8 Steps to Getting ready for your first fertility appointment
In this article, we explain what you can do to get ready and make the most out of your first fertility appointment.
1. Bring copies of medical records
All the information you can provide will be useful in creating a picture of your overall health and fertility. You may get your medical records from your GP, gynaecologist or other doctors who may have requested relevant tests and examinations. If you keep records of your body temperature, ovulation tests or fertility charts, these will be helpful.
2. List of medications
Make note of current medications you are taking, including vitamins, herbs and supplements. The name, dose and how often you take them is important information.
3. Ready for the doctor’s questions
The doctor will ask you a lot of questions, including medical conditions you and your partner may have, previous evaluations, treatments and pregnancies, age of first menstruation, and details about your cycle. The doctor will also ask you about intercourse and how long you’ve been trying.
4. Write down your own questions
You may have several questions to ask the doctor, but the excitement and stress of the first appointment might make you forget some important questions you wanted to be answered. It’s a good idea to write down your questions ahead of time to make sure you go through them with the doctor or nurse. Some questions you may want to ask are:
- Which specific tests do you suggest myself and/or my partner undergo?
- What type of treatments does the clinic offer?
- What treatment do you suggest for my particular situation?
- What are my chances of getting pregnant?
- How much does treatment cost?
- Will I get professional emotional support throughout treatment?
- Do I have access to alternative medicine (acupuncture, reflexology etc) alongside treatment?
- What lifestyle changes do you recommend that may help?
- Are there any books, websites or other resources you recommend?
- What are the next steps?
- Who can I contact if I have further questions?
5. Take a pen and paper
The first consultation will last around 60 minutes and there is a lot of information you may want to remember. Make sure you have a pen and paper to take notes during the appointment.
6. Physical examination
After taking your clinical history, your doctor may want to do a physical examination to rule out any anatomical problems. This includes an abdominal, breast and gynaecological examination.
7. Bring a significant other
You may want to bring a partner or a friend to your first appointment. This is an opportunity to involve people who are important to you, allowing them to support you, help you answer questions and ask other questions you may not have thought of. Make arrangements with them to make sure they are available.
8. Enough time
Allow enough time to arrive at the clinic early and complete any required paperwork at a reception ahead of the consultation. The consultation itself may last sometimes even up to 90 minutes. You may also want to give yourself sometime after the consultation to reflect on the information you have received and make decisions on what to do next.
It is normal to feel anxious, stressed or hesitant ahead of the first fertility appointment. A lot of people are afraid of what the doctor might tell them, the procedures or cost. However, know that many people are in a similar position. Taking the 8 steps above to prepare for the appointment may help you reduce the anxiety, feel you are in control, and make the most of the consultation.
If you have any questions or would like to book a consultation with one of our Fertility Specialists at City Fertility, please fill in the contact form available here.