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Top questions to ask fertility consultant

(16 Posts)
luckbealady Mon 13-Dec-10 11:59:20

Hi ladies

I have my first consultation with a fertility specialist this week, after blood tests for me and the usual for His Nibs. Looks like I might not be ovulating properly so it may mean clomid or whatever.

Anyhow, I wanted to ask you for your advice on what questions to ask. Obviously I have some key ones, the main one being what happens next? but all advice from you guys who have been through it is very welcome.

Thanks everyone. Phew what a rollercoaster it all is.


AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 13-Dec-10 13:32:02

If at all possible do not attend this initial consult on your own. Such appts can be very nerve wracking and if your man can attend so much the better. Moral support is vitally important. Write down anything you want to ask well ahead of time, no question is silly. You do not want to leave there thinking, "oh I should have asked about x".

Both of you will be tested further and that should be discussed at the time. You need a diagnosis first and foremost.

How often will you be monitored if put on clomid?. BTW no monitoring is a no-no as you will not know otherwise whether it is doing the job its supposed to or not.

Find out how often you will be seen as well. This is something you need to know, continuity of care is vitally important and ideally you should be seen by the same person/team of people each time.

Always ensure that you fully understand why a particular tests is being done - and for what purpose.

You will need to be persistant in order to get answers.

luckbealady Mon 13-Dec-10 14:05:31

Attila that's brilliant, thank you.

Mr Luckbealady is coming with me, although when I rang the hosp to ask whether the appointment was for both of us they were very vague - oh, he can if he likes... Yes he bloody well will!

Good point re: monitoring, I hadn't thought of it.

I work for the NHS so it will be v interesting to see it from the other side. Especially as I'm a faceless bureaucrat in an office.

Thanks for your support smile

SnowMiffles Mon 13-Dec-10 17:38:20

Hi there,

Sounds like we are slightly further down the road than you - I am on my first cycle of clomid. I would echo what Attila said....your DH definitely has to be there and monitoring is crucial.

At my first appt the FC outlined what was going on as far as he could tell. He outlined what the options were but wanted to run a couple more blood tests before we decided definitely which route to take. So he had us back in 3 weeks.

I had written down lots of questions - with space for answers! I wanted to know IF option 1 doesn't work, what's option 2. How do we know if the clomid is working (although he already said ultrasound on day 12-14 and progesterone test on CD21). Exactly when do we get busy. Who do I contact in an emergency. Who do I contact if when I get a BFP. I even double checked about drinking and flu jab and anything else I could think of!!

I also work for the NHS. I wore my badge...just cos!! I think there is a chance they'll treat you better if they know you're one of them!!

Good luck

TanteAC Mon 13-Dec-10 17:56:37

Ooo good thread!
I am in the same boat, so will be taking notes here!

Keziahhopes Mon 13-Dec-10 21:19:20

Hi - when we went for our first appointment (on NHS) together we:
- took a folder, asked for print out of all results (very handy if go private as don't need to pay for tests again!)
- made notes, dH did that role
- asked what tests followed... we needed dh to have another SA, me more bloods, a transvaginal scan and a HSG
- asked about timeframe. Sadly on NHS had to wait 12 weeks between appointments, but in reality tests took that long!
- got asked lots of personal questions, about frequency of sex, menstrual cycle - be prepared for that if you get embarrased (I do!)

When at diagnosis stage:
- asked for diagnosis, if no diagnosis ask what happens next (NHS have strict rules for treatment depending on how long ttc etc...)
- here the NHS does not monitor clomid cycles, only if pay privately - so perhaps different in your area, do ask
-ask how long you need off between cycles of treatment
- find out what you need to do/be to qualify for NHS treatment (eg friend of mine had high BMI so started dieting early as knew that was an issue) = for me had to be non smoker, BMI between 19 and 30, (for dh and me), no children, aged 23-39 etc...

Expect not to get treatment etc, anything is a bonus if it happens straight away!!

LankyLegs Tue 14-Dec-10 10:45:33

Great thread! I am just about to go into my first FC appt tomorrow and now I shall be more prepared as a result.

Does anyone know whether they make you do all the blood tests, scans, SA again if they all already have been done by the GP? Seems a repeat just causes more delays in what already is a slow system....

Good luck luckbealady with the appt.

HalleLouja Tue 14-Dec-10 10:51:42

We got referred for a more indepth SA at the Hammersmith and day 2 to 4 bloods (as these hadn't been done). Fortunately DHs sperms and my eggs got scared and we got a BFP the month we went but they might refer you for tests you haven't had rather than repeat any ones you have done.

SnowMiffles Tue 14-Dec-10 11:34:00

Yes, I agree - if the tests have already been done, they will have the resutls, so not need to be repeated. My DH had a poor SA first time, so the GP made us repeat it before the referral went through. But the FC wanted to rule out any hormone issues with him causing the low sperm count.

For me, he wanted another blood tests to make sure my thyroid and testosterone were ok, as I had a likely diagnosis of PCOS.

So it depends on your situation really!! It is far better to have the extras done so they know exactly what is being dealt with. I asked if my tubes needed looking at, and he said no, not at this stage. So they won't do unnecessary things.

For us, though, he wanted to see us back in 3 weeks and it was 3.5 weeks. And at that new appointment he gave me clomid. I was happy to just wait that bit longer - process what had happened and try and not let it take over my life!

Good luck

luckbealady Tue 14-Dec-10 20:09:48

Thanks guys, that's v helpful! It's weird, I feel fairly balanced about it all most of the time, but then can get surprisingly teary when I'm least expecting it. Hope I don't beef in front of the dr!

lankylegs how did you get on?

womanlytales Wed 15-Dec-10 07:39:16

Have been down this road of meeting a cons -- and just a word of caution. I think the advice on what you can do to plan and prepare is excellent -- but there's one point missing. Set your expectations as very low. Expect the doctor not to immediately become your buddy or your best champion - - try and allow for his/her consulting style ... and if at all they don't map exactly with your expectations, be prepared to ignore it and keep your head down and focused on that bfp Most consultants are average communicators -- some are exceptionally good and some exceptionally bad -- Hope your experiences are with the average which then means you are responsible for how you accept that.. and if you're with someone exceptionally good -- yippie!

Skarlett Sun 19-Dec-10 23:21:44

Great advice!! I have my first FC appointment tomorrow and all advice has been really helpful.

How did you guys get on this week with your appointments?

Would you add anything more? wink

All of a sudden I'm really nervous!! confused

Good Luck to all!!

TanteAC Mon 20-Dec-10 19:49:45

Yes, I would love to hear how you are all getting on as I await my appointment too!

Good luck to all!

Littlefish Mon 20-Dec-10 19:55:30

Have you considered acupuncture to try and sort out your hormone levels?

I was tested and found to be not ovulating. I started acupuncture and was re-tested 3 months later. All my hormone levels had returned to normal and I was ovulating as normal.

This may have been simply a co-incidence, but I would definitely try acupuncture again if I was in the same circumstances.

LankyLegs Wed 22-Dec-10 11:51:01

Hi All,

Just updating you all on my appt last week. I was seen by the registrar at first - which I was not impressed with! She took down our history etc etc and then said I dont see why we can't refer for your IVF shock she then went to see the actual fertility consultant who then came in and had a proper chat with us. Was rather pissed off at this young registrar's attitude - so pleased the actualy consultant took time out to see us (crappy NHS hey) . Anyway - she said I need to have day 2 bloods done and then gave me the choice of either having a lap and dye to put my mind at rest to see whether there are any tubal issues but since we had only been trying for 18 months she said the liklihood is (with all our current results to date as normal) that we would concieve naturally but if we did want to go down the IVF route we would have to pay for it as you need to be trying for 3 years to be funded by the NHS. Anyway - have decided to go for the lap and dye in the end which is on January 18th - I had a failed HyCoSy done back in October (privately) as they couldn't insert the appropriate equipment due to my upper area of my cervix being too tight (apparently this can be normal if you have not had children - (sorry if TMI) but the fertility consultant did say the lap and dye could help with this - so thats the main reason for having it done. I know there are risks etc - but I think I am one of those people that wants to rule out any problems befire going down the route of something like IVF.

Anyway - make wure you ask lots of questions and don't leave until you have all the answers... or at least promises of tests to get the answers. Also be assertive - I am guessing we are all read up on options, problems, causes etc so just ask all the questions - even if they sound silly.

Luckbealady how did you get on? Did it go ok?

piprabbit Wed 22-Dec-10 12:21:29

I'd take time before you go along to really check up on what your cycle has been doing for the last few months - Maybe even jot down some dates to take with you.

Just so you don't get thrown if you are asked for this information.

Good luck.

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