What to Expect During a New Patient Appointment for Infertility
New patient appointment overview
- The appointment usually lasts an hour, in which our specialist gets to know the patient(s), define their goals and determine the best plan of action.
- The new patient appointment involves a discussion of health and reproductive history, a check of vitals and a pelvic exam for women.
- Key factors our specialist generally considers are maternal age, hormonal imbalances, anatomical issues, male factor infertility and previous fertility treatments.
- We encourage patients to be prepared to ask questions they have and to bring identification, insurance cards, pertinent medical records and completed forms.
Determining goals at the first new patient appointment
The doctors and staff at Loma Linda University (LLU) Center for Fertility & IVF understand that the decision to seek fertility treatment is not always an easy one. As one of the longest standing fertility centers in Southern California, our dedicated staff has helped thousands of couples realize their dreams of creating a family. As patients start on their journey, we want to make the first appointment as efficient and smooth as possible. Read on to learn how to best prepare for the visit and what to expect.
A new patient appointment typically lasts an hour. An important part of the initial fertility visit is getting to know the patient(s), defining goals and determining the best path forward for each individual or couple. While partners are not required to attend the first appointment, it is strongly recommended, as infertility affects men and women equally. According to the Society of Reproductive Surgeons, in about 40% of couples with infertility the male is the sole or contributing factor.
Medical history, initial fertility tests & listening to the patient
During this first visit, we discuss any pregnancy attempts, as well as obtain a thorough medical history of the patient and the partner. We will also talk about lifestyle, reproductive history and family medical history.
An initial exam will include a check on vitals (blood pressure, weight, list of current medications and supplements, last period, etc.) and a pelvic exam. These initial tests help establish a baseline for future testing and screen out any problems that could interfere with fertility treatments. Further testing may be ordered to help diagnose infertility.
LLU doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all fertility plan. An important part of this initial visit is listening to the patient and creating a personalized treatment plan that fits her or his needs. It’s also important to us that all patients understand the strategy for evaluation and subsequent follow-up when they leave their initial appointment. We encourage everyone to ask every question they have.
Causes of infertility we consider to generate a fertility treatment plan
Although every situation is unique, there are several common factors that our fertility specialists will consider in diagnosing the cause for infertility and developing the best fertility treatment plan for each patient.
- Maternal age: As women get older, their fertility decreases.
- Hormone imbalances. These can be caused by conditions like anovulation or polycystic ovary syndrome, which can contribute to fertility issues.
- Anatomical anomalies: These are physical barriers to fertility such as uterine polyps or fibroids.
- Male factor infertility: These mostly include issues with sperm quality.
- Previous infertility treatments and reproductive history: Knowing these details gives our specialist insight into effective treatments moving forward.
After gathering all this information, our specialist will talk about the possible reasons why the patient(s) is having trouble getting pregnant. Following that, we’ll describe a directed infertility evaluation, including the justification for each test and a timeframe for starting treatment.
What to bring to the first new patient appointment
Being prepared for the initial appointment will lay a good foundation for treatment, which helps patients start confidently.
- Medical records including past test results.
- Completed patient forms
- Female infertility patient questionnaire
- Credit card authorization form
- Authorization for disclosure of protected health information.
- Insurance cards.
Affording fertility treatment
Financial considerations are an important part of any medical care, especially in the decision to pursue advanced fertility treatment. LLU Center for Fertility offers a dedicated financial liaison to discuss the costs of treatment and potential discount programs, as well as providing advice on insurance coverage.
Sign up for our patient portal
Register for our patient portal, MyLLHealth, before your initial consultation and you’ll receive a $100 discount on your appointment costs (for self-pay patients only; discount does not apply to patients covered by insurance).
This patient portal provides secure communications with your doctor and allows you to keep track of paperwork, tests and results online.