Infertility: Common Questions Answered

dr. claire malloff
By Claire Mallof, MD, FACOG St. Luke's Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates, Laurentian Medical Clinic
About the Author:
I enjoy getting to take care of my patients through the spectrum of life. My approach is to advocate for women, and to always be open to questions or concerns. I like to listen to my patients and then use my medical knowledge to complement what they already know best about themselves and their family.

If you’re struggling to get pregnant, infertility can be a difficult topic. You might not feel comfortable discussing it at all, let alone knowing where to turn for advice, testing and treatment. At St. Luke’s, we focus on removing as much of the stress and doubt around the topic as we can.

Below are some common questions about infertility you may have. We hope this provides you with the information you need to move forward.

When is it time to talk to my doctor?

We recommend you talk with your OB-GYN or primary care provider before you even begin trying to conceive. This can answer a lot of your initial questions about the process, and help you develop a customized plan for conception. It is also a good time to create a plan for your pregnancy and delivery as well.

As for discussing infertility, it’s common for couples to spend many months trying to conceive without success. However, if you’ve been trying for a year, it might be time to reach out to your physician to discuss testing. If you’re over 35, or have a history of irregular menstrual cycles, endometriosis or pelvic infections, contact your physician after six months of trying without conceiving.

What will happen at my consultation?

Your physician will want to know a lot of details about your efforts to conceive as well as your menstrual cycle history. You can also expect a full physical. Be prepared to spend at least thirty minutes to an hour at this appointment.

Emotionally, this can be a difficult appointment, but your physician will be there by your side to figure out the best way to address your concerns and create a plan to move forward. Also, it’s not required that the spouse or partner attend this consultation, but they are welcome to do so.

What happens next?

The next steps are determined by each patient’s unique circumstances. If an infertility cause is targeted, testing will be done to confirm that cause. Afterwards,  a treatment plan will be developed to address it.

If there isn’t a cause identified, your physician will work with you and your partner on a broad testing course. This can involve things like laboratory testing, a semen analysis or a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), an X-ray procedure that checks for tubal obstructions.

What are the costs?

Coverage amounts vary among insurance providers, so it’s a good idea to contact your provider before you set up your initial consultation. Some plans cover everything, others nothing, but most will cover at least your initial evaluation.

What is St. Luke’s process?

St. Luke’s has developed a streamlined program for addressing infertility. When a patient calls they are scheduled with a physician who will see them through the evaluation and treatment, as well as the hopeful pregnancy and delivery.

Patients are mailed an informational packet prior to their initial consultation, which answers common questions in greater detail and gives an overview of costs

Ready to speak to someone?

Contact us today.

To make an appointment with Dr. Claire Mallof


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