What to Expect at Your First Infertility Appointment in Florida
So you finally decided to make an appointment with a fertility doctor – but you have no clue what to expect.
Not sure what to bring, how long it will take or what will happen? Here’s what you can expect at your first consultation with Dr. George Patounakis at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Florida in Lake Mary.
Before the visit
Before your visit, make sure to bring your insurance documents, any relevant test results or medical records, and your partner, if possible. Budget about an hour and a half, give or take 15 minutes, for your initial fertility consult.
At the visit – the discussion
Once you show up, you will be checked in and asked some information about your OB/GYN. You’ll also probably make some form of payment at this stage.
Next, you’ll meet with your reproductive endocrinologist – Dr. Patounakis, if you’re coming to Lake Mary – who will ask you about your history, your partner’s history, and learn how long you’ve been trying to become pregnant. Subsequently, Dr. Patounakis will review your gynecologic, pregnancy, and medical histories to see if you have any preexisting medical conditions which may affect your ability to get pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy. He will also go over any surgeries you’ve had and ask whether you are on any medications or have allergies to medications. Lastly, he will review your family/genetic history and social history, which includes smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or using drugs.
At the visit – the exams
After the discussion, you will be taken to the exam room to have your vital signs taken – these will include height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. You will then change into a gown to prepare for the physical exam. Dr. Patounakis will perform a general physical exam, pelvic exam, and vaginal ultrasound. The ultrasound is one of the most important aspects of the exam because it is the best way to examine the uterus and ovaries. As he performs the exam, he will explain what he sees and help you understand the significance of the findings. Once the exam is done, he will answer any questions you may have.
Finally, he will summarize testing you may need to do during a follow-up visit to begin infertility treatment. At this point, you will meet with one of Dr. Patounakis’ nurses to go over other aspects of the practice and get a detailed set of instructions of what to do next for fertility testing.
The follow-up visits – fertility testing
Generally, the next time you come to the office, you will be getting blood work done, as it usually depends on when your last period began. The blood work tests your egg reserve and also includes the blood work that you normally would have at your first new patient pregnancy visit with your OB/GYN. This is also a good time to have your blood drawn for genetic testing. In many cases, the next visit will be one where a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is performed. The HSG primarily evaluates your fallopian tubes to determine if they are open, but it also assesses the uterine cavity. Lastly, if you have a partner, a semen analysis appointment will also be necessary. The semen analysis examines the sperm count, sperm movement, and whether the sperm are normally shaped.
If you decide to pursue fertility testing, it is best to have all your testing done within four weeks of your first visit. After your testing is completed, you will meet with your doctor again to design a customized plan to help you achieve your goal of a healthy baby.