Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
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?
Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology