Just going to a doctor or fertility clinic (use the fertility clinic locator to find a fertility clinic near you) is a big step for couples who are having difficulty conceiving. Many couples begin by seeing an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) who will conduct some preliminary tests - monitoring ovulation, postcoital tests, basic blood work, and so forth.

A woman may be started on some initial basic treatments for several cycles. Hopefully, this basic treatment will work. However, if it doesn't work (typically decided after 3 to 4 months of use with no successful pregnancy), it may be time to start seeing a fertility specialist, also called a reproductive endocrinologist (REI).

A fertility specialist specializes in treating reproductive disorders. They have completed the same education and medical requirements as an OB/GYN and have done extra training in the area of assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

Find a fertility specialist, or REI, in your area.

If you are trying to conceive and plan on seeing a fertility specialist or REI, here are a list of questions that may help during your appointment:

  • What specific tests would you recommend to diagnose my infertility? How much do they cost?
  • How long will it take to diagnose our problem?
  • Based on the results of those tests, what are my treatment options?
  • What is the national success rate for those treatments in terms of live births?
  • Will my insurance pay for the testing and/or treatments? Will your clinic help me determine what my insurance will cover?
  • How will I communicate with you during this whole process?
  • Does your clinic provide emotional counselling, or can you refer me to a counsellor who deals with fertility problems?

You can also use the doctor discussion guide to help you prepare for your visit.