Essential questions to ask your fertility doctor

Amber Izzo
Social media lead at Gaia and IVF mum
In this guide

Thinking about building your family can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time — I know because I’ve been there, too. If you’ve booked a fertility consultation, you’re bound to have questions before you even set foot in the building. To help you make the most of your consultation, I’ve outlined what to expect at your appointment and suggested questions to ask your fertility doctor. 

What to expect during your first fertility appointment

At your first appointment, you’ll meet your fertility doctor and clinic staff to discuss your goals, timeline, and medical history, as well as what the process of fertility treatment looks like. Your doctor will perform an ultrasound to make sure your reproductive organs look healthy, and a nurse will take several vials of your blood to run tests. After your results come back, they’ll create an action plan to move forward, and you can decide when you want to begin treatment.

Questions to ask: Fertility testing and diagnosis

Before you can begin treatment, you’ll need to know whether you (and your partner, if you have one) have any fertility issues to address. Some people don’t have fertility concerns but choose to do IVF, especially people over 35 who want help creating high quality embryos.

  • What types of tests will I need to check for female and/or male infertility issues? 
  • What is my diagnosis? How does this impact my fertility?
  • Are there lifestyle changes I can make to improve my fertility?
  • What are my chances of getting pregnant and giving birth?

Questions to ask: Medication and treatment options

Depending on their diagnosis, some people won’t need to complete IVF treatment and can use less expensive and less invasive options, like IUI (intrauterine insemination). Others will need to go through IVF to conceive a child. Once you have a diagnosis, you can ask these questions about your treatment options.

  • What fertility medications do I need to take, and how often? 
  • Does the medication have any short- or long-term side effects?
  • What treatment is best for my circumstance?
  • Do I need to take any precautions while I’m taking these medications? Should I avoid sex, alcohol, or certain types of exercise?
  • Will these medications interfere with any of my current prescriptions?
  • Do you recommend any supplements?

Questions to ask: Fertility preservation

Some people want to become parents later in life and want to preserve good quality eggs, sperm, or embryos to use later. If that sounds like you, there are lots of good questions to ask about how to preserve your fertility.

  • Do you store eggs/embryos/sperm in this facility or elsewhere?
  • How much does it cost to store eggs or sperm per year? 
  • Do you recommend PGT-A testing in my case? Why or why not? (FYI: PGT-A screens embryos’ genetic composition for abnormalities. Many doctors recommend it if you’re over 35 and freezing embryos.)
  • How long do most people freeze eggs/embryos/sperm before they use or discard them?
  • If I decide to use or discard my stored eggs/embryos/sperm, how does that work?

Questions to ask: Fertility care and support

Fertility issues are incredibly common, and many people need help conceiving a child. No matter why you’re seeking fertility assistance, you’re entitled to personalized care, resources, and a support system, both in and out of the clinic.

  • Do you have recommendations for egg banks, sperm banks, or surrogacy agencies, if we need them? 
  • Do you offer counseling or therapy as part of your package?
  • What’s your experience in LGBTQ+ family building?

Questions to ask: IVF costs and financing

As if there weren’t enough to think about, we haven’t even brought up how to pay for IVF yet. Note: These questions are better suited for your clinic’s finance department rather than your doctor. 

  • How much will treatment cost?  Is medication included in that price, and if not, how much does it usually cost?
  • What additional costs should I expect?
  • Do you offer IVF financing plans?

Quick plug: our Gaia Plans cover all the essentials you’ll need for fertility treatment, with no surprise bills along the way. EYour treatment costs don’t begin to accumulate interest until you and your child are home from the hospital. Get a quote for your fertility treatment > 

One last question to ask

Your doctor should address all of your questions openly, patiently, and in a way that makes you feel empowered. There’s one last question I recommend asking:

  • What do people ask that I haven’t asked yet?

If you’ve missed anything, this is a great catch-all question to address any lingering questions. Your doctor should give you their contact info and encourage you to email or call them if any more questions come up. 

Summary

There are lots of good questions to ask your fertility doctor about your treatment plans. Be curious, keep a running list of questions you encounter, and don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself during appointments and after hours. Wishing you all the best throughout treatment — you’ve got this. 

Written by
Amber Izzo
Amber is a prominent figure in the TTC community and a tireless advocate for accessible fertility treatment. She is one half of the podcast “Am I Ovary Acting?” and the founder of the @fightforIVF campaign. As an ongoing advocate and campaign leader, her efforts helped restore NHS funding for IVF in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG in 2021. She is a proud mum and Gaia's social media lead.

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