a better understanding of your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Before you arrive at your consultation, make sure your PAP smears are up to date.
Finally, your fertility doctor will spend time with you going over potential fertility treatment plans. You may also be asked to return for a follow-up infertility consultation, in which the fertility doctor will go over results of tests that were done.
Male Infertility Consultation
Male infertility consultations will also include a thorough medical history review. Your fertility doctor will ask about your current health situation, medications, and duration of the infertility problem. He or she will also ask about sexual habits, prior pregnancies or fertility treatments, and conditions like varicoceles, undescended testicles, or sexually transmitted infections, which can make trying to conceive more difficult.
Then, your fertility doctor may perform a physical examination. Your fertility doctor will examine the penis, scrotum, and testicular size and consistency. During the examine, your fertility doctor will look for the absence or presence of the vas deferens, swelling of the epididymides, or the presence of varicoceles, which are enlarged veins around the testicles.
Your fertility doctor may also perform blood or other testing during the male infertility consultation. He or she may recommend a semen analysis, as well as testing for hormone levels for FSH, LH, testosterone, and prolactin. Your fertility doctor may also perform an ultrasound to check the scrotum for signs of obstruction. Genetic testing may also be recommended.