If you’re hoping to get pregnant and wondering about outside help, talking about these factors will help.
Talking to a fertility doctor about difficulty getting pregnant is not on top of most people’s list. It brings up the spectre of failure and that something is wrong with you – one of you, the other one, maybe even both of you. The cost of the more expensive treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), presents another reason to put off having “The Talk” about fertility help.
Why delay it any further? Now is the time to talk with your partner about seeing a fertility specialist if any of the following seven circumstances apply to you and your partner. Keep in mind that these are not easy topics to discuss, so please be extra sensitive to your partner in talking about these.
If you are a woman under the age of 35 and have not became pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex, have the talk. Same goes if you’re a woman over the age of 35 and are not pregnant after six months of unprotected sex. While age isn’t as important for the male, age of the female is the biggest predictor of a successful pregnancy, and early interventions will improve successful outcomes.
2. Weight concerns
If you are extremely underweight or overweight, it can lead to infertility problems. This is the case for men and women. In women, these weight problems can be linked to poor diet and exercise patterns, which can also play a role in fertility issues.
3. Ejaculation problems
Male infertility is harder to detect without professional testing. But if the male experiences ejaculation problems or sexual dysfunction these certainly could be red flags.
4. Ovulation problems
An irregular or absent period could mean you are not ovulating. This could be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a disorder that affects around 10 percent of all women. PCOS affects a woman’s ovulation and in turn, her fertility.
If you have PCOS symptoms, you may need help with fertility. Still not sure? Take an ovulation test during your most fertile time of the month. Ovulation should occur around two weeks before your next expected cycle. If the results of your ovulation test aren’t positive, it is time to talk about visiting a fertility specialist.
5. Recurrent miscarriages
If you have experienced two or more consecutive miscarriages, which is referred to as recurrent miscarriage, you should think about picking up the phone and calling us. Many couples do not seek fertility treatment after miscarriage because they are able to conceive. They just are not able to sustain the pregnancy. Having a baby means having a successful pregnancy, so it is important to find the primary source of the miscarriages.
If during reproductive years you or your partner are diagnosed with cancer, you may need treatments that can often result in leaving one infertile. Prior to treatment, you should talk about preserving the ability to get pregnant at a later date. Chemotherapy and radiation can impair essential reproductive organs including the testicles and ovaries. If we can act before your cancer treatment, we can use cryopreservation, which is the systematic freezing and storing of sperm, eggs or embryos for use at a later date. That will preserve your fertility, male or female, for the future.
7. Wish to postpone pregnancy
If you are interested in delaying pregnancy until a later age, you should talk about getting our help. Cryopreservation is also a viable option for people interested in preserving their own reproductive tissues (sperm, eggs, embryos) to be used at a later time.
Speaking with a fertility specialist does not mean that you need to start a treatment right away. It is merely a conversation to help you collect information so you can make an educated decision about what to do next and how to best build your family. (Learn more about when to see an infertility specialist.)
But before you talk to us, you need to have the talk with your partner. United, you stand a better chance of pregnancy success, whichever way you go about it.