From diagnosis to treatment: a roadmap
Your first fertility clinic appointment
- We ask you to complete a questionnaire about your medical and family history before your appointment so we can get to know you better.
- Please also bring the results of any previous tests and any relevant medical information to your appointment. Unfortunately, applications such as eHealth do not always provide a comprehensive overview of your relevant medical history.If any information is available elsewhere, please request it before your first fertility clinic appointment. That way, you and we avoid unnecessary tests and expenses.
As a patient, you can always request a copy of your medical records from your GP, your gynaecologist, or the hospital where you were previously treated.
- Any of the tests the doctor deems necessary can be done either at UZ Brussel or elsewhere, e.g., closer to home or work. If you choose to go elsewhere for your tests, you will be given an application form by your doctor at Brussels IVF.
- Blood tests are done prior to your first fertility treatment at Brussels IVF to give us a detailed overview of your hormone levels, check chromosomes, and detect any infections.
- Women are screened for rubella, CMV (cytomegalovirus) and toxoplasmosis as all these conditions can have serious health implications for your child during pregnancy.
- Male fertility mainly depends on sperm count and sperm movement. The number of sperm cells, their motility and shape are thoroughly analysed in a routine semen analysis. We check whether there are enough usable sperm cells for artificial insemination or fertilisation of eggs in the lab.
- You always need to make an appointment to deliver a semen sample. We have collection rooms in our centre with all the essentials for collecting a sample in privacy.
Depending on your specific medical situation, further tests or a minor procedure may be necessary.
Follow-up appointment with your fertility doctor
Based on all this information, your doctor will suggest a care pathway and treatment.
Appointment with your fertility counsellor
The counsellor discusses the following with you:
- The practical aspects: the start date and contact details of the planning manager, the opening hours, the place where your appointment takes place (route number), how to make appointments at our centre for the various procedures, and so on.
- The medical aspects: what your treatment involves; which medication you will need to take, how to administer it correctly, and how to prepare for a procedure, and so on.
- The legal aspects: which consent forms you must sign; and
- The financial aspect of the treatment, with information on the conditions for reimbursement (for Belgian patients who have mutual health insurance).
Your counsellor is your confidant throughout the entire process. If necessary, the counsellor will also schedule a (new) appointment with your fertility doctor or with a psychologist from Brussels IVF.
A member of our Daily Patient Monitoring (DM) team will give you instructions or provide information about your treatment and your care pathway. You can reach them by phone or through the app if you need help or advice.
Start of your treatment
You only start treatment and take medication after the Daily Monitoring team gives instructions to start based on your hormone levels in your bloodwork and in accordance with the scheduled start date.
The Brussels IVF team in charge of coordinating your treatment is called the Daily Patient Monitoring (DM). You will be in almost daily contact with this team for much of your treatment.
Daily Patient Monitoring (DM) coordinates and follows up on your treatment, based on hormone measurements and ultrasounds that are an intrinsic part of (medically) assisted reproduction pathways.
- Our treatment is monitored and adapted based on the analysis of blood samples and your hormone levels
- We use ultrasounds to check how many mature, ovulation-ready follicles you have in your ovaries
These results are discussed daily during the case review which is attended by doctors, midwives and lab technicians. That is why the results of any external tests must always be provided to us by no later than 1 p.m.
A DM staff member will contact you the same day with the results of the tests and instructions on how to proceed with your treatment.
If the treatment was successful, we continue to monitor the pregnancy with regular blood tests and an ultrasound around week 7. After about 7 to 9 weeks, your gynaecologist takes over from us.
If the treatment was unsuccessful and you want to try again, you must first meet with your doctor and/or counsellor to discuss a new treatment. In many cases, you may have to skip a menstrual cycle due to medical and organisational reasons. To avoid waiting times, contact us by phone during your treatment to book your next appointment. In case of a positive outcome, you can always cancel it.
Please note: no treatment is scheduled as long as you have not been assigned a start date! If you do not have a final start date yet or you need to change your start date, please contact us to set a date. Call the manager responsible for planning start dates. The sooner you do this, the more likely you are to be able to start treatment on your preferred date.
Five common fertility questions answered:
We have been trying to conceive for several months, when do we need to seek help?
Good to know
We have already tried to get pregnant several times. Can Brussels IVF help us?
Good to know
What are the age limits of fertility treatment?
Good to know: Do you know the difference between IVF and IVF with ICSI?