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Talking to Your Doctor About Infertility in Women

Main Page | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Screening | Reducing Your Risk | Talking to Your Doctor | Living With Infertility | Resource Guide

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with female infertility. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Your Risk of Developing Infertility

  • Based on my family and medical history, sexual practices and lifestyle, am I at risk for infertility?
  • Am I currently taking any medication that puts me at risk for infertility?
  • How do I best prevent infertility?

About Treatment Options

  • How do I best treat infertility?
  • What medications are available to me to treat infertility?
    • What are the benefits and side effects of these medications?
    • Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am taking for other conditions?
    • Does my type of infertility make me a good candidate for assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as IVF?
  • About Assisted Reproductive Technologies
    • What are the success rates?
    • Can I use my own eggs?
    • Will my insurance cover the costs?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Do I need to gain or lose weight?
  • Do I need to avoid all caffeine and alcohol or is an occasional drink safe?
  • How much exercise is too much if I am having trouble conceiving?
  • How often do I need a gynecological (pelvic) exam?

References:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Diabetes and pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq142.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130718T1644460255 . Accessed July 2010.

American Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org .

American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.asrm.org .

International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc website. Available at: http://www.inciid.org .

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association website. Available at: http://www.resolve.org .



Last reviewed December 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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