Deciding to consult a reproductive endocrinologist (also known as an infertility specialist) is an important milestone in your journey towards parenthood. Below will give you an idea of what to expect at your initial consultation, as well as helpful hints and a patient checklist to help you prepare.
What to Expect at Your Initial Infertility Consultation
It may be helpful to know what to expect during your initial infertility consultation. Everyone’s experience is unique; however, the first thing to know is that an initial consultation can last over an hour and a half.
After being greeted at the front desk, you will be escorted to the physician’s office where you will speak with your physician for about an hour. Your physician will review your medical history and discuss your family building goals. Based on your history, age, and how aggressively you wish to pursue treatment, your doctor will order a number of diagnostic tests to evaluate both partners.
Routine testing will be recommended to evaluate the most important aspects of fertility: eggs, sperm, structures such as fallopian tubes and the uterus, as well as hormone levels on one or both partners. The results of these tests will assist your doctor in formulating the type of procedure that will provide you with the optimal chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.
On the day of your initial consultation, you will also meet your nurse or donor egg coordinator who will help to implement the doctor’s recommendations. You may also meet with a genetic counselor and/or a financial counselor, depending on your individual needs. Click here for helpful hints on making your initial consultation go smoothly or here for a patient checklist.
Watch Maureen Hanton, RN, BS, MPA, Director of Nursing below as she discusses what you can expect when you visit GIVF.
In addition to the diagnostic tests recommended by your physician, there are several steps we recommend to better prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy and delivery:
Eat a balanced diet
Take a prescription pre-natal vitamin daily
Investigate ways that can help decrease stress in daily life (meditation, counseling, massage, acupuncture, support groups, regular exercise, hobbies, etc.).
Helpful Hints for Your Initial Infertility Consultation
• Providing your doctor with a full and accurate history will enhance your chances of success. Please bring any recent records you may have regarding previous fertility treatment, prior gynecological surgery, etc. If possible, send this information in ahead of time.
• Bring your calendar. If you have vacation plans or work obligations, court dates, house guests, or anything that cannot be rescheduled, it’s best to know this in advance of planning diagnostic testing and infertility treatment.
• You will receive a lot of information during your infertility consultation. Take notes, ask questions, and remember that it is always okay (even encouraged) for you to call or email us with follow-up questions. Also, consider coming prepared with notes and or questions for the physician.
• Remember that you will set the pace of treatment. If a recommended treatment is too invasive or expensive – or not aggressive enough to suit your needs, feel free to voice that to the physician. You are in the driver’s seat.
A note about the emotional aspect of beginning treatment: We appreciate that by the time you walk through our doors, you may have been dealing with infertility for months, or even years. It is a big step to begin the process of evaluation and treatment; therefore, your first visit here is an important day. It is not uncommon to feel excited and hopeful at the prospect of getting pregnant, while at the same time nervous because you don’t know what to expect or fearful that treatment may not work. Fertility treatment can impact work schedules, vacation plans, finances, marriages, families, and self-image. Consider taking advantage of the patient support services available to you at GIVF.
Although there may be logistical, emotional, financial, or medical obstacles that cause delays or changes in your treatment plan, it is our goal to meet your individual needs at every turn. Please feel free to ask questions, take your time, and voice your concerns. We are commited to partnering with you in your care and will do everything we can to make your treatment a success.
Infertility Patient Checklist
2-3 Weeks Prior to Appointment
• Please review and read packet contents.
• Return the following documents in the enclosed self-addressed envelope:
• patient registration and history forms (completed by both partners)
• Notice of Privacy Practices – Acknowledgement and Consent Form
• copies of both front and back of your health insurance cards including your pharmacy card enlarged 200%, if possible to ensure legibility
If you prefer, these documents may be faxed to our medical records department at 703.991.8030. This information should arrive at GIVF five days before your scheduled appointment.
• Request pertinent medical records using the enclosed Authorization to Use or Disclose Health Information form. These records should arrive at GIVF five (5) days before your appointment.
• Review your insurance policy and request a referral or preauthorization from your primary care physician.
1 Week Prior to Appointment
• Call 703.698.7355 to confirm your appointment no later than four (4) business days prior to your scheduled appointment.
Day of Appointment
• Complete survey questionnaire and give to receptionist at GIVF.
• Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for your appointment.
Due to the sensitive nature of the medical treatment provided at the clinic and out of consideration to other patients, we request that you make alternative childcare arrangements for the time of your appointment.