Going to see an infertility specialist for the first time can be daunting, overwhelming, exciting, and full of hope. When people visit Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility for the first time, we know that there are a lot of emotions and questions running through their minds.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Gelety spends a considerable amount of time making sure you understand all aspects of the diagnosis, testing, and treatment processes. With more than 20 years in the industry, he’s able to anticipate our patients’ questions and concerns and address them. However, it’s still a good idea for you to have a list of questions ready to ask when first seeking infertility treatments, because several of the answers will be specific to your personal circumstance.
If you feel comfortable sharing your situation, we’d encourage you to ask family or friends who have gone through similar experiences for advice on what they thought was helpful to ask their specialist. There are also several websites, online support groups, and forums that may offer advice on what information is necessary or beneficial. Based on our own experience at AZCREI, these are six questions you’ll want to ask—and the reasons why their answers are so important—before starting treatments.
1. What is my diagnosis?
While it’s difficult to make an exact diagnosis during your first meeting with Dr. Gelety, he may have an idea of the potential causes behind your infertility. (He’ll ask you and your partner questions about your medical history and lifestyle to help him make this determination.) This assessment will dictate the next steps forward and which diagnostic tests he’ll recommend.
2. Are there lifestyle habits that might be affecting my/our fertility?
Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, mental stress, and poor diet can affect hormone levels and increase the risk of infertility. Sometimes, making healthier lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking, managing stress, or losing weight can correct hormone imbalances and boost your fertility.
3. How can I/we manage the stress of infertility and treatments?
If stress is increasing the risk of infertility, managing that stress can have beneficial results. Understanding all the resources available to you—and more importantly, what may work best for you—can help support you and keep you going through the treatment process if things become difficult.
4. What do you think will be the best treatment plan for me/us?
The tests and treatments you’ll need will directly affect how much the overall process may cost. At AZCREI, we always start with the simplest, least invasive, and most economical procedures first, but understanding each potential step in your treatment plan will prepare you for the possibility of a more expensive treatment later. Plus, being aware of your full treatment plan will help you keep things in perspective if a procedure isn’t immediately successful.
5. What success rate can I/we expect with each treatment?
There are many variables that determine the success rate of treatments, and knowing the likelihood that a specific treatment will result in a successful pregnancy in one, two, or three cycles will help you prepare emotionally and mentally, and plan financially.
6. What will my insurance cover? What out-of-pocket expenses should I/we expect?
For about 90 percent of our patients, some portion of evaluations or procedures are covered by insurance, however it can vary greatly depending on policy. Typically, insurance might cover: expenses related to diagnostic testing only, full coverage of all services, a combination of testing and treatments, or absolutely nothing. Asking this question up front will help you create a financial plan to help with the costs.
Our goal is to help you achieve a pregnancy and have a healthy, happy baby. We want you to feel comfortable with your options and confident in your treatment plan—and we’re always here to answer any questions you may have along the way. To schedule an appointment with us, call (520) 326-0001 or visit us online.