Preparing for your appointment

Depending on your age and personal health history, your doctor may recommend a medical evaluation. A woman's gynecologist or a man's urologist or a family doctor can help determine whether there's a problem that requires a specialist or clinic that treats infertility problems. In some cases, both you and your partner may require a comprehensive infertility evaluation.

What you can do

To get ready for your first appointment:

  • Provide details about your attempts to get pregnant. Write down details about when you started trying to conceive and how often you've had intercourse, especially around the midpoint of your cycle — the time of ovulation.
  • Bring your key medical information. Include any other medical conditions you or your partner has, as well as information about any previous infertility evaluations or treatments.
  • Make a list of any medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements you take. Include the doses and how often you take them.
  • Make a list of questions to ask your doctor. List the most important questions first in case time runs short.

For infertility, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What are the possible reasons we haven't yet conceived?
  • What kinds of tests do we need?
  • What treatment do you recommend trying first?
  • What side effects are associated with the treatment you're recommending?
  • What is the likelihood of conceiving multiple babies with the treatment you're recommending?
  • For how many cycles will we try this treatment?
  • If the first treatment doesn't work, what will you recommend trying next?
  • Are there any long-term complications associated with this or other infertility treatments?

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

What to expect from your doctor

Be ready to answer questions to help your doctor quickly determine next steps in making a diagnosis and starting care.

Questions for the couple

Possible questions for the couple include:

  • How long have you been actively trying to get pregnant?
  • How frequently do you have intercourse?
  • Do you use any lubricants during sex?
  • Do either of you smoke?
  • Do either of you use alcohol or recreational drugs? How often?
  • Are either of you currently taking any medications, dietary supplements or anabolic steroids?
  • Have either of you been treated for any other medical conditions, including sexually transmitted infections?
  • Are you exposed through your work or lifestyle habits to chemicals, pesticides, radiation or lead?

Questions for the man

If you're a man, you might be asked:

  • Do you have any difficulties putting on muscle or do you take any substances to increase muscle mass?
  • Do you ever notice a fullness in the scrotum, particularly after standing for extended periods of time?
  • Do you experience any testicular or post-ejaculatory pain?
  • Have you had any sexual problems, such as difficulty maintaining an erection, ejaculating too soon, not being able to ejaculate or reduced sexual desire?
  • Have you conceived a child with any previous partners?
  • Do you regularly take hot baths or steam baths?

Questions for the woman

If you're a woman, you might be asked:

  • At what age did you start menstruating?
  • What are your cycles typically like? How regular, long and heavy?
  • Have you ever been pregnant before?
  • Have you been charting your cycles or testing for ovulation? For how many cycles?
  • What is your typical daily diet?
  • Do you exercise regularly? How much?
  • Has your body weight recently changed?