TTC? 19 questions the fertility docs will ask

Be frank and open with your doctor, so that you’ll get much closer to achieving that Big Fat Positive!

TTC? 19 questions the fertility docs will ask

If you have problems getting pregnant, you aren’t alone, since as many as 15 per cent of couples have problems conceiving. This could be due to any number of reasons ranging from lifestyle and physiological, to even psychological ones. So, resolving the root of your infertility will bring you one step closer to achieving your dream of being a parent.

Consult a fertility clinic if you have sexual health issues ― for instance, if you have problems ejaculating or female hormonal imbalances. However, your first visit to one may seem daunting, especially since you won’t know what to expect. So that you can prepare for the visit, Dr Peter Chew, senior consultant ob-gyn at Peter Chew Clinic for Women, Dr Christopher Chong, consultant ob-gyn at Gleneagles Hospital and Dr Poh Beow Kiong, a urologist at Gleneagles Hospital, share questions they usually ask their patients:

For women…

* Do you have any issues with intercourse? If you experience pain while having sex, it could either point to a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) or more complex problems like vaginismus, a painful condition that prevents any form of vaginal penetration.

*Any prior medical issues? Especially if you’re suffering from chronic health issues such as thyroid hormone problems or any autoimmune disease. Dr Chong explains that these can interfere with your ovulation patterns.

* Did you undergo any prior surgeries? Dr Chew explains that procedures carried out to remove ovarian cysts and fibroids may impair your fertility.

* Do you experience regular menstruation? What are your menstrual cycles like? Dr Chew says this question will indicate whether the patient is ovulating regularly or not.

* Did you experience any unusual discharge? Any pain? Painful periods with unusual amounts of discharge may suggest conditions like endometriosis or a pelvic infection. Dr Chew notes that if left untreated, an infection will lead to infertility.

* Do you smoke? Drink alcohol? Lifestyle issues like obesity or drinking and smoking regularly can come impact your fertility. Smoking, for instance, can affect the quality of your eggs, Dr Chong points out.

If you both receive a clean bill of health from the fertility docs, the “culprit” could well be what happens between the sheets.

For men…

* What is your age? Age has a huge impact on your fertility levels. Dr Poh points out that the older you are, the poorer the quality of your sperm.

* Are you getting enough sleep? Not having sufficient shuteye may have an adverse effect on the quality of sperm.

* Do you travel often? Dr Poh notes that your body’s hormonal conditions are heavily influenced by your body’s circadian rhythm — the natural physiological processes your body goes through daily. If you need to travel frequently for work, your rhythm may be disrupted by the different time zones, as well as jetlag.

* How often do you have sex? Dr Chew says that if you have sexual intercourse less, this could mean a drop in your sex drive.

* Do you have any issues with intercourse? Dr Chong stresses that these questions are aimed at uncovering common sexual problems like erectile or ejaculation issues.

* Do you smoke? Drink? Do you feel stressed at work? Again, lifestyle concerns ― like stress, as well as diet and exercise habits — can interfere with both the quantity and quality of one’s sperm.

* Do you have any prior health issues? Any discharge? Dr Chong says any trauma to the testes or a bout of mumps could damage your sperm. Dr Chew adds that you should tell your docs if any operations were done on your sexual organs, for instance, to remove a hernia. Discharge from your genitals are a sign of an STD.

If you both receive a clean bill of health from the fertility docs, the “culprit” could well be what happens between the sheets. Then you might need to see a sexologist to address these issues.

Dr Martha Tara Lee, a sexologist with Eros Coaching, suggests that couples have a frank and open discussion before meeting her. You’ll need to discuss what these bedroom issues are, what you hope to resolve in seeking help, and even list possible questions to ask, so as to move things along.

Read on to find out what questions your sexologist will ask…