Your first visits with a fertility specialist

Your first visits with a fertility specialist

After months of trying to become pregnant on your own, you’ve made the choice to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). This is an important step on your fertility journey.

You may be feeling both anxious and hopeful leading up to your first appointment, but the good news is you’re in the right hands. REs are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility in both men and women, making them the most appropriate doctors to see for conception challenges.

Your first visit will likely include a combination of conversation and examination that will give your RE important information about your and your partner’s medical histories, lifestyles, and physical attributes. Try to be as open as possible during your discussion—your honest answers give your doctor the best chance at determining the cause of your fertility challenges, and the best treatment for you.

Over the next months, you’ll visit your RE many times for numerous examinations, tests, and procedures. Depending on your diagnosis, additional visits for advanced testing may also be necessary. Your treatment plan will be tailored to the results from these visits, whether an underlying problem is found, or your infertility is categorized as “unexplained.”

What women can expect from an RE

Your doctor will ask about your medical history, including details on:

  • Your period
  • Past pregnancies
  • Birth control use
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Prior surgeries
  • Medication use
  • Other significant health problems

You’ll also discuss your diet, exercise habits, work environment, and current sexual practices.
 

Depending on your experience, you may need to repeat tests or procedures several times throughout your treatment journey.

In the know: Fertility

Your guide to human reproduction, getting help, and infertility treatment. 

What men can expect from an RE

Your doctor will ask about your medical history, including information on:

  • Athletic injuries to the groin
  • History of undescended testicles
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Prostatitis
  • Impotence or ejaculatory problems
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Prior surgeries
  • Medication use
  • Other significant health problems
  • Mumps after puberty
  • Hernia repairs

Similar to females, you’ll be asked to share details about your lifestyle, including your diet, exercise routine, work environment, and current sexual practices. Your doctor will also ask if you smoke, drink, or use drugs.

In the know: Male fertility

What you need to know about male infertility, from diagnosis to treatment. 

Planning for your first conversation with an RE

Before your appointment

  1. Make a list of questions or concerns
  2. Know the names of all prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines you take
  3. If you're a woman, begin tracking ovulation

During your appointment

  1. Plan to take notes 
  2. Ask how the clinic runs
  3. Be open about your medical history, including STIs, past surgery, and any birth defects in your family 
  4. Share medication lists and ovulation charts
  5. Verify how you can reach your doctor if questions arise later
Plan for your first appointments

Organize your thoughts with this customizable guide that will help lead early discussions with your fertility doctor.

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