Answers to the most common frequently asked questions about your condition and treatment in the UK.
We’ve also provided answers to FAQs about the RCOG and O&G doctors, and to FAQs about your appointment.
I’ve read about a particular treatment for my condition – how do I go about finding a doctor who carries this out?
Your general practitioner (GP) will know if a specialist offers the treatment locally or can make enquiries by writing to the clinical director of the department of O&G at a hospital.
NHS Choices provides a range of information about NHS services. You can search by:
The Specialist Info website also provides an online directory of consultants and GPs with information about the services offered.
If none of the above are helpful, you can try searching on the internet further by putting the name of the treatment and hospital into a search engine.
Please note that the RCOG does not have any input into any of the websites linked to above and is not able to endorse or recommend individual clinicians. Please see our website terms and conditions for more information.
Where can I find more information about my condition or my treatment?
Where can I find support groups to get more information about my condition or treatment?
For a list of support groups, please see the other sources of help page. You can also find information on these websites:
If I find information about my situation on the internet or elsewhere, can I share it with my doctor?
Yes. You’ll be aware that not all information on the internet is helpful, or applicable to your own situation, but if you find something that may be useful then do share it with your GP or the hospital doctor during the consultation. Doctors are normally keen to help patients understand information they have found themselves. It’s extremely difficult to know of every new development, and occasionally patients find information that the doctor was not aware of and that can be very helpful.
Do I have a choice of hospitals?
Yes, your GP should be able to supply you with a list of hospitals to choose from. You can get more information about the hospitals you are considering from the internet. This includes the NHS Choices website.
Do I have a choice of treatments?
Yes. Your doctor should explain the full range of treatments that are suitable for you. This should include the advantages (success rates, simplicity and speed of recovery) and disadvantages (complications, side effects and complexity) of each treatment. You then have the right to choose what you feel is the most appropriate treatment for you.
The doctor can’t make you do anything you don’t wish to do, but equally, patients cannot force a doctor to do something she/he feels is unsuitable. Unless there’s an emergency, you don’t need to decide in front of the doctor. You can go away and think things over. There may be leaflets and other written information to help you with this. If you do make a decision, you are free to change your mind.
If I’m told there’s nowhere in my area I can get treatment, what can I do?
Your GP may be able to refer you to the nearest available centre for the treatment. They can search on the NHS Choose and Book system.
If your GP and specialist don’t know, the NHS Choices website has a list of hospitals offering clinical services.
How do I find out about doctors/centres offering help with fertility problems?
Your GP will know of local help. Most hospital obstetrics and gynaecology departments offer fertility care.
The local fertility specialist will usually have links with the larger centres and will be able to refer you for more advanced investigation and treatment if needed.
If you wish to search for yourself, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority publishes a list of licensed centres which provide assisted conception techniques, including their success rates. Once you find a centre which interests you, many have websites which provide detailed information. The majority of these are private clinics, but there are a number of NHS centres too.
Is there a way I can find out about a particular doctor’s success rate with a particular treatment or procedure?
The NHS is working towards providing more information on the results for individual doctors but, at present, this is still not published in many specialties. If the information is not on the website of the hospital you’re interested in, you could write to the general manager of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology.
Alternatively, if this doesn’t get you the information you want, you can make a request to an NHS hospital under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). The FOI entitles you to ask your local hospital for such information and they have to provide it within a certain time. There may be a small charge for this.
The College is unable to advise individuals on specific medical conditions or treatments. However, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s anything you don’t understand or anything more you need to know, as we can usually direct you to alternative sources of information.