Your initial visit will most likely include a consultation with your provider to review your medical history, prior evaluation, and treatments you may have already done. A review of your partner’s history (if applicable) will also be assessed. This initial appointment may take 1-2 hours, so allow enough time in your schedule so you are not rushed.
Some offices may perform a vaginal ultrasound and blood tests at your first visit even if you have recently done these tests with your OB/GYN provider. A transvaginal ultrasound means that the ultrasound is performed with a probe inserted vaginally. This procedure does not hurt but may be a little uncomfortable. It is a quick procedure and emptying your bladder before the ultrasound often allows for better visualization. Please inform your provider if you have a latex allergy since latex probe covers are often used.
During the ultrasound, your fertility provider will focus on your antral follicle count, assessment of any ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids, and will get a general overview of your pelvic anatomy.
After your initial consultation
Make sure to get your primary nurse or coordinator’s name and phone number before you leave; you might think of more questions later. Some centers may also provide appropriate email addresses or a patient portal for follow-up questions.
The first appointment may be a little overwhelming and often there is a lot of information covered in a short period of time. I strongly encourage you to take the initiative and call or email your primary nurse or coordinator within 1-2 weeks after your initial consult. Your provider’s plan will be outlined in your medical record and your nurse or care coordinator can take you through the steps, especially if you are unsure of what to do next. Do not hesitate to reach out to your nurse or coordinator. They are there for you and building that relationship will only enhance your own experience.
Additionally, you will want to make an appointment with an OB/GYN for a routine annual exam. Make sure to give your fertility clinic the name and contact information for your OB/GYN. Often, your fertility doctor or provider will want to send them an update. If you do not have an OB/GYN provider, now is the time to get one. Ask your fertility provider, nurse, or coordinator for referrals and get established with an OB/GYN provider before you are pregnant. Once you are pregnant, it will be much easier to make an appointment with an OB/GYN provider if you are already an established patient.
Your provider may order additional tests or procedures to be completed after your initial consultation or on certain days of your menstrual cycle. It is important for you to have a follow-up consultation with your provider to review the results. Your nurse or coordinator may or may not be able to give you the results and most centers prefer to review all of the findings with you in person and then discuss your individualized treatment plan.
Also, it is always important to have picture identification with you. Since fertility practices are dealing with gametes (eggs and sperm), patient identification is critical in this field of medicine.