We turned to Dr Raef Faris, Gynaecology and Fertility Specialist at The Lister Fertility Clinic, to explain what happens during an initial consultation at a fertility clinic
What should I expect with my first consultation?
You will be seen by the Consultant either virtually or face-to-face. It’s a good idea to bring any investigations carried out previously and we will then look into all your previous history, any tests done previously and also any treatment. We will then be advising based on the past medical, surgical and family history the possible diagnosis, and advise if there is any further investigation needed. In the consultation we will also discussing options of management based on your past history.
Previous tests and any previous protocols and treatments
You need to bring any previous tests and any previous protocols and treatments to your consultation, especially if there have been previous cycles including imaging, ultrasound scans and of course any GP letters if available. The consultation would last for anything between 45 minutes to 1 hour. The initial consultation (here at The Lister) costs £230.00.
It would be good to have an AMH test and an ultrasound scan at least, as these two would help to identify the ovarian reserve and any problems with the uterus or ovaries. A sperm analysis would also be needed.
I would be asking you regarding any previous investigations, medical conditions, medications you are taking, any previous attempts for treatment and any tests done. If you have had a previous round of IVF at another clinic we would use these as a diagnostic tool to identify any problems and decide whether the main reason would be the embryos, the sperm or the eggs, of if there is any implantation issues. It would be useful to bring as much information as possible from the previous clinic to look at and use it as a basis for the next step.
If you have not had IVF before, then we would be advising on various options, not necessarily IVF but of course IVF could be one of the options
After the consultation if any tests are needed to be arranged then a follow-up will be needed to review the tests. Of course if IVF is the way forward then we would be going through the details of the IVF risks and costs and any further implications and will put a plan for IVF and then starting most probably with your next period, if applicable.
If you have a consultation with us you are not necessarily committed, you could have it as a second opinion and of course you can take the information and use it anywhere you would like to. If at the consultation all the information is available and all the tests are available you would be good to start probably with the next period, considering there is enough time for a nurse assessment and educating you on how to use the medications etc. also considering there is no further investigations needed.
A round of IVF takes about 2½ weeks which involves three to five visits to the clinic, with about 10-14 days of stimulation with self-injection. The cycle will be monitored by regular scans and when appropriate egg collection will be carried out under sedation and embryo transfer will follow 2-5 days later. Ten days after the embryo transfer a pregnancy test will be needed to confirm the outcome.
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