What To Expect From Your Infertility Consultation
If you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for over a year, you might be struggling with infertility, which is the inability to conceive after this period of time. When you get to this point, you should first make an appointment with your obstetrician. They will give you an infertility consultation in their office or refer you to a specialist. Either way, you can expect the following things from this consultation.
You Will Discuss Your Medical History
As with all doctor's appointments, your fertility specialist needs to know your medical history. This includes your general medical history and anything relating to your gynecological health and previous pregnancies you might have had. Even if you have had a terminated pregnancy, the doctor needs to know about it. While you discuss your medical history, also explain to the doctor what you have done so far in your pregnancy attempts.
This includes whether or not you chart your cycles, if you take your basal body temperature (BBT), and if you have tried ovulation predictor tests. This is all important so the doctor knows where to start. For example, if you know you have irregular cycles, they might test you for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or perform a diagnostic laparoscopic to check for endometriosis.
Fertility Tests Will be Ordered
When you leave the fertility doctor's office, they will order a series of fertility tests for you and your partner. Female tests include a blood test to check your follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and prolactin (PRL). After these initial tests, they will discuss further fertility tests depending on your age and medical history. For men, the first tests include blood tests to check your thyroid and testosterone, and a semen analysis.
You Will Have a Pelvic Exam
Women also need to have a pelvic exam, which often occurs during the first fertility consultation. They begin with a regular gynecological exam, which includes performing a breast exam and doing a pelvic exam. They will check the position, size and shape of your reproductive organs, including looking at the health of your cervix. They might also perform a pap smear if you have not had one in a while, to make sure you don't have cervical cancer. They may also do an ultrasound to look at your ovaries.
You Will Discuss Fertility Treatments
Lastly, the doctor will discuss fertility treatments that are available. If you already know some basic information about your cycles or are of advanced maternal age, they might discuss going straight to intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF). However, you must first complete the fertility testing to find out what treatments will be appropriate. If your partner has a severely low sperm count or you have a diagnostic laparoscopic that shows you have a blocked fallopian tube, the doctor might suggest going straight to the IVF.
For more information about your options, contact a company like Triad OB-GYN PC.