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What to Expect When You Visit Your Doctor

The work-up for women begins with a discussion of medical history and lifestyle issues

The Topics Covered

  • Menstrual history
  • Pregnancy history
  • Birth control history
  • History of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Current sexual patterns
  • Medications
  • Surgical history
  • Other significant health problems
  • Lifestyle and work environment

The Physical Examination

  • Thyroid exam- the doctor will examine your thyroid with their fingers, feeling for any abnormalities
  • Hair distribution- the physician will look for any unusual or excessive hair patterns on your face and body, indicating a possible increase in male hormones which could affect your fertility
  • Breast examination- the doctor will examine the size and shape of your breasts and squeeze them to see if any liquid comes out, which may indicate the presence of increased prolactin, a hormone that prevents ovulation
  • Pelvic examination- to inspect the cervix, looking for signs of unusual growths, sores, discharge, or infection. Often a Pap smear is done to check for cervical cancer and cervical mucus is examined for possible infections.

If these tests do not explain your difficulty conceiving, additional tests may be ordered.

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