You’ve scheduled an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist, and it’s on the calendar for tomorrow. If you’re like most people, you’re feeling anxious and frightened and hopeful all at the same time. This is your first, important step toward diagnosing and treating your infertility, so it’s best to go prepared.
Bring your partner to the appointment with you. You’ll each have a clearer understanding of testing and treatment options, and you can ask questions from two perspectives. To help you gather important information, you may want to use the list of suggested questions below to guide the discussion with your doctor. Take the list with you to your appointment and jot down the doctor’s answers so you don’t forget important details. This will help you get the most out of your appointment.
- What testing will my partner and I have to go through prior to treatment?
- How long will it take to diagnose our problem?
- How long from when we are diagnosed to when we can begin treatment?
- Is there any sort of waiting list for the treatment?
After you’ve undergone testing and have some results to review, schedule a follow-up meeting with your physician. Here is a list of questions to ask at that time, to map out how your treatment will proceed:
- How long should I expect to undergo treatment?
- What percentage of your patients is in my age group?
- Do you participate in clinical trials? If I am eligible, will I be able to participate?
- Are you comfortable with my doing my own research and possibly suggesting a particular course of treatment?
- What are your live birth success rates?
- What surgical procedures might you recommend for my partner and/or me?
- How many ovulation induction cycles with or without IUI do you recommend before moving to IVF?
- How does your office handle weekend inseminations? Are they done here or at another site? Do you do the weekend inseminations?
- How many IVF attempts will you make?
- What is your IVF success rate per embryo transfer? How many embryos do you generally transfer?
- When undergoing IVF, will you perform all egg retrievals and embryo transfers? If either of these are not always performed by you, who will perform them?
- When undergoing IVF, will egg retrieval be performed at your office or through the outpatient clinic at a hospital?
- How will you monitor my treatment and how often?
- Will you always perform treatment monitoring or is it possible that on occasion another physician or a nurse might monitor?
- How is your practice affiliated with the embryology lab? Are the lab procedures done here or off site?
- What are the credentials of your laboratory and your laboratory director?
- What do you think about complimentary medicine such as massage, acupuncture, and relaxation?
- What are your office hours and are you available after hours and on weekends?
- How will I communicate with you? Do you return phone calls the same day? Do you call back personally if I request?
- What role does the nursing staff play? Do they return calls or do you?
- If necessary, do you have access to donor egg, embryo and sperm programs?
- How do you handle insurance pre-approvals?
- If my insurance doesn’t cover testing and treatment, can we make arrangements for a payment plan or credit card payment?
Be a successful fertility patient by learning all you can about infertility before you start testing and treatment, and as you go through the process. Knowing your options helps you and your doctor make the best decisions to help you reach your goal of having a baby.
You can find out more about fertility and infertility diagnosis and treatment from the American Fertility Association. Browse our Web site http://www.theafa.org, or visit http://www.focusonfertility.org.
This fact sheet is part of the Focus On Fertility campaign (http://www.focusonfertility.org) and is sponsored by OrganonUSA (http://www.organonusa.com).