About to begin fertility treatment? Wondering what questions to ask your fertility specialist?
At The Ribbon Box, we know how daunting fertility treatment can be and it’s common for members of our fertility community to put pressure on themselves to make sure they ask all the right questions, at the right times and remember all the right answers.
This is an impossible task, particularly when we often arrive at the place of fertility treatment in a bit of a state; exhausted, emotional and fretful.
Our partners at Apricity have expert doctors and fertility specialists who have given information about:
- The important questions intended parents should ask before and during fertility treatment
- What patients should know before they begin fertility treatment
Apricity fertility clinics offer expert fertility treatment and support for intended parents across the UK. Visit Apricity’s website here to get in touch with an advisor.
If your appointment is booked and you’re wondering what to ask your fertility specialist, read on!
What should I know before I begin fertility treatment?
Before you start fertility treatment, it’s important to know about your (and your partner’s, if relevant) general medical history – and be able to tell your fertility specialist about this.
- Have you had any illnesses in the past? Are you currently unwell?
- What medication have you taken for sickness? Are you currently on any medication? If so, what medication and how much?
- Are you allergic to anything?
Naturally, your fertility specialist will need to know about your trying to conceive efforts so far:
- What is your menstrual cycle like? Do you have any hormonal or reproductive conditions like PCOS or endometriosis?
- How long have you been TTC for?
- Have you (or your partner) had any previous fertility treatment, investigations or scans? What were the results of these?
What to expect in my first fertility appointment?
During your initial consultation, you will discuss your medical history, your efforts to get pregnant, as well as your understanding of available fertility treatment options. Your fertility specialist will likely give you enough information for you to leave the appointment with a clearer understanding of the next steps. But just in case they don’t, here is a list of important questions to ask in your first fertility appointment:
- What diagnostic tests are available and relevant to me/us?
- What fertility treatment options are available and relevant?
- What should I expect at each stage of fertility treatment?
- Are there any risks involved?
- How long will treatment take/how many appointments will I need?
- How much will my fertility treatment cost? Do you have any payment plans such as insurance or finance?
- What is included in the cost? Can I expect any additional costs? Is medication included?
- What add-ons are available? Do you expect I/we will need them? What could the results show?
- How would you advise we optimise our chances of success?
- What are the chances of multiple live births at this fertility clinic?
- What should I/we do if fertility treatment fails?
- What counselling and support are available during and after my fertility treatment?
Questions to ask during fertility treatment
As you progress through the stages of fertility treatment, questions will crop up. Understandably, you’ll be apprehensive about how your treatment is going, the next steps and what is the likelihood of success.
During your treatment, you will discuss your results, next steps and potential side effects of fertility medication. You might want to ask your fertility specialist these questions:
- What do the results of the fertility test show?
- Are there any fertility supplements I should be taking? Or any other lifestyle changes I can make to boost my fertility?
- What side effects can I expect from the IVF medication and fertility treatment? How can I ease the side effects or symptoms?
- What is the next step?
If you’re having multiple rounds of fertility treatment, you could use the break in between cycles to discuss changes. Whilst it’s tempting to try and control everything during fertility treatment, the reality is that much is out of our control. However, simple alterations can make a difference. For example, your doctor might suggest adjusting the dosage of medication to protect from OHSS or to attempt a greater yield of eggs collected.
Speak with your fertility specialist about what they would recommend to increase the chances of success.
Questions to ask after fertility treatment
Sadly, the reality is that not all fertility treatment results in a pregnancy, so if you’re in a position of failed IVF treatment, take the time to speak with your partner or those close to you about what you wish to do. Your fertility specialist will advise you on what you could consider (donor eggs or sperm or a surrogate, perhaps) but the decision is ultimately yours.
- Are any further tests needed to understand why I/we can’t get pregnant?
- What fertility treatment would you suggest I try now?
- If I receive a specific diagnosis, would you recommend referring me to a different fertility specialist?
- What counselling is available to me?
Don’t torture yourself by asking what you could have done differently. Ruminating will only make you feel worse and won’t help you move forward at this emotional time.
It’s easier to feel prepared for fertility treatment when you know what to expect and what to ask, so we suggest printing off this article or writing the questions down. This way, you’ll be listening to what your fertility specialist is telling you rather than rattling your brain for questions to ask (trust us!).
Apricity offers a free first call to everyone who wishes to explore their IVF options. Get in touch here.