“When should I see a fertility doctor?”
This is a question I am often asked by friends. The answer isn’t easy – knowing when to see a fertility doctor can be complicated. To help navigate this question, here are a few guidelines to help.
All fertility doctors are specialized OB/GYNs that have done extra training in fertility. Most general OB/GYNs can start your fertility evaluation and some even provide basic fertility treatments, but many people prefer to do all of the evaluation and treatment with a fertility specialist.
The general rule is that if you are 34 years old or younger, you should try for one year before being evaluated. If you are 35 or older, then egg quality becomes an issue, and you should seek evaluation after six months of trying.
But in some cases, there are patients who should go directly to a fertility specialist before trying to get pregnant on their own. If any of the below 10 items apply to you, make an appointment with a doctor before you start trying to conceive.
- You don’t get a monthly period. If you aren’t having a regular cycle, you are probably not ovulating (releasing an egg).
- You have had surgery on your tubes or ovaries. It may be possible that the tubes aren’t open or that your ovaries don’t have many eggs left.
- You are in a same-sex relationship. In order to have a baby, you will need help getting sperm or eggs.
- You have had your uterus removed. To have a baby, you will need a gestational carrier.
- You are a carrier for a genetic condition that you don’t want to pass down. We can test embryos for the genetic condition and select the healthiest embryos for treatment, or you can use donor sperm or eggs.
- You have had more than one miscarriage. To prevent another pregnancy loss, we can investigate the potential cause of miscarriage.
- Your partner has had testicular surgery or sexual dysfunction is present. If your male partner has had testicular surgery or has difficulty with erection or ejaculation, he may have abnormal sperm.
- Your partner is undergoing testosterone treatment. If your male partner is on testosterone boosters, supplements or shots, this can often stop sperm production.
- Sterilization is present. If you or your partner has ever been sterilized through tubal ligation or vasectomy, fertility assistance will be necessary to achieve pregnancy.
- You have a fibroid diagnosis. If you have been told you have fibroids, you should check to make sure they are not inside the uterine cavity where the pregnancy will develop.
Getting an evaluation and seeing a fertility specialist can feel intimidating, scary, and difficult. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s important to find a fertility clinic and doctor that you are comfortable with.
For those looking to have a child, know that with time, your dream will be fulfilled. If infertility is present, modern medicine can do so much to help you. I know – I have been there personally. Best wishes to you on your journey.
Source: Chicago Now