The Next Step in Your Fertility Plan
After this first visit, the next step varies a bit from patient to patient, but generally includes diagnostic testing to acquire all the information needed to come up with an effective fertility treatment plan. Blood tests can help determine whether a woman is ovulating and how many eggs remain in her ovaries. The doctor might also recommend a pelvic ultrasound to confirm ovulation and check for any physical factors—such as blockages, ovarian abnormalities, or cysts—that might hinder conception or pregnancy. A special X-ray called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) can more clearly show the structure of the uterus and fallopian tubes. If your partner hasn’t already been tested, he’ll probably need to have a semen analysis. Based on all these results, you may require medication or surgery, or you may have fertility procedures such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization) recommended.
But all that is still down the road. In the meantime, take a deep breath, gather your ultrasound films, and hold on to your partner’s hand. Try to gather as much information as you can during this first fertility visit, so you and your partner can make the best decision about how to proceed toward parenthood.
What you will need to bring with you on your first fertility visit:
A written medical history (or completed form, if sent to you prior to the meeting) including genetic and reproductive history
- Test results, including findings of prior fertility and genetic testing
- A list of medicines you’re currently taking
- Prior fertility treatment information and results
- Ultrasound films
- Surgery notes
- X-ray films
- Laboratory reports
- Insurance card and information
If you’ve been charting your menstrual cycle, bring in those records, too. If not, at least try to know where you are in your cycle on the day of your appointment. And, if applicable, have your partner’s medical records sent ahead or bring them with you, too.
Finally, come prepared with the questions you want to ask, preferably written down so you don’t forget anything.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2005 issue of Conceive Magazine.