Ten Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Infertility
Medical Author: Melissa Stoppler, M.D.
William C. Shiel, Jr, MD, FACP, FACR
Be sure to take along the records of any diagnostic
studies and/or fertility
treatments you may have had in the past if you are visiting a new fertility
specialist. If you have been keeping records of the dates of your
and/or basal body temperature charts, take these along too. Also, print
this and take it with you to your doctor visit.
- What is my diagnosis, and how does this condition
with fertility? Does my partner have a condition that interferes with
fertility? Will these conditions worsen over time, improve, or remain
- If the reason for my infertility is unclear, what diagnostic tests do
you recommend? What is the likelihood that each of these tests will
establish a diagnosis? Are there any risks associated with the testing? Does
my partner need additional testing?
- What type of treatment would you recommend trying
first? Does this treatment involve surgery, medications, or both? What are the risks of
- In your practice, how often does this treatment
result in pregnancy? (Be sure to determine whether your doctor is talking
about pregnancy rates or
live-birth rates when discussing specific treatments so you can make
adequate comparisons. For example, a treatment may have a 30% pregnancy rate
per cycle but only a 25% live-birth rate due to early
- Are less-invasive or more conservative treatments available? How do
these compare with your recommended treatment in terms of risks and success
- How many cycles of treatment would you recommend before trying another
option? Do you recommend skipping a menstrual cycle between treatment
- Are there any lifestyle modifications that might help my condition and
increase my chances of getting pregnant?
- (If this is an acceptable option for you) Would you
recommend treatments using donor eggs and/or sperm? Does your clinic or practice offer these
- What is my prognosis? In your opinion, how likely is fertility treatment
to be successful for me? (While no doctor can give you an exact answer to
this question, taking into account your personal medical information and
age, your doctor's past experiences may allow him or her to roughly estimate
whether you will have an average, below-average, or above-average chance of
- What does treatment cost? Does my insurance cover any
of the medications, hospital charges, or doctor's visits? If I must pay
out-of-pocket, do you offer any special payment plans?
REFERENCE: MescapeReference. Infertility.Last Editorial Review: 9/12/2014