What To Expect At A Fertility Consultation
Having a fertility consultation may feel daunting at first, but it is a step towards understanding more about your fertility, exploring your treatment options and feeling confident making decisions about their fertility journey.
Discover what you can expect at a fertility consultation with us here at IVF Matters.
What happens at your first fertility appointment?
Your first fertility appointment will typically last 30–60 minutes. Your consultant will ask you a number of different questions so that they can understand your fertility journey so far and personalise your treatment plan.
The questions can cover:
- Your medical history
- Your fertility history
- Your menstrual cycle
- Any experiences of pain during intercourse
- Past fertility treatment
- How long you’ve been trying to conceive
- When, and how often, you have intercourse
Your clinic may also ask you to bring any test results from previous diagnostics to your consultation. You may be asked to attend with your partner so that they can answer questions about their medical history and health too.
Your first consultation and any tests carried out will be tailored to you, your body and your personal fertility journey.
How to prepare for a fertility consultation
At IVF Matters, we ask you to complete an online questionnaire before your first consultation. We may also ask you to send us any relevant results from previous tests so you don’t have to worry about bringing them with you.
Once you’ve had your first appointment, your consultant will have a better idea of which treatments are the most suitable options for you.
They may recommend some fertility tests to confirm the diagnosis, ensure your treatment plan is as accurate as it can be, and advise you on the chances of success. These will differ depending if you’re male or female.
Female fertility investigations
If you’re looking into fertility treatments as a woman, there are a few different female tests that may be carried out to help you understand more about your fertility and explore your options.
Anti-mullerian hormone test (AMH blood test)
This easy, at-home blood test will help your consultant assess your ovarian function. Essentially, this test will show you if you’re able to produce healthy eggs that can become fertilised. This is often also referred to as an Ovarian Reserve Test.
Chromosome analysis – karyotype test
The chromosome analysis test will scan your chromosomes to make sure there are no abnormalities that could impact your fertility and pregnancy.
Endometrial biopsy – endometrial scratch
An endometrial biopsy involves samples being taken from the lining of your womb (endometrium). If you’ve had heavy bleeding, suffered recurrent miscarriages or failed IVF attempts, then this test may be recommended to you.
Female preconception screening tests
A complete fertility workup will help your consultant to establish which fertility treatment is right for you. This can give you a much better picture of your fertility and allow the clinic to set your plan accurately.
The hormonal profile test may be offered if you experience irregular bleeding or other issues related to your menstrual cycle and fertility. This is because it can show any underlying problems with your hormones that could be hindering your fertility.
Immune tests can look at any underlying immune issues you may have that could be harming your fertility.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome tests – PCOS profile
PCOS tests will help diagnose if you’re suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It includes a full hormone panel, glucose, insulin, and lipid test. PCOS can impact your fertility, so it’s important to know if you’ve got it or not before heading on a fertility journey.
Recurrent miscarriage profile
Miscarriages can be difficult, traumatic events with many complex and varied causes. The miscarriage assessment will look into why you’ve had recurrent miscarriages, establish any underlying cause, and explore possible treatment options if required.
Some tests for women may be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home, though some may need to be carried out at our walk-in clinic in London.
Male fertility investigations
There are different tests for men when it comes to fertility diagnosis. These are some of the most common tests that males can expect when having a fertility consultation. Typically, they involve analysing the sperm, but they may also include blood tests.
Erectile dysfunction profile
The erectile dysfunction profile test will check for an underlying cause behind any erectile dysfunction that a man may be experiencing.
This test is part of a basic fertility screening that will look at and analyse your semen. This can help rule out any issues in fertility and help get you on the right plan.
Sperm DNA fragmentation test
Sperm DNA fragmentation testing again makes up the basic fertility screening. It will check for any damage to the sperm that could be hindering fertility.
Many of these tests can be done at home for men, as all that’s needed is a sperm sample.
We also offer a premium fertility package for a comprehensive evaluation of your fertility — designed for couples who want to find out what is causing a delay in conception.
What to ask at a fertility consultation
It’s important to ask any questions you may have when at your initial fertility consultation. This is so you can make sure you fully understand any tests, diagnoses, and treatment options that are given to you.
It’s a good idea to ask about the success rates of the clinic and your chosen fertility treatment too so that you have realistic expectations of your fertility journey.
In the month leading up to your consultation, try writing down any questions you have in a list to bring with you. Don’t feel like you can’t ask as many questions as you need. Your consultant will be more than happy to help, and they’ll be able to give you all the information you need to make sure you understand your treatment options and diagnosis.
For more guidance, visit our blog post on questions to ask at a fertility consultation.
During this informal 15-minute call, Dr Koita can answer any questions you may have about the fertility treatment process and our leading clinic.