Gathering Your Personal Medical History and Medical Records

Before starting treatment with any new doctor, you will meet for a consult, where s/he can review your entire medical history. This is crucial, as the doctor needs to know as much as possible about the health and reproductive background of you and your partner, in order to treat you effectively.

Some of the categories and issues that your doctor will be interested include:

Medical History:

  • Chronic medical conditions (including diabetes, hypertension, asthma, arthritis, thyroid disease and ulcers)
  • Cancer therapy
  • Chronic bladder or urinary tract infections
  • Use of medications to treat medical or psychiatric conditions

Gynecological History

  • Menstruation (age of onset, length and frequency of cycle, spotting between periods, heavy bleeding or cramping)
  • Contraceptive use (including IUDs and birth control pills)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts, syphilis)
  • Pelvic surgeries or therapies (appendectomy, bowel repair, ovarian cyst removal, D&C, treatment for cervical dysplasia)
  • Pelvic infection, pelvic pain or feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
  • History of abnormal pap smears
  • Previous pregnancies and/or abortions
  • History of fibroids (type, size and location)

Personal History

  • Lifestyle and nutrition (including diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol and recreational drug use)
  • Weight history (usual weight, recent weight loss or gain)
  • Exposure to environmental toxins (lead, radiation, pesticides, insecticides, or PCBs)

Family History

  • History of fertility-related problems
  • History of recurrent miscarriages or difficult pregnancies
  • Mother’s exposure to DES
  • Mother’s age at time of Menopause
  • Sister’s age at time of Menopause
  • History of genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, muscular dystrophy, and hemophilia

If you have had any prior infertility tests or procedures done with another doctor, it is key to obtain copies to be sent to your new doctor. Most practices will not release medical records without a patient’s written instructions to do so, so it is important to contact your former practice as soon as possible prior to going in for your consultation at the new practice. Remember to call 7-10 days after sending your request to verify that the records have been released – if you are having the records sent to your new practice, call prior to your appointment to confirm that the records have arrived.