The official name for an infertility specialist is a 'reproductive endocrinologist' or REI for short.
Seeing an REI infertility specialist for the first time can be an intimidating experience. You may be nervous about seeing the doctor for the first time, you might feel rushed, your doctor may not have enough time, and you may forget to ask questions that are important. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your visit.
Before the visit:
- Confirm your appointment shortly before you go (the day before or a couple of hours before).
- Beforehand, make a list of questions you would like to ask the doctor.
- Take notes when with the doctor.
- Take someone else with you, such as your partner or a friend. Four ears hear more than two.
- Make sure you know the exact dates of your last menstrual cycles and preferably the days you ovulate (take your fertility charts with you).
- HOT TIP: Have your partner do a sperm analysis BEFORE you first see the infertility specialist
- Make sure you can confidently show proof for the questions: "Am I ovulating regularly?" and "Have we made love regularly?".
Having this information saves you at least one to three months, especially if you have regular menstrual cycles! Which questions you ask to depend mainly on what you already know about your fertility (Am I ovulating normally? Is his sperm count fine? Are my fallopian tubes open?). Optimally, you should have answered these questions BEFORE you see the specialist. Below, you will find a sample of 10 questions to take it with you to your appointment.
- What do you think could be the causes of my fertility problems?
- Is it important to proceed with an infertility evaluation now, or should we wait a while longer and can we establish a timetable for testing and treatment?
- What additional tests do you suggest I have to find out the causes and what do they cost? Does my insurance cover these tests?
- What are the treatment options for our suspected diagnosis, and what do they cost?
- What is the national success rate, in terms of live births, for each of these treatments?
- Could lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, stress, or job-related issues be affecting my fertility?
- What else (for example, nonmedical approaches like relaxation or meditation techniques) could improve my chances of becoming pregnant?
- How many procedures of the type that you are recommending has this fertility clinic performed, and what is its success rate in terms of live births? How does it compare with other clinics?
- How many doctors work here, what are their credentials, are they certified in infertility (reproductive endocrinology) and are you open 7 days a week?
- Can you give me a list of former patients who have undergone similar treatments?