Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

For an infertility evaluation, you'll likely see a reproductive endocrinologist — a doctor who specializes in treating disorders that prevent couples from conceiving. Your doctor will likely want to evaluate both you and your partner to identify potential causes — and possible treatments — for infertility.

What you can do

To prepare for your appointment:

  • Chart your menstrual cycles and associated symptoms for a few months. On a calendar or an electronic device, record when your period starts and stops and how your cervical mucus looks. Make note of days when you and your partner have intercourse.
  • Make a list of any medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements you take. Include the doses and how often you take them.
  • Bring previous medical records. Your doctor will want to know what tests you've had and what treatments you've already tried.
  • Bring a notebook or electronic device with you. You may receive a lot of information at your visit, and it can be difficult to remember everything.
  • Think about what questions you'll ask. List the most important questions first in case time runs out.

Some basic questions to ask include:

  • When and how often should we have intercourse if we hope to conceive?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes we can make to improve the chances of getting pregnant?
  • Do you recommend any testing? If so, what kind?
  • Are medications available that might improve the ability to conceive?
  • What side effects can the medications cause?
  • Would you explain our treatment options in detail?
  • What treatment do you recommend in our situation?
  • What's your success rate for assisting couples in achieving pregnancy?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed materials that we can have?
  • What websites do you recommend visiting?

Don't hesitate to ask your doctor to repeat information or to ask follow-up questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Some potential questions your doctor or other health care provider might ask include:

  • How long have you been trying to become pregnant?
  • How often do you have intercourse?
  • Have you ever been pregnant? If so, what was the outcome of that pregnancy?
  • Have you had any pelvic or abdominal surgeries?
  • Have you been treated for any gynecological conditions?
  • At what age did you first start having periods?
  • On average, how many days pass between the beginning of one menstrual cycle and the beginning of your next menstrual cycle?
  • Do you experience premenstrual symptoms, such as breast tenderness, abdominal bloating or cramping?
July 16, 2013