etting Pregnant Resources: Infertility Treatment Guide
Because infertility treatment – including fertility testing and assisted reproduction technology (ART) – options can be stressful emotionally, physically and financially, compiling an infertility treatment guide can help you and your partner stay in control with regard to the course of your infertility treatment. Compiling such information as your medical history, establishing a timeline for your infertility treatment and researching your health insurance policy are all important steps when it comes to preparing for infertility treatment.
Compiling Your Medical History Organizing you and your partner’s medical history is essential when it comes to infertility treatment because having complete medical records can help your fertility specialist diagnose the cause of your infertility much faster, meaning that you’ll be more likely to have successful fertility treatment.
Elements to include when compiling your medical history include:
- gynaecological history: including information regarding menstruation (length, heaviness and regularity of your periods), sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptive methods used in the past and whether you’ve had any previous pregnancies, miscarriages or abortions
- medical history: information on chronic asthma, allergies to any medication, urinary tract infections (UTIs), cancer therapy, etc.
- personal history: lifestyle factors that can affect your chances of getting pregnant include your weight (and whether you’ve recently experienced weight loss or weight gain), drug use, exercise routine, exposure to toxins, including radiation
In addition, be sure to include any files you may have from previous fertility treatments, if applicable. This includes whether you’ve undergone any ART methods, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and test results, including semen analysis test results.
Mapping Out Your Infertility Treatment Timeline
Before beginning any type of infertility treatment, including different ART options, be sure to openly and thoroughly discuss with your partner how many cycles of a particular type of treatment you are willing to and financially able to undergo.
Some questions to consider include:
- how much money can we/do we want to spend per cycle?
- what support systems are available to us in the event that we need financial assistance?
- are we willing to try more than one type of treatment simultaneously?
- does the infertility treatment option conflict with our moral or spiritual beliefs?
Be sure to revisit these issues on a regular basis while undergoing treatment as well. This will help you stay in control of the treatment process and help minimize feelings of isolation, frustration or resentment as well as keep the lines of communication in your relationship strong.
In addition, you should ask your reproductive endocrinologist questions about the length of treatment, such as:
- what is the number of cycles recommended?
- what is the average time gap between cycles?
- what is the pregnancy success rate associated with the type of treatment?
- how can age affect our chances of getting pregnant with this infertility treatment option?
- what is the cost of this type of treatment?
Researching Your Health Insurance Policy Making sure you are well versed with you and your partner’s health insurance policy is another important step to take before starting infertility treatment because it can help you and your partner decide what treatment plan option is most feasible for your situation and assist with financing infertility treatment.
Here are some ways in which you can learn about your health insurance so that you can better handle infertility treatment costs:
- get a full copy of your health insurance policy. Read the list of exclusions carefully.
- research supplemental insurance and see what types of infertility plans and see what they cover and what they do not
- keep accurate records of your policy plan and refer to it over the course of your treatment
- inform yourself on who to contact at your insurance company about any questions you may have about coverage.
- determine how much your plan will cover with regard to infertility treatment
- maintain accurate records of expenses
- ask your doctor to submit claims with the most specific billing and diagnostic codes possible. This will increase the chance that the treatment will be at least partially covered
- ask for a written pre-determination of your insurance coverage. Follow up on this request via telephone
Preparing to Begin Infertility Treatment Taking the following steps prior to starting infertility treatment can minimize stress associated with treatment:
- build a healthy support network of family and friends.
- if possible, start treatment when your schedule is flexible
- establish good relationships with your health care providers
- start practicing relaxation techniques such as acupuncture, meditation or aromatherapy
- research medication to find the best prices possible to reduce overall infertility treatment costs
- maintain an open line of communication with your partner about how you’re feeling about treatment and nurture intimacy in your relationship by taking time to simply enjoy each other’s company and take your mind off of treatment
- ensure you are leading a healthy lifestyle: eat well and exercise regularly. Keep a journal of your diet, medications and exercise routine