Time to See a Fertility Specialist?
When it comes down to it, if you are asking the question, the time is probably now. With so much information at our fingertips these days with online resources, apps, fertility trackers, there’s a good chance that you’ve been doing your own research for some time now, and that’s great.
Being proactive about your reproductive health and fertility issues, whether you are having trouble getting pregnant, require donor egg or sperm due to your sexual preferences, want to preserve your fertility or any other fertility based concern it is probably the smartest thing you can do and can make sure you are on the optimal path towards parenthood.
Understanding Natural Conception
With no issues of infertility, there is only a 20 percent chance of a couple in their early twenties of getting pregnant each month. That means, it can easily take 5-7 months to conceive. That means if you’ve only been trying to conceive for a few months with regular unprotected intercourse that there may not be a need to worry. However, as mentioned above, it’s best to trust your gut. If you feel like something is wrong, then it is probably best to get checked soon especially given how important age is in your fertility.
When to see a fertility doctor?
That may not be the answer you are looking for, so if you’re a rules kind of person, the technical standard in accordance to national guidelines is that if the female partner is under the age of 35 and has not conceived after 12 months of regular unprotected sex then it is time to see a fertility specialist. If you are over the age of 35, it is encouraged you see a specialist if not successful after only 6 months of regular unprotected sex. If you’re over 40, you should seek out a reproductive endocrinologist right away.
Reasons to see a fertility specialist before the 6 and 12 month recommendations?
if you have any of the following medical conditions or life situations, we highly recommend you seek treatment as soon as possible.
Infrequent or absent menstrual cycle:
an infrequent or absent menstrual cycle is a key indicator of anovulation (absent or infrequent ovulation). Ovulation is the process whereby the female body releases an egg from her ovaries into the fallopian tubes where conception usually takes place. In a “normal,” scenario, ovulation happens every month, but if you are not having a period regularly, it could mean that you are not ovulating making it impossible to get pregnant without some form of treatment. For many, ovulation induction is a great place to start.
Multiple (2 or more) miscarriages:
Yes, I’m sure you have heard things like “miscarriages happen all the time,” or “everyone has a miscarriage,” and while miscarriages are common and not necessarily a sign of infertility, having multiple miscarriages is not only emotionally devastating but also a very sure sign that something is wrong. Fortunately, there are many things we can do from genetic testing to endometrium support to reproductive immunology to better prepare your body for carrying a child.
Endometriosis or the growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus is a very common cause of infertility. Fortunately, there are options for those suffering from endometriosis who are trying to conceive.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS:
PCOS is a medical condition that causes hormonal imbalances that often have an effect on one’s fertility. PCOS is quite common and exists in roughly 10% of the female population. Fortunately, with a little bit of help, most with PCOS are able to conceive.
Known genetic disorders that may affect fertility:
There are a host of genetic disorders that can affect your ability to conceive, but with genetic testing, we are able to select embryos that have the best chance of becoming healthy babies, children, and someday, thriving adults.
History of sexually transmitted infections (STI):
STI’s formerly known as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are a common cause of infertility and could be affecting you.
Family history or diagnosis of premature menopause or premature ovarian failure:
Having a history of premature menopause/premature ovarian failure means there’s a good chance you may need fertility treatment to conceive and the sooner the better.
Diagnosis of cancer or other conditions that themselves or their therapies could affect fertility:
One of the first things people diagnosed with cancer think is “will I be able to have children ever again.” While infertility is not always a result of cancer treatment, it is a common side effect of chemotherapy. By preserving your fertility with egg freezing, sperm freezing, or embryo freezing, most are able to successfully have children after their treatment.