What happens at the first IVF center appointment when you’re trying to get pregnant?

As you prepare for your first appointment with a fertility clinic, you could feel frightened, apprehensive, or even a little eager. You can trust the doctor and the clinic, who will provide you comfort throughout the procedure, no matter how you’re feeling right now. It can be easier for you to feel confident about continuing treatment with them if you get a feeling of your doctor, their bedside manner, and the facility.

As a fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, and board-certified OB-GYN at Zeeva fertility, we are here to help you get an idea of the typical flow of the appointment and know what questions to ask so you can be fully prepared before you plan a family.

Evaluating your medical history and seeing your fertility doctor

You’ll typically have between 30 and 60 minutes at the initial visit to meet with your reproductive specialist and have them thoroughly go over your medical background, which will include:

  • Your menstrual cycles, your experiences with pain during intercourse, any prior fertility treatments, the length of time you’ve been trying to get pregnant, how frequently and when you’re timing intercourse, and other details will be discussed with you.
  • Bringing your partner with sperm to your initial consultation can be beneficial because your fertility specialist can inquire about their health and family history.

Receiving evaluation

An essential first step in the examination of fertility is the transvaginal ultrasound (though some patients are surprised by this portion of the exam). If this is your first transvaginal ultrasound, you can anticipate some slight vaginal pressure but usually no pain. It has a comparable sensation to a Pap smear or speculum exam.

Why choose transvaginal ultrasound over abdominal imaging? The uterus and ovaries can be seen in greater clarity and depth with a transvaginal ultrasound, which is crucial for determining your fertility. Your doctor can examine your ovaries and uterus.

There is no need to schedule this ultrasound around your period; we can have it done at any time during your menstrual cycle.

Other fertility tests that could be performed at your initial or subsequent appointments include:

  • Lab work: Your doctor may prescribe blood testing to examine your levels of reproductive hormones and find any out-of-range hormone levels that could be a factor in your prior or present inability to conceive.
  • X-rays: To check for fallopian tube obstructions that can affect your ability to conceive, your doctor may do a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), an X-ray of your uterus and fallopian tubes.

Talking about remedies and asking questions

If you are dealing with infertility, trying to conceive on your own, or trying to conceive with a partner who has ovaries, your doctor will discuss the best treatments for your specific situation during your first appointment. This is your chance to ask your prospective doctor any questions you may have regarding the clinic’s working environment and success rates.

Start jotting down any questions you have in the weeks or months before your consultation so you may ask your fertility specialist about them. You should make sure you leave your meeting feeling knowledgeable about your fertility and the next steps by preparing questions in advance.

You always have the right to ask questions as a patient, and it is our responsibility as doctors to inform you (and your partner, if you have one) of your options. By asking questions, you can learn more about your doctor and their practice and begin to set expectations for your own reproductive objectives.

We have compiled a list of a few crucial questions to obtain answers to so you have all the information you need to make the best choice for you. Knowing precisely what to ask and when might be difficult.

Your course of action

It’s crucial to know all the details about the treatment alternatives the clinic offers, from the scheduling procedure to whether or not they can support you from beginning to end.

Knowing your optimal window for pregnancy might be helpful when discussing your treatment plan with a possible doctor so that everyone is on the same page. Also, keep in mind that the clinic could need a psychological consultation before starting treatment for persons who are using donor sperm, donor eggs, or a gestational carrier. The clinic can also want a written contract if you choose to use a known egg or sperm donor as opposed to an anonymous one.

Clinic success rate

The achievement of pregnancy is the ultimate aim when beginning therapy for infertility; therefore, it’s crucial to review the success rates of various treatment choices with your doctor so you can set realistic expectations.

The clinic’s operational process

There’s a fair chance that if you choose to move forward with fertility treatment, you’ll have to balance spending a significant amount of time at your clinic with juggling work and other commitments. Knowing how the clinic operates on a daily basis will help you feel supported and at ease throughout the procedure.

Make sure it’s the proper match for you.

Never hesitate to get a second opinion on your care and treatment plan if you don’t click with your doctor or feel positive about the facility. That is something you owe to yourself. To make sure you feel supported and at ease, use your first session for interviewing your doctor and the clinic.

As doctors, we want you to feel appropriately ready and informed about the process. The journey through infertility should be a partnership between the doctor and the patient. You may rest assured that our best doctor and clinic will be there for you throughout the process.

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