Questions To Ask At A Fertility Consultation
Fertility isn’t always a straightforward journey, and you may need a little help along the way. If you do need a helping hand, then it’s important that you find the right fertility clinic and consultant for you.
A fertility consultation is one of the best ways you can ensure you’re on the right track, as the doctor will be able to help you understand more about your fertility challenges and create a personalised treatment plan for you.
However, there can be a lot of information to take in during your consultation and you may not remember to ask all of the questions you’d like to get the answers you need.
Let’s take a look at some of the common questions people have about fertility testing and treatment, as well as questions to ask at a fertility consultation.
What happens at a fertility consultation?
At IVF Matters, we help you to be as prepared for your consultation as possible by asking you to fill out an online questionnaire beforehand. You can also upload any previous test results or medical reports, helping you to save time on the day of your appointment.
Try making a list of any questions you want to ask in the weeks leading up to your appointment so that you don’t forget them on the day. There are no silly questions, and you’re in a safe space so feel free to ask away.
The doctor may ask you questions as well so that they can get a full understanding of your situation. They may ask about your lifestyle, your menstrual cycle, how often you have intercourse, how long you’ve been trying to conceive for etc – essentially anything that could impact or relate to your fertility.
It’s important that you’re totally honest with your answers, as they will impact the decisions made on your fertility treatment plan.
You can read more about your initial fertility consultation in our blog post on what to expect at a fertility consultation.
Questions to ask at a fertility consultation
Preparing a list of questions beforehand can help to ensure that you get all the answers you need from your fertility consultant.
Some of the questions that you could ask during your consultation are:
- What is the clinic’s success rate?
- What treatments does the clinic offer?
- Which tests will me or my partner need to do?
- How is the test/treatment performed?
- How long will my results take?
- Which treatment will be the most effective for my situation?
- What are the chances that I’ll fall pregnant with this treatment?
- What are the risks of the recommended treatment?
- Will there be any recovery or downtime after the procedure?
- How long will the treatment take?
- Can I bring my partner with me when I have my treatment?
- Do I need to bring anything with me to any of the appointments?
You may have other questions about testing and treatment. We’ve covered some of these common, general questions below, but your consultant will be able to answer any more personal or specific questions you may have.
How does fertility treatment work?
Fertility treatment can be an effective way for many people to start or grow their families. Lots of people may benefit from fertility treatment — from those who can't conceive naturally, to older potential parents, same-sex couples, and people with chronic health conditions.
The type of fertility tests and treatment you have will differ depending on your biological sex.
What are the different types of fertility treatments?
There are quite a few different fertility treatments out there, so it’s important that you know the difference between them so you can make an informed decision.
Typically, most clinics will be able to offer:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – this is where a semen sample is collected and filtered at the clinic to then be placed into the uterine cavity. It can be done during your natural menstrual cycle or as a part of a medication-controlled cycle too.
- In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) – the most commonly known fertility treatment is IVF. In this process, an egg is removed, fertilised in the laboratory with sperm, and then placed back into the womb for implantation.
- Frozen embryo transfer (FET) – this is where a previously frozen embryo is thawed and placed into the uterine cavity under ultrasound guidance.
If you’d like to find out more about the fertility treatments we offer at IVF Matters, visit our fertility treatments page.
Which fertility treatment is most effective?
No fertility treatment has a 100% success rate, but some do have higher rates than others.
The fertility clinic you choose and the specialist consultant who carries out your procedure can also affect the success rate of treatments.
At IVF Matters, our rates for IVF are double the national average, showing you just how successful our treatments can be. By choosing a clinic with high success rates, you may find that you have more success on your journey.
What are the risks of fertility treatment?
Any medical treatment has risks associated with it, and fertility treatments aren’t exempt from this. Complications can arise with the procedures, but if you’ve gone to a highly-qualified fertility specialist, then the chances of these complications occurring is much lower.
Some risks associated are:
- Multiple births – having multiple embryos transferred during treatment to increase your chances of falling pregnant also increases the risk of multiple births. These can be dangerous for the mother and babies, so some women decide to only do a single embryo instead.
- Ectopic pregnancies – this is where the fertilised egg develops outside of the womb (usually in the fallopian tubes). When this happens, the pregnancy won’t be viable and will be lost. There may be an increased risk of this happening with IVF, as the embryo could move when it’s placed into the uterine cavity.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome – this is when the ovaries become over-stimulated by the medication given to encourage ovulation. This can be painful and in rare cases lead to severe health problems.
Your consultant will talk you through the risks of any procedures, as well as the likelihood of them occurring, during your consultations.
How do females get tested for fertility?
Female fertility tests can be quite in-depth, and cover a lot of ground. This is because not only do the eggs need to be healthy, but the womb and uterine cavity have to be suitable for an embryo to implant.
The tests will normally include things like ultrasounds, blood tests, and sample analysis to determine what treatment you’ll need.
Some of the fertility tests women may take include:
- Endometrial biopsy – this test will check your uterine wall is sufficient for an embryo to implant once it’s fertilised and placed into the womb.
- Female preconception screening tests – these will assess things like your ovulation, reasons for heavy menstrual cycles, and more to ensure your body is able to conceive via fertility treatment.
- Hormonal profile – this test will check your hormones to make sure that there are no underlying issues causing your infertility.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tests – these tests can be used to check if you have the syndrome as it can affect your fertility.
- Recurrent miscarriage profile – if you suffer from recurrent miscarriages, these tests may be carried out to find out why. The results can then be used to personalise your fertility treatment plan.
Your consultant will talk you through any tests they recommend in more detail during your initial appointment.
How do males get tested for fertility?
Fertility tests for men will look very different to female ones. This is because the focus is on the sperm and your overall health.
Most of the tests for male fertility can be done outside of the body as they require a sperm sample or bloodwork, whereas female fertility tests can involve internal examinations.
Here are some of the common male fertility tests:
- Erectile dysfunction profile – this test will take a look at the possible cause of erectile dysfunction.
- Semen analysis – this test involves the semen being analysed to check the health, quality and quantity of the sperm.
- Sperm DNA fragmentation test – this test involves checking that the sperm aren’t damaged in any way which could make it hard to conceive.
Again, a consultant will recommend certain tests based on your conversations and fertility history, so don’t worry if you’re unsure which tests you need to take — they’ll be able to advise you further.
If you want to speak to one of our fertility experts at IVF Matters, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to assist you on your fertility journey and answer any questions you may have.
Our team will be able to provide you with tailored support and treatment plans, as well as offer a free advisory call to discuss your treatment options.