It’s not uncommon to procrastinate making the first appointment at a fertility clinic. Maybe it’s because you are hoping that you may be able to get pregnant on your own and just need a little more time, or you are still grappling with the idea that you are indeed facing fertility issues. Or, it could be that you are anxious about what this visit will bring and the path it will lead you on, including the decisions you will have to make.
No matter the reason for your hesitation, remember that you’re not alone: many women/couples report feeling anxious or hesitant to make that first appointment. While it can certainly be overwhelming, a little preparation beforehand can help make the experience a little easier.
5 Things You Should Do Before Your First Visit to a Fertility Clinic
- Bring your insurance card. Insurance coverage for fertility care/treatments can be challenging to navigate. Fortunately, your clinic will have staff that is experienced in reviewing policies to see if any part of the visit might be covered.1
- Bring your spouse or partner. They need to be a part of this discussion, and can provide emotional support before, during and after your appointment3 Plus, it never hurts to have another set of ears present during the appointment, to make sure you’re absorbing all of the information that’s being shared.
- Bring your full medical file sent to your clinic. Better yet, have them sent to your fertility clinic in advance.3
- Bring any results of general and recent health tests. This is especially important if you have been tested or treated for fertility issues by your gynecologist or another fertility clinic.3
- Start tracking your ovulation a few months in advance. You can do this using a smartphone app, ovulation predictor kits, or basal body temperature charts. Bring these results/apps with you.3
Always remember that both you and your fertility clinic want the same thing — for you to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby! Stay positive, be prepared, and remind yourself that you are taking a critical first step in your fertility journey.
- What to Expect from Your First Fertility Clinic Visit [Podcast interview with Dr. Beth McAvey]. (2015, July 15). Available at: https://creatingafamily.org/infertility-category/what-to-expect-from-your-first-fertility-clinic-visit/. Accessed October 11, 2017.
- Ficarra, B., RN, BSN, MPA. (2010, September 10). Empowered Patient: Bring a Family Member or Friend with you to Your Doctor’s Appointment. Available at: http://healthin30.com/2010/09/empowered-patient-bring-a-family-member-or-friend-with-you-to-your-doctor%E2%80%99s-appointment/. Accessed on October 11, 2017.
- Mayo Clinic. Infertility. (2017, August 17). Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infertility/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354322. Accessed on October 11, 2017.