Want to get pregnant in 2019? Maybe you have been trying on your own for a year (six months if you are more than 35 years old) and nothing has happened. You may have been keeping track of ovulation with an ovulation predictor kit, or using an app to time intercourse. You decide it is time for you seek help.
Here are some tips to help you choose a fertility doctor and suggestions to get the most from your initial consultation.
Make sure the physician is Board Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI). To get Board Certified, a physician has to complete a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) and pass a written and an oral examination in general Ob/Gyn. The physician also has to complete a fellowship (currently 3 years) in REI. This is followed by another written and oral examination in REI. There are currently only 1,000 or so Board Certified REI’s. To check a physician’s credentials, please go to the website of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (abog.org).
Make sure the fertility clinic reports to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) (sart.org). SART monitors fertility clinics and reports their success rates.
Fill out your history form. Many clinics (including InVia Fertility Specialists) have electronic medical records with patient portals that allow you to log in and fill in your details. This will help your physician review your details even before you are examined.
Upload or bring with you any testing that has already been done. Pap test result, cultures, hormone tests, complete blood count, etc.
Bring your partner (if you have one) with you. The first visit can be scary. Don’t be scared. Bringing your partner with you can be a source of emotional support and is important as infertility affects both of you.
Bring your insurance card with you. Infertility treatment can be expensive. Many clinics (including InVia Fertility Specialists) will contact your insurance and let you know of any out-of-pocket costs before starting any treatment.
The visit may start with an ultrasound exam. This is usually done with a vaginal probe. It is an easy and relatively non-invasive way of assessing your pelvic structures. The uterus can be assessed for any abnormality (e.g. fibroids, septum, sometimes polyps). Ovarian volume and antral follicle count (small 2 – 5 mm cystic structures in the ovary) can be used to assess ovarian reserve (fertility potential of the eggs).
This is followed by a consultation where the physician will go over the history and recommend testing (semen analysis for the male partner, hormone tests and a uterine cavity check for the female).
Once the testing is completed, treatment recommendations will be made. These could be simple (e.g weight loss, ovulation induction and intrauterine inseminations) or more complex (e.g. surgery or in-vitro fertilization).
At InVia Fertility Specialists, we are your pathway to pregnancy. Our Board Certified REI physicians and well-trained staff are here to help you achieve your dream of having a baby. We have four convenient locations in the Northwest and North suburbs of Chicago (only a quick 20 minute drive from O’Hare airport). Please call 847 884 8884 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Karande is Board Certified in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.