We recognize that although many fertility problems are common, each patient experiencing those challenges is unique. Knowing as much as possible about you allows us to thoroughly evaluate your concerns and design an effective treatment plan. It is very helpful if you can provide us with the results of any prior infertility investigation and treatment prior to or during your initial visit. If either you or your husband have any major medical problems, or family history of inheritable disease, these records should also be provided.
Initial testing depends on your history and which prior investigations have been undertaken. Nevertheless, there are certain tests that are frequently ordered. The initial male evaluation consists of a semen analysis. A semen sample is microscopically examined in the laboratory, and a sperm count is performed. Although the semen analysis is often ordered at the time of the first visit, the sample is usually collected at a later time.
For the female, a series of hormonal analyses are ordered; almost all of which are obtained by simple blood tests. Assay may be done to check for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), PRL (prolactin) and testosterone (a male type hormone made to some extent by the ovaries). Abnormal or elevated levels of these hormones can interfere with ovulation. An FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) test may be obtained to assess how well your ovaries function. In addition, a progesterone determination may be ordered to assess whether you are ovulating.
During your initial visit, your physician will spend time getting to know you. You’ll have the opportunity to ask him or her questions, all the while getting to know your physician better, and establishing a relationship that’s built on trust, care and professionalism. Throughout your treatment we encourage you to ask questions and to share your feelings about your experience with us.
Click here to view our informational handout: Your First Visit and Initial Evaluation