A checklist for making the most of your consultation

Making an appointment with an infertility specialist is an exciting step on your road to parenthood. However, the anticipation of what will happen can also feel stressful, which is why preparation can be key to making this first visit as successful as possible.

Before contacting us, it is understandable that many couples hope their inability to conceive will go away with each passing month. But if the months turn into more than a year, now is the time for action and scheduling a consultation.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the professional association of infertility specialists, recommends seeking expert help if you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more if you are a prospective mother under 35, after six months of attempts if you are a woman over 35 and after three months if you are a female over 40. You may want to seek assistance sooner if a doctor has diagnosed you or your partner with a reproductive condition like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome or a low sperm count. If you don’t meet any of these guidelines, you can always schedule an appointment for fertility testing to give you a baseline of your fertility indicators.

Now that you have scheduled your first consultation, you may be wondering how to best prepare for the big day.

Request your medical records
If you have undergone fertility testing or treatment with another doctor, please get a copy of your files to bring to the first appointment or give your permission to have these documents sent to us. This step will save you time and money and, perhaps, unnecessary repetition of medical procedures. Be sure to plan this as soon as you consider scheduling the initial consultation.

Summarize your fertility journey and medical history
Even if we have your records, it is a good idea to summarize your infertility experience and problems for our staff. It might be helpful to write down some key dates and outcomes for testing and treatment, if applicable, and any milestones, good or bad, you may have experienced.

Our doctors also will want to know if you are taking any medications and for how long and the reasons you are using them, as well as about any significant medical issues, including sexually transmitted diseases.

Check your insurance coverage
Many new patients are concerned about how they will pay for treatment. We have financial and insurance coordinators who can help you navigate this part of the process. It won’t hurt, however, to check your insurance plan yourself to see if it pays for any treatment, including office visits, testing, fertility medications, surgery, or reproductive techniques, and to know what your financial responsibilities will be, such as deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance percentages.

Bring your spouse or partner
Infertility is a couple’s disease, so ideally both partners should attend the initial consultation. For practical reasons, your male partner needs to be there so we can ascertain his medical history and schedule him for testing.

You will also want your significant other to be there for emotional support as well as so you can act as a team with one of you listening intently or asking questions while the other takes notes. Parenthood is a partnership for couples and should start in the

If you are trying to conceive without a partner, you might want to bring a trusted friend or family member with you to the consultation.

Prepare questions
We also suggest you prepare a list of questions for the doctor. Though there will be plenty of opportunities to have all your queries answered throughout the course of treatment, we want to make sure you are satisfied that we have responded to your initial ones.

Have clear expectations
At the end of the appointment with your HRC Fertility doctor, you will know about the next steps you will take, including testing and beginning treatment options.

We hope the initial consultation is only the beginning of the relationship you will have with HRC Fertility. Though most likely we won’t be resolving your fertility issues during this critical first meeting, we hope we can establish a solid relationship based on honesty and sensitivity and provide you with a sense of confidence that you have found the right fertility clinic partner.