First fertility appointment
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Professor Robert Winston
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Fertility expert and one of the world's pioneers of IVF and Fertility Medicine. BAFTA award-winning television presenter and Member of The House of Lords in the UK.
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Conception / Infertility Treatments

First fertility appointment

It is vital that you, as a couple, are empowered on your fertility journey. It's good to know in advance what should be checked by your Doctor or Specialist – then you can insist on having all the proper tests. If you don’t know, you risk being shunted into a treatment, such as IVF, that might be completely inappropriate for you – and may not work.
Video Tutorial
In Short

Make sure your Doctor or Specialist goes through all of the following at your first fertility appointment:

How old you both are and how long you’ve been trying to conceive.

A history of any previous pregnancies – arrange to see the specialist privately if you want to keep any of this information from your partner.

A history of the woman’s periods and how often you have sex.

An internal examination of the woman – e.g. for lumps or fibroids.

An examination of the man – e.g. damaged testes.

First fertility appointment

The specialist will want to know how old the two of you are and how long you have been trying to conceive. One issue is that he or she will inquire into is your history of any previous pregnancies. You might not want to be asked about a previous pregnancy of which your partner has no knowledge. If it is impossible to be candid during the joint visit, you should arrange to see the specialist alone on a separate occasion. Doctors will not reveal such private information to anyone else, including your partner.

The specialist should generally get details about the woman’s gynaecological history and the frequency of her recent menstrual periods. He or she may also inquire about how often you have sexual intercourse and whether you are experiencing any difficulties. Some couples may find such questions embarrassing, but they are obviously relevant.

A consultant should conduct an internal examination, although provided a woman is having regular intercourse and there is no history suggesting uterine abnormalities or an ovarian cyst, it may often provide very little information. It is also an examination that may be deferred until the next visit when confidence has been gained if a woman is especially anxious or embarrassed. That said, an early examination is important, since a lump, fibroid or cyst in the ovary, could have considerable bearing on subsequent treatment.

Examination of the man usually gives rather less information, unless he is known to have an abnormal sperm count. Even then, examination of most male patients generally reveals little detectable abnormality. Occasionally a damaged testis may be smaller than normal, or there may be cysts or abnormal swelling that will require special tests.

The Genesis Research Trust

Despite countless breakthroughs in medical science, we still do not understand why some pregnancies will end in tragedy. For most of us, having a child of our own is the most fulfilling experience of our lives. All of us can imagine the desperation and sadness of parents who lose a baby, and the life-shattering impact that a disabled or seriously ill child has on a family.

Professor Robert Winston’s Genesis Research Trust raises money for the largest UK-based collection of scientists and clinicians who are researching the causes and cures for conditions that affect the health of women and babies.

Essential Parent is proud to support their wonderful work.You can learn more about them here.

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DISCLAIMER
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.