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Should I See a Fertility Doctor?

Image by Matthew Henry

Are you wondering how long you should TTC before you see a fertility doctor? When should you keep going on your own, and when should you seek fertility help?⁠

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, if a couple has not achieved pregnancy after one year of unprotected sex, they should seek professional help getting pregnant. ⁠

However, if the woman is over age 35, she / they should seek help getting pregnant after just six months of unprotected sex.⁠

Infertility can be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Some causes of infertility worsen with time. So the longer you wait to seek help, the less likely fertility treatment will be successful for you.⁠

If you or your partner have any risk factors or symptoms of infertility, you should talk to your doctor right away.⁠

For example, if a woman has irregular periods, endometriosis, or PCOS, or if either partner has a history of sexually transmitted diseases, seeking help right away makes sense.⁠

If you have a family history of early menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency (also known as premature ovarian failure or DOR). ⁠

There are a multitude of circumstances that warrant seeking help earlier in the process. These include, but are not limited to:

Being a woman over the age of 35: Although technology is advancing making it safer than ever to give birth even after the age of 40, many risks remain trying to successfully obtain pregnancy. As aging affects both egg quality and quantity, those above the age of 35 should seek help getting pregnant after just six months of unprotected sex.

Having any known reproductive issues or symptoms of infertility

This can include 

  • Also, if you have two miscarriages in a row, you should ask for a fertility evaluation.⁠
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): a hormonal disorder impacting regular ovulation.
  • Endometriosis: occurs when tissue normally lining the endometrium (lining the uterus) grows outside the uterus, most commonly involving ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic regions. 
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (aka Premature Ovarian Failure): Being under the age of 40 and having abnormal ovarian function. IVF may be required. 
  • Uterine Fibroids: benign tumors growing within the muscle of the uterus. 
  • Irregular periods

Having a (family) history of:

  • Primary ovarian insufficiency
  • PCOS
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Early menopause 

Having two miscarriages in a row: Although miscarriages do not always signify infertility, after experiencing 2+ miscarriages a fertility evaluation could be considered to identify any underlying causes. 

Being proactive regarding fertility is always the best approach; YOU know YOUR body best. If you feel concerned, don’t wait to seek help from a fertility doctor . The sooner you have the answers to your questions, the sooner your mind can be put to ease by a fertility specialist and you can be on your way to conception. 

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