Seeking help for infertility

A doctor can help couples with fertility concerns by offering tips on how to maximize fertility, diagnosing fertility problems, recommending a treatment plan for infertility, and counselling you on what to expect during the diagnosis and treatment process.

You should consider consulting a doctor if:

  • you are planning a pregnancy and have any concerns about fertility
  • you or your partner have one or more risk factors for infertility (see "What is infertility and why does it happen?")
  • you haven't been able to get pregnant after 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse (for women under 35)
  • you haven't been able to get pregnant after 6 months of regular, unprotected intercourse (for women 35 and over)
  • you have had 3 or more miscarriages in a row

You may wish to consult your family doctor about your fertility first. Your doctor may feel a referral to a fertility specialist might be necessary.

To get the most out of your visit:

  • Before your visit, write down any questions you may have. See the questions below to help you get started.
  • Be prepared to discuss your partner's and your medical conditions and medications. Keep in mind that during the visit, your doctor may need to ask some questions about your sex life which may seem personal, but which are important to help get to the root of your fertility problem. Try to answer them honestly and provide as much detail as you can.
  • Bring a notepad and pen to your appointment to keep track of the information your doctor provides.

Questions to ask your doctor:

  1. What do you think might be causing our fertility problem?
  2. What tests will you do to diagnose the problem?
  3. Will the tests be covered by my insurance?
  4. What treatment options are available? Which one do you recommend and why?
  5. How does the treatment work?
  6. What are the chances of success?
  7. Will the treatment be covered by my insurance?
  8. What will be involved in undergoing the treatment? How will it affect my life (e.g., the need for frequent injections and procedures, time off work)?
  9. What side effects should I watch for, and what should I do if they occur?
  10. How long should it take for the treatment to work?
  11. If this treatment does not work, what are our other options?
  12. What counselling options are available to help us cope with the emotional aspects of fertility treatment?

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