Questions To Ask The Fertility Specialist

Once you've narrowed down your choices of specialists, schedule an office visit with each one. Before you go in to meet with the doctor, spend some time thinking about what is important to you and your particular situation. Many women recommend writing down a list of questions ahead of time and bringing it with them to the office visit. That way you can make sure that you don't forget to bring up an impor tant topic. Of course, you'll want to get information about the doctor and the clinic. You'll also want to know about the treatments available and their success rates. Another key purpose is for you to get an impression of the doctor and clinic to see if this is a place where you would feel comfortable.

Here are some questions you may want to ask during your first meeting with the specialist. Don't be embarrassed—they get asked these questions all the time!

• Where did you go to medical school and do your residency?

• How many years have you been in practice?

• Are you board certified?

• How many fertility specialists are on staff here?

• Will we work with only you or will other doctors participate in our care?

• Is there a physician on call after office hours and on weekends?

• Are you on the staff at a hospital? Which one(s)?

• What percentage of your patients have fertility problems?

• What percentage of your patients have been successfully treated?

• How do you plan to approach my case?

• Are both partners investigated at the same time?

• How long will our infertility evaluation take?

• What tests and procedures do you use to evaluate our fertility?

• What services and treatments do you offer?

• What happens if we require another treatment that you do not provide?

• How much will the proposed treatment cost?

• Do you accept medical insurance? How do you handle that?

• Do you offer any money back guarantee programs?

• What is your rate of live babies born per cycle? (That means the number of healthy babies born per fertility treatment cycle—it's intended as a measure of success rate for the patient.)

• What is your rate of take-home babies born per year?

You should be knowledgeable about the specialist's fertility success rate. However, keep in mind that some clinics may not have as high success rates as others because they might focus on high-risk or difficult-to-treat patients. The important thing is that you have a good understanding as to why that particular clinic's numbers are what they are.

Don't make a final decision about selecting your fertility specialist until you have had time to fully process your encounter. Be sure to evaluate what you experienced at the clinic with a critical eye.

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