Women's Health

Getting Started with Fertility Treatment

Dr. Mroueh, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist at Rochester Regional Health, provides insights on when to see a fertility doctor, how the infertility treatment process starts and what to expect on your journey.

May. 11, 2021 2   min read

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Planning for a family and trying to get pregnant can be an exciting time, but if you are ready to have a baby and are having trouble getting pregnant, you may want to talk to your OBGYN about seeing a fertility specialist.

We asked Rochester Regional Health reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist, Dr. Jamil Mroueh about fertility doctors, how to prepare for your first appointment, what to expect during fertility treatment and more.

When to see a fertility doctor

Generally, it takes families about 5 to 6 months to conceive. If you are under the age of 35 and have been having unprotected sex for more than a year, you should see a fertility specialist.

Other families who may want to see a fertility specialist sooner are:

  • If you are over 35 and have been trying for 6 months
  • If you have a family history of genetic diseases
  • If you have had two or more miscarriages
  • If you are having irregular periods, no periods or heavy bleeding
  • If you have a chronic medical condition like heart disease or cancer
  • If you are a same-sex couple, are interested in surrogacy or are looking to have a baby as a single parent

What do fertility specialists do?

A fertility specialist is a doctor who has studied and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and then spent an extra 3-4 years focusing on infertility and reproductive endocrinology-related issues.

“This additional training means that we not only have the technical and surgical skill to treat some of the more complex causes of infertility,” said Dr. Mroueh. “But it also gives us the knowledge and understanding to determine the cause and best path forward, working with you and your family.

How does the fertility treatment process start?

“Typically, patients come to us through their OBGYN although many call us directly for help in getting pregnant,” said Dr. Mroueh. “When you call to make your first appointment, we’ll ask you a bit about your background and to gather some information for us to help kickstart our evaluation.”

Some of the most helpful things for families to have ready for that first appointment include your:

  • Menstrual history – How often do you see your period? How many days do you bleed? Is it painful? When was your first period? When was your most recent period?
  • General medical history – Your family history (especially your mom’s history of pregnancy and fertility), any medications you’re taking, prior surgeries and any chronic disease you may have.
  • Genetic history – If you are aware of any genetic conditions that run in your family or that you may have.
  • Fertility history – If you have been pregnant, how long did it take to get pregnant? Did you have any complications? Have you had any other fertility treatments or bloodwork taken?

If you have a partner, it’s important to have their background and have them present and involved, especially at your first fertility specialist appointment.

What happens during the first fertility appointment?

“During your first appointment, we’ll review your medical, menstrual, fertility and genetic history,” said Dr. Mroueh. “We’ll talk about what you’ve tried, provide some insights and help to relieve some common misconceptions. Your difficulty getting pregnant is not your fault.” 

If we need more information, we’ll send you for three quick tests:

  • A blood test for the female partner, if there is one
  • An x-ray for the female partner
  • A semen test for the male partner, if there is one

We help to schedule these tests, review the results and then work with you on the best path forward. We’ll discuss the types of treatments available, including IVF, the costs and what to expect over the coming weeks and months.

NEXT STEPS Compassionate & Family-Centered Fertility Care

Rochester Regional Health approaches fertility challenges with a blend of science and empathy for what couples and individuals are experiencing during periods of infertility. Our board-certified doctors and our nurses provide fertility treatment options for all types of issues and we are proud to welcome all individuals and couples—men, women, and same-sex. Our team is compassionate, knowledgeable, and provides you with 24/7 access to expertise and counseling for any and all of your fertility questions.

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