Your first recurrent pregnancy loss consultation can be a stressful and emotional experience. The more you prepare in advance, the more comfortable and sure you can be that you haven’t forgotten any important information or questions. Here are some tips from Dr. Lora Shahine, the Director of our Center for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at PNWF, on how to get the most out of your initial recurrent pregnancy loss visit.
Before Your Initial Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Consultation
As you are preparing for your visit, write down as much information as you can. Having important details and questions ready takes off the pressure to remember them all in the moment. Recurrent pregnancy loss is complicated, and your provider will ask specific questions about your previous pregnancies and miscarriages and any prior treatment. By writing down this information in advance, you can make sure nothing important slips by the wayside:
- Your medical records (also call ahead to verify the office has received their own copy of your relevant records)
- A list of all current medications, supplements, etc.
- A list of current medical conditions
- A list of any allergies to medications
- A list of questions and concerns for the doctor
- Your fertility history
- The first day of your last menstrual period
Writing down the history of your past pregnancies and pregnancy losses can be painful, but preparing it in advance of your consultation means you can take your time to work through the experience. The important details to include are:
- Dates (when you started trying to conceive, when you conceived, when the miscarriage was diagnosed)
- Treatments (any fertility treatments used for conception, any supplemental pregnancy treatments)
- Procedures (any used to complete the miscarriage, any post-miscarriage genetic testing)
By writing this information down before your visit, you can spend less time trying to remember specifics or reliving painful details of your recurrent pregnancy loss during the consultation, and more time discussing possible treatment options.
During Your Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Visit:
Firstly, if you have a partner, they should accompany you to the visit. They are a part of this experience, and should be there so you can both receive the same information and support each other.
Your initial consultation is a time for you to gather information, ask questions, and establish a connection with your provider. With that in mind, remember: no question is too small, and there’s no such thing as a “silly” concern. The more open and honest you can be with your provider about your history with and questions about recurrent pregnancy loss, the more effective the consultation will be.
Some useful questions to ask include:
- What tests do you recommend based on my medical history?
- How does your office provide test results and communicate with patients between visits?
- What treatment will you recommend if the tests do not find a reason for the miscarriages?
- What happens if I have another miscarriage? Will you recommend genetic/chromosomal testing?
- How long do you provide care during a pregnancy? Do you deliver babies?
- What support and wellness resources do you offer or recommend?
Bring something to write on so you can take notes – remember, writing things down removes the pressure of remembering. Also, pay attention to your provider’s answers and how you feel. Recurrent pregnancy loss is a physically and emotionally challenging experience, and you deserve to feel safe, heard, and respected.
After Your Consultation For Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Once you’ve finished your visit, it’s time to reflect and rest. It can be emotionally and mentally taxing to consult with a provider about recurrent pregnancy loss, and you can be proud of taking this important step in your fertility journey.
Immediately after the visit, take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned and write down the important takeaways. If you have a partner, debrief with them on how you both felt and what you learned.
Once you’re home, consider planning the kinds of activities that you find comforting and replenishing, whether that’s a bubble bath and a quiet night in or dinner and a movie with friends. Surround yourself with support and care, in whatever way feels best for you.
The PNWF Center For Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Is Here For You
We opened the Center in 2010 to help patients with recurrent miscarriages under the leadership of Dr. Lora Shahine, a recognized leader in the field of miscarriage and pregnancy loss. All of our providers understand the emotional, physical, and psychological burden of recurrent pregnancy loss, and we’re here to provide compassionate care and information along your journey. If you are looking for help with recurrent miscarriages, schedule an intake appointment today. Learn more about how to be an advocate for your own care for miscarriage from Dr. Shahine’s book, Not Broken: An Approachable Guide to Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss.
This article was adapted from Dr. Shahine’s 2017 article, “Consult For Miscarriage: Tips On Making The Most Of Your Visit.”