This post has been sponsored by CCRM Fertility. All opinions are 100% our own.
Fertility is a tender subject, and if you know or suspect you have fertility issues, it’s tempting to get caught up in a spiraling internet search.
Don’t do that.
Instead, let’s talk here about when to see a fertility specialist and what happens at a fertility consultation and initial appointments. I recently spoke to the wonderful, knowledgeable Dr. Dorette Noorhasan, award-winning reproductive endocrinologist and co-founder of CCRM Dallas-Fort Worth, about fertility testing, secondary infertility, and what makes industry-leading CCRM the best fertility specialists in Dallas.
When should I see a fertility specialist?
At this point, most of us are aware of the general guidelines for when to see a fertility specialist:
- If you’re under 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year
- If you’re over 35 and have been trying for more than six months
Of course, people rarely wait that long these days. And that’s ok. Other reasons to skip the “trying” period and make an appointment: if you’ve had a previous tubal ligation, are LGBTQ+, in a second marriage, etc. Point is, time is of the essence when it comes to fertility, and lots of people wait too long before they get help from a fertility specialist.
What is secondary infertility?
Here’s a topic that our readers likely have more questions about. Diagnosis criteria are the same as above, only the person has already had one successful pregnancy. It’s important to recognize that secondary infertility is every bit as emotional and overwhelming, sometimes even more so.
What are the first steps to starting fertility treatment?
Make your initial consultation appointment and complete intake paperwork just as you would with any new doctor.
CCRM currently does telehealth consultations (which patients love). Together, you’ll go through your history, clarify particulars from your intake paperwork, learn about the array of fertility tests, and discuss your family-building goals.
What is fertility testing?
Fertility testing covers 4 main categories: eggs, sperm, the female reproductive system, and a general “other” category.
Egg reserve testing helps determine the quantity and quality of your eggs. The exact number of eggs is only known after an egg retrieval procedure, but blood tests (AMH blood tests and Day 3 hormone testing) and a vaginal ultrasound (to assess your antral follicle count) are able to give a good estimate.
Ovulation is, of course, a key factor. In the past, you’d have to go to the doctor to figure all this out, but now you can purchase ovulation predictor kits OTC and do them at home. They’re extremely effective, and it’s much easier than making extra appointments. Note: If you don’t feel like you can do it yourself, CCRM will absolutely do ovulation testing for you at their office.
Semen analysis testing is designed to measure concentration (sperm count), motility (how they move), and shape of the sperm (morphology). Gotta give a sample at the office for this one.
Female Reproductive System
Dr. Noorhasan described these tests to me, and I’ll give the basic explanation here, so you have a general idea of what’s involved.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – A dye test to see if the fallopian tubes are open. This is an X-ray test.
Saline infusion sonogram (SIS) – Also called a hysterosonogram. Saline is injected into the uterus, which can then reveal polyps, fibroids, scar tissue, or congenital abnormalities. At CCRM this is a 3D vaginal ultrasound—some clinics only have 2D.
Diagnostic hysteroscopy – A thin-diameter scope allows your doctor to look inside your uterus for abnormalities. This is done in the office with your feet in the stirrups. Operative hysteroscopy uses a larger scope (and requires anesthesia). This one enables your doctor to find and fix abnormalities that may have shown up in the other tests. It’s an outpatient procedure and is done at CCRM DFW ambulatory surgery center, conveniently in the same
location as the office.
Other Testing if Needed
Your doctor might want to assess any health conditions that can impact fertility: thyroid function, other hormone levels (like prolactin), diabetes, overall health, blood pressure, etc.
All the fertility tests we’ve mentioned can be done within one menstrual cycle. Expect to do all your tests, THEN meet to discuss treatment and next steps. Your doctor will want to have the big picture and all your results in order to come up with the most effective treatment plan.
Better Science, Better Odds
Hope is such a simple emotion, but it can be overwhelming in the face of infertility.
Where you go matters.
CCRM has some of the highest success rates in the industry, and patients often go to CCRM after unsuccessful attempts elsewhere. Unlike some fertility clinics, everything is in-house at CCRM, from the cutting-edge lab to the procedure areas and on-site team of physicians. That’s a reassuring feature, one that can give you additional peace of mind on this journey.
No matter your story, circumstance or diagnoses, their mission is to put you on the fastest path to the healthiest baby.
Head to their website to learn more about what CCRM can do for you, from basic fertility treatments like medication and artificial insemination/IUI to IVF, egg freezing, preimplantation genetic testing, and much more. There’s a WEALTH of information there on services, success rates, causes of infertility, educational videos…
A much better place to start than Google, right?
CCRM Fertility is an all-inclusive fertility treatment center dedicated to quality patient care and outcomes. World-class doctors, proprietary technology, pioneering IVF treatment, and superior care give you the “CCRM Advantage.”
8380 Warren Parkway, Suite 201
Frisco, TX 75034