Posted on November 10, 2016 by
According to the CDC, “In general, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year of unprotected sex.” If that definition fits your situation, you may want to see a fertility doctor. Prepare well for your appointment by making a list of questions you want to ask. Here are a few suggestions for questions to ask.
Why Can’t We Conceive?
In most cases, the underlying cause of infertility isn’t a mystery. When you understand why you and your partner are having a difficult time getting pregnant, you’re one big step closer to finding a solution. While you probably can’t expect an on-the-spot diagnosis, your doctor should be able to tell you about some of the possible causes for your infertility.
Keep in mind, too, that even though infertility is commonly associated with women, it can also affect men. In fact, the problem affects both sexes almost equally. Don’t make assumptions about the source of the problem; this is something you should discuss with the doctor.
What Treatment Do You Recommend?
Image via Flickr by .v1ctor Casale
Although in-vitro fertilization is one of the most widely-known infertility treatments, it isn’t the only one. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all of your options. The doctor should make a personal recommendation based on your circumstances after performing necessary tests. Some clinics will try to sell IVF because it is among the most expensive treatments even in situations where fertility drugs or intrauterine insemination could also prove effective.
With Treatment, What Are Our Chances of Becoming Parents?
Different infertility treatments have varying rates of success. IVF is one of the most effective. However, keep in mind that the national average live birth rate after an embryo transfer is only 43 percent for women under 35. Some clinics may have significantly higher success rates, but that could be due to a number of factors; these clinics might only accept patients whom they deem to have the best chances of success.
Your doctor should be upfront with you, not just about the clinic’s IVF success rates, but the possible outcomes of other treatments as well.
What Do the Treatments Involve, and What Complications Are Possible?
It’s a good idea for you to do your own research on various fertility treatments before you see the doctor, but the doctor could give you information that is tailored to your circumstances. Your doctor can walk you through the procedure you choose and explain in detail how it works.
Be sure to ask about possible complications and side effects. With some treatments, including IUI and drugs, multiple pregnancies are much more common. Such pregnancies can be hard on a woman’s body and require extra care. Fertility drugs may cause side effects such as bloating, headaches, hot flashes, and breast tenderness. With IVF, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome may occur; most cases aren’t serious, but blood clots and kidney problems are possible.
In your quest to become pregnant, consulting a doctor is one of the most reassuring and informative steps you can take. Go to your appointment prepared to ask all the important questions.