According to the latest recommendations, published by the Polish Society of Reproductive Medicine and Embryology, diagnostic assessment and treatment should be initiated after 12 months of regular intercourse – this indication applies to healthy couples where a woman is less than 35 years old.
For women over 35 years of age, specialist diagnostic procedures should be initiated following 6 months of intercourse, and in the case of 40-year-old women, parenthood planning should begin under specialists’ supervision.
Remember that the first visit in a specialist centre does not need to be a beginning of advanced medical management – it means an opportunity to consult a specialist, access to all necessary tests and arrangement of an action plan for next months.
Before you go to the clinic, prepare for the visit so that you can benefit most. The more information you provide, the more productive the visit will be. A doctor will certainly ask about:
Your observations of 2 to 3 latest cycles – when you had periods, how they proceeded etc.
The approximate date of the first period in your life.
Since when you have tried to have a child.
How regular your sexual activities are.
Your medical records – not only about gynaecological issues – a history of illnesses, procedures, surgeries, lab and ultrasound findings.
Also, you need to be ready for a more detailed discussion – the doctor will ask about your lifestyle, job, eating habits – that is, external factors that may affect possible (or not) infertility.
Please remember that the first visit may take place on any day of your cycle, contrary to the next ones which may be more restrictive.
The standards depend on an individual doctor, but it usually takes at least 30 minutes.
The starting point is a conversation – a doctor obtains a detailed history from a couple. This is the very beginning and the information collected at this stage determines further action. The first visit includes gynaecological examination with ultrasound imaging. Then, your previous medical records are reviewed.
During the first visit, it is important that the doctor presents diagnostic and therapeutic paths available to the couple. We also recommend you to note down questions to ask the doctor so that you do not forget them during this certainly emotional visit.
The final point of the first visit is ordering proper diagnostic procedures by the doctor to estimate fertility of the couple afterwards. The key decision on the optimal treatment path is taken by the couple only based on detailed findings and with the doctor’s support.
It is very true that the first step is the most difficult one!