When Should a Couple Consult a Fertility Expert for Help Getting Pregnant? - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on June 17, 2015

When Should a Couple Consult a Fertility Expert for Help Getting Pregnant?

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When a couple makes the decision to have a baby, they often hope it will happen soon thereafter. And, for some couples, it does. But it can be both shocking and frustrating for other couples who find that getting pregnant doesn’t come as easily or in the timeframe they were hoping for.

While some couples may simply wait and see when and if they can conceive, others may benefit from seeking help beyond the natural method of getting pregnant.

First, it’s important to know what’s “normal” when it comes to how long it can take to conceive naturally. For most couples, there is a 15 to 25 percent chance that the woman will get pregnant in any particular month.

It’s also important to take into consideration how long you and your partner have been trying to conceive – it can take as little as three to four months or as long as one to two years of trying. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year and have been unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend testing both the male and female for infertility.

Your ages make a difference though. If you’re 35 or older and have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for six months, you may want to consider looking into fertility treatment sooner. That’s because fertility changes with age, regardless of how healthy you are. Women experience a natural loss of eggs over the years and the eggs that haven’t been lost go through an aging process. Men’s fertility is also affected by their age.

Irregular menstrual cycles, frequency of sex and illnesses or medical conditions can also affect your chances of becoming pregnant.

If the natural method doesn’t seem to be working, there are a few things you can do to find out if you do need fertility treatment.

The woman should make an appointment to visit their obstetrician. This will allow the doctor to evaluate her to make sure she’s in good health and able to carry a healthy pregnancy.

You should also talk to your doctor about the impact some of your lifestyle habits can have on your ability to conceive, such as weight, smoking and consuming alcohol. Sometimes, simple changes in your life can make a big difference.

The man can also have his sperm tested to make sure it’s healthy and viable. A woman can have a test to ensure her fallopian tubes are open and her uterus is a normal shape.

Since there are many possible causes of infertility, a couple should go through a full workup, including a physical exam and a review of their family and medical history with their doctor. This can help rule out any major causes of infertility or identify exactly what is causing the problem. The results of this testing help determine if you need fertility treatment and, if so, what type is best for you.

While finding out you have fertility issues may seem like bad news, it is often good news. It means that you now know why the natural method of conceiving didn’t quite work and that the latest advances in fertility treatment are available to you and your partner to help you become parents.

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