Are you infertile? 13 questions to ask your doc

Make those fertility doc visits pay off ― ask the right questions! This is what you need to know…

Some couples finding starting a family literally a very trying time (pun intended). After all, it’s sadly possible to have regular cycles, be free of risk factors, including any Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and still be infertile.

But before you see a fertility expert — usually an obstetrician-gynaecologist for women and a urologist for the guys — you should try for at least a year before you get tested for possible infertility. This rule applies to couples below age 35. If you’re older, try for at least six months before seeking help.

Now, if you and your spouse longer than that without striking gold, then its time to get prepped for your consultation. Fertility expert and senior consultant ob-gyn, Dr Peter Chew and SmartParents expert Dr Christopher Chong have advice for you:

* Come as a couple Dr Chong stresses, “It takes two people to get pregnant. So, it is crucial you both come as a couple for consultations.” To get to the bottom of your problems conceiving, there will be a need to assess, examine and counsel both parties.
* Don’t visit if this is happening down there If you are menstruating, Dr Chong advises that you reschedule your appointment. For some subsequent appointments ― especially the guys ― you may need to practise abstinence of at least three days for the purpose of sperm tests.
* Prepare to ask and be asked questions No matter how shy you may feel to open up about your difficulties between the sheets, Dr Chew says you should actively ask questions relating to diagnosis, investigations, treatments and cost.

“It takes two people to get pregnant. So, it is crucial you both come as a couple for consultations.”

* Bring your prior medical records If this isn’t the first time you are consulting the doctor, bringing your entire medical history will allow the experts to better understand and diagnose your condition. Remember: Bring everything ― you wouldn’t know if your infertility is caused by a pre-existing condition. So, it’s best to get it checked!
* Menstrual charts Keeping track of your ovulation patterns gives you a clearer picture of the state of your fertility. Dr Chew advises you to take note of the exact dates of your last menstrual cycle, and preferably, the days you ovulate.
* Somethings may feel uncomfortable Sometimes, as part of the treatment, your doctor may ask that you undergo a comprehensive examination. Dr Chew stresses that these tests may include a pelvic examination, which may be a little uncomfortable. So, come prepared and don’t be afraid to voice your concerns or ask questions.
What are the top questions you should pose to your doctor… Read on!