It’s time for your first visit to the infertility clinic. Your medical records have been transferred. All the proper health insurance forms and your complete health history are submitted. You are feeling prepared but also a bit anxious. We understand that mix of feelings. You are about to embark on a journey you didn’t plan for, and the unknowns can stir up anxiety. What happens at this first appointment? What tests will they order, and what are those tests looking for?
We’ve created this short overview of the most common tests you will likely discuss with your specialist at your first fertility appointment. Be prepared that your doctor can perform some of these at the visit. It’s a good idea to be well-hydrated when you arrive.
We’ve gleaned the information from a CreatingaFamily.org podcast, Preparing for Your First Visit to an Infertility Clinic, with Dr. Beth McAvey, a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist with RMA of New York.
The Most Common Tests You Can Expect at Your 1st Appointment
Your first infertility evaluation should always include an investigation of both partners. The first visit typically consists of the following battery of testing:
- Ovarian Reserve Testing – this blood test is performed on the woman to assess both egg quantity and quality, measured by blood markers FSH – follicle stimulating hormone and AMH – anti-mullerian hormone.
- Pelvic Ultrasound – a visual tool for the reproductive endocrinologist to look for the number of antral follicles, and to evaluate the woman’s uterus and the fallopian tubes.
- Hysterosalpingogram – an X-ray of the woman’s uterine cavity to look for the presence of uterine myomas or endometrial polyps and to assess the patency (or opening) of fallopian tubes.
- Semen Analysis – a sample is obtained from the woman’s male partner (if applicable) to analyze sperm count, motility, and morphology (the structural integrity of the semen).
- Genetic Testing – performed on both partners to screen for genetic risk factors, disorders or diseases that might affect the patient’s ability to conceive and maintain pregnancy or the potential children born.
- General Health Assessment – including a thyroid and infectious disease screen be completed for both partners. This will also be informed by the complete medical history you completed for the first visit.
Remember that the purpose of this appointment is to give your specialist a complete view of your health possible, to help you achieve your goal of pregnancy. The doctor and her team are committed to helping you on that journey, so be sure that you come ready to answer completely and honestly. Also, be prepared with your list of questions about the medical, financial, and emotional aspects of this new process.
Other Resources to Help You Prepare for Your 1st Visit
Here are a few additional resources that can help you feel more prepared for the first stages of your infertility journey.
- 5 Things You Must Do Before The 1st Visit
- Understanding Infertility Medications 101
- How to Talk to Your Boss About Infertility Treatment
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