Preliminary in vitro fertilization (IVF) appointment

The preliminary appointment takes approximately four hours and both partners must be present.

Activities during your first IVF appointment include:

  • Meeting with an IVF nurse to learn more about the IVF process and review a sample treatment cycle schedule
  • Consultation with an IVF physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant
  • Meeting with our financial counselor to discuss insurance and payment procedures
  • Preliminary evaluation of the female partner, including:
    • A complete medical history
    • Possible uterine sounding (measurement of uterine cavity)
    • Potential transvaginal ultrasound
    • Possible completion of blood tests
  • Preliminary evaluation of the male partner in the Andrology Laboratory, including:
    • Seminal fluid analysis
    • Sperm morphology evaluation
    • Sperm cryopreservation (optional for most patients)

Important IVF information for male patients

The following prerequisites should be met prior to your Andrology Laboratory appointment:

  1. Blood tests for HIV, hepatitis B antigen, hepatitis C antibody, and syphilis
  2. Abstaining from sexual activity for two to seven days prior to semen collection
  3. You must present a photo identification card when you report to the appointment

During this first visit, the IVF care team will review your medical conditions and make recommendations regarding any changes in medications or treatments that may be required to allow an IVF cycle to occur.

One of our health psychologists will be scheduled to meet with individuals who will use donated eggs, sperm, or embryos. Our health psychologist is also available to be scheduled to meet with any couples who wish to explore emotional issues or who seek professional support during the course of treatment. This appointment needs to be requested in advance.

Special considerations for your first IVF appointment

Screening for inherited health conditions

We can help you determine if you might pass an inherited health condition on to your child through a comprehensive test called "The Family Prep Screen." It is normal to be a carrier for a genetic disease but it’s important to know if both partners are carriers. If you both have an irregularity in the same gene, there’s a 25 percent chance your children could inherit the irregularity and develop symptoms of the condition. This testing is an option for patients and is done with a simple blood draw. We can order this test at your first visit with us.

Prenatal vitamins or multivitamins

Please bring your vitamin bottle or a picture of ingredients on your vitamin bottle to your visit with us. Certain vitamins at high doses may interfere with the lab tests that we need to fine-tune your IVF treatment, which may lead to suboptimal results

Traveling and ZIKA

If you plan to travel or have traveled in the past 6 months, please check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the ZIKA endemic areas. If your route includes a ZIKA endemic area, this may cause significant delays in your fertility plans.


All PCOS patients will be placed on Metformin, at a 1500 mg dose, or at the highest dose tolerated

Team review

Your physician may present your history at the weekly IVF team meeting. In this weekly meeting, the IVF care team works together to individualize a care plan for you.

Treatment cycle scheduling

Once testing is completed and a treatment plan has been developed, you are welcome to schedule an IVF cycle. To plan your IVF cycle accordingly, you will be asked to be in Iowa City a few times during your cycle with us. The actual number of visits required will depend upon the availability of monitoring in or near your home community. The IVF team will work with you to coordinate local care when possible.

Please fax or bring local records with you to your appointment.

Last reviewed: 
February 2018

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