An ”infertility” diagnosis does not always mean childlessness. Most couples who have a problem getting pregnant are not infertile, but, depending on the case, have all sorts of abnormalities that make it difficult to conceive an offspring.
It is worth remembering that an appointment at a specialist centre does not always involve assisted reproduction technologies. Sometimes, with careful diagnosis and the introduction of appropriate treatment, pregnancy becomes possible, even in a fully natural way.
When is it a good idea to seek advice from a fertility treatment specialist?
You should consider a consultation with a fertility treatment specialist in case of:
- Failure of pregnancy after 12 months of regular intercourse in women under 35 years of age;
- Failure of pregnancy after 6 months of regular intercourse in women over 35 years of age;
- Endocrine problems;
- Inflammatory conditions and procedures in the pelvic area;
- Urology conditions in men;
- Irregular periods (suspected ovulation disorders);
- Painful periods, painful intercourse or intestinal disorders during the perimenstrual period (suspected endometriosis).
Interviews with patients
Infertility diagnosis is a very complex process; the correct diagnosis of the problem a couple is facing is closely dependent on a well-conducted medical history and further recommendations.
During the first appointment, the doctor will take a detailed medical history of the patients, review the results of the tests already performed and perform an ultrasound examination; this is to identify potential causes of infertility.
Sometimes it is already possible to decide on the appropriate treatment method at the first appointment, in which case the specialist explains and justifies all the steps taken in detail.
What can a doctor ask about?
There are basic questions concerning the patient’s assessment and health: age, weight, height, how long the infertility has lasted, date of first menstruation, course of the menstrual cycle, past illnesses, surgical procedures, illnesses and pregnancy problems in the family, medications taken, stimulants used, etc.
All the questions asked during the interview allow the doctor to accurately assess the couple’s condition and to select the appropriate method of diagnosis and treatment.
What tests should be performed before the first appointment?
No specialised tests are necessary prior to the appointment; it is only during the consultation that the doctor orders the necessary tests to be performed.
However, we encourage you to bring your existing medical records, where applicable, with you to your first appointment:
- Information sheets on past treatments
- Gynaecological examinations
- Cervical cytology tests
- Hormone tests
- Semen analysis
- AMH test (female patient)
Patients who have already been treated for infertility should bring to the first appointment the documentation of previous treatment: report of the transvaginal ultrasound, result of the evaluation of fallopian tube patency, documentation of ovulation cycle monitoring, information sheets after insemination or in vitro procedures, results of genetic tests, etc.
Depending on the case and patients’ needs, the first appointment lasts 20-40 minutes.
We encourage you to ask questions to your doctor; the first appointment is a great opportunity to clarify all the concerns and issues regarding your condition and fertility treatment.