Skip Navigation

Welcome to the NIH Clinical Center!

Your visit to our NIH Clinical Center would benefit both you and our ongoing research. The NIH Clinical Center is located in Bethesda, Maryland. Please visit this page for directions and visitor information.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Vien Vanderhoof at 1-877-206-0911.


Where is the NIH Clinical Center located?

We are located in Bethesda, Maryland. Please visit http://www.nih.gov/about/visitor/index.htm for directions and visitor information.

Back to Top

How do I get to the NIH Clinical Center?

For those traveling from afar there are shuttles to get you here from regional airports. NIH has shuttles from Baltimore/Washington International (BWI), Dulles International (IAD), and Reagan National (DCA) airports as well as to and from local hotels. We will mail you copies of the shuttle schedules in the welcome packet we send you before you arrive. For those within driving distance, the I-495 Capital Beltway provides easy access. For locals, we are also accessible by the Medical Center station on the red line of the Metro.

Back to Top

How long do I need to be at the NIH Clinical Center for my initial consultation?

Your initial visit usually begins on a Sunday afternoon and ends on a Wednesday late afternoon.

Back to Top

What time do I need to arrive on Sunday when I come to be seen for the first time?

Ideally, you should arrive by 3 PM on Sunday afternoon. If you have difficulty arranging a flight to meet this time, just notify Vien and she will make special arrangements with the hospital unit.

Back to Top

What time will I be finished on Wednesday?

Normally, you will be finished by late afternoon on Wednesday. However, please plan on taking an evening flight home on Wednesday night. Sometimes patients need to stay a little later for follow-up tests.

Back to Top

Do I have to stop my current hormone replacement medication before coming?

Yes, please stop taking all hormone replacement medication for two weeks prior to your arrival at NIH. Please do not take any Tylenol (acetaminophen) five days prior to your admission. Also, please refrain from any alcohol consumption 24 hours prior to your admission. Please continue taking all of your other medications. Call Vien with questions.

Back to Top

Where do I stay during the study?

You will stay as an inpatient in the NIH Clinical Center from Sunday to Wednesday. Each patient room is semi-private with one bathroom to share. Each room is equipped with a color TV, internet connection and a telephone.

Back to Top

Who will I stay with in my in-patient room at the NIH Clinical Center?

Your roommate will be another female patient. Whenever possible, your roommate will be another woman with POI.

Back to Top

Can family members/friends come with me?

Your loved ones can stay at one of the area hotels. We will provide you with a list of local hotels in the welcome packet. Visiting hours at the hospital are from 9 AM to 9 PM daily.

Back to Top

What is the schedule while I’m at NIH?

Upon your arrival Sunday afternoon, you will check in at the Admissions desk on the first floor of the NIH Clinical Center. Later that evening, you will meet with your physician and receive a copy of your schedule. Monday through Wednesday you will have blood tests, a physical, ultrasounds, a bone density scan, a gynecological exam, a chromosome test and any other necessary tests. On Wednesday morning you will meet with Dr. Nelson for two hours. He will explain what we know about POF and you will have a chance to ask all of your questions. Afterwards you will meet with the entire POF team to discuss the results of your tests and your suggested course of treatment.

Back to Top

Will I have any free time during the stay?

Normally, you will have free time in between tests and in the evenings after all the day’s tests are complete. You can check with your nurse after the day’s tests are complete to see if you can leave the hospital on pass for the evening. There are sports facilities, table games, bingo, crafts, movies, concerts, a chapel and a patient library within the NIH Clinical Center.

Back to Top

What should I bring?

Please bring the forms we sent you in the mail, all of your medications (including herbal supplements, calcium, vitamins), books/magazines, and your usual travel clothing and toiletries.

Back to Top

What should I wear while I am at the Clinical Center?

Casual comfortable daytime clothing may be worn throughout your stay. You may bring your own pajamas although hospital pajamas or gowns are also available.

Back to Top

Is there any cost?

The only cost is your transportation to and from the NIH Clinical Center. All consultations, tests, hospital room and meals during your stay will be supplied to you at no cost. If you qualify for an optional research study involving medications and you choose to participate in the research study, study medications will also be provided to you at no cost.

Back to Top

Are there opportunities to participate in POI research studies at NIH?

Yes. We currently have an ovarian autoimmunity study, which you may qualify for after you come for your initial consultation and screening visit. There is no cost or obligation to participate in these additional studies.

Back to Top

Will the POI studies at NIH help me become pregnant?

We currently have one study that aims to treat infertility - the ovarian autoimmunity study. You may qualify for this depending on your initial screening visit.

Back to Top

Has anyone with POI become pregnant while on HRT?

Yes. We have seen this happen many times. The chance is about 5-10%.

Back to Top

Will the POI screening study directly benefit me?

The benefits of the screening study include confirmation of your diagnosis, an opportunity to ask all of your questions, the expert opinions of at least 3 doctors and one nurse practitioner, and an environment that is familiar with the questions and concerns of other POI patients like yourself. Our goal is that before you leave we ask, “Do you have any more questions?” and your answer will be, “No.”

Back to Top

Will the study benefit others?

Absolutely. Our goal is to use the information we gain from you and other POI patients to determine the cause and the optimal treatment for this disorder, and to gain a better understanding of the particular medical needs of women with POI.

Back to Top

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Vien Vanderhoof at 1-877-206-0911.