Making the decision to seek help from a fertility specialist can be a difficult one, but for couples who are having trouble conceiving, it could make all the difference.
Talking with a patient coordinator for the first time
However, before visiting with a doctor, you’ll probably have a conversation with a patient coordinator who will ask you some preliminary questions before scheduling your first consultation.
Calling the clinic
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests couples who are unsuccessful in conceiving after one year of trying (6 months for women over 35) seek help from a fertility specialist. A fertility specialist is a reproductive endocrinologist, a doctor who is specially-trained to diagnose and treat conditions of infertility. Fertility specialists often work at multi-doctor practices known as fertility clinics, and getting in contact with a clinic is usually the first step towards visiting with a fertility specialist.
When you first speak with the fertility clinic, you will be put in touch with a patient coordinator who, according to a coordinator at IVF New Jersey, will ask you some preliminary questions like your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and insurance provider and plan, as well as your reason for seeking help from a fertility specialist and whether you wish to schedule an appointment with a particular doctor or with a doctor of a particular gender. Patient coordinators can offer basic information about the appointment, but any medical questions will likely be referred to a nurse on staff.
It’s also important to note that having a conversation with a patient coordinator does not mean you are locked into an appointment. If you aren’t sure whether or not you want to seek a consultation yet, a patient coordinator can help inform you about your options and explain why a fertility specialist might be a good idea for you.
If you do schedule an appointment through the patient coordinator, the clinic will email you a set of forms about your medical and fertility history to fill out which you should bring with you to your first consultation, as this will be crucial information for your fertility specialist to know before setting out to identify and treat any underlying cause of infertility. Your patient coordinator will also ask you to gather any relevant past medical records and test results, whether from another fertility clinic, your OB/GYN, or your primary care physician, to better help them address your issue. In the interim between scheduling and attending your first appointment, the fertility clinic’s billing department will probably verify your insurance information with your provider to determine how much you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.
Once you fill out the medical history forms and gather any relevant test results, your first fertility consultation awaits!
Visit the Resources Page for more information about fertility treatments, and your options.