Conceiving is not always easy and doesn’t happen within the time frame for everyone. Infertility could be stressful and that could be present in either partner. While it is easy to become impatient during stressful times, it is also important to get timely help. So, here is everything you need to know about for how long you need to go on your own before seeking medical help and how to seek help for infertility.
When to seek help for infertility?
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the couple should seek medical help if they have not achieved pregnancy after one year of unprotected sex. In case the woman is above 35 years of age, it is not required to wait for so long. They could consult the doctor after six months of unprotected sex.
It is best to consult the doctor if pregnancy is not achieved within the given timeframe. Though the risk of infertility increases with the age of the couple, young men and women could be infertile too. Sometimes, infertility could be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It could be worsened with time. So the longer the wait to seek medical help, it is less likely the treatment will be successful.
If the woman is having irregular periods, endometriosis, or PCOS, or family history of early menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency or if either partner has sexually transmitted disease history, seeking help right away is advised.
The history of two miscarriages in a row may indicate a problem. Even at this time, it is best to consult your doctor.
How to get help?
1. Talk to your OB/GYN
Before finding infertility clinic right away, it is always better to consult your gynecologist and your partner should consult a urologist to have the fertility tested. They conduct some basic tests and recommend some basic treatments or may refer to a reproductive endocrinologist.
2. Basic Fertility Tests:
The basic fertility tests for women is mainly blood work whereas for men is semen analysis. Your doctor might also perform a basic pelvic test, pap smear, and STD testing. Based on the symptoms, the other tests might be Vaginal ultrasound, HSG or diagnostic laparoscopy.
3. Basic Fertility Treatment:
Based on basic fertility tests results, your doctor might recommend basic treatment. Some of the basic infertility treatment examples are Clomid treatment, Letrozole, Metformin. If there are any structural abnormalities, your gynecologist might suggest surgical treatment or might refer you to a fertility specialist.
If male infertility is the reason, your partner might be referred to an andrologist.
4. Fertility Clinic:
If basic fertility treatments are unsuccessful or if the results indicate you need treatment of experts, you will be referred to the fertility specialist. It means finding and selecting a fertility clinic.
5. More Fertility Tests:
Most of the times (but not always), the fertility specialists infertility clinic will want to do further testing or rerun some of the tests you have already done.
6. Discussing a plan of action:
After you get the results of the fertility tests, you will meet the doctor in the fertility clinic to discuss the plan of action recommended for you. Clarify all your doubts about the treatment, the success rate and the cost of it.
7. Begin Fertility Treatment Plans:
Once you and your partner have decided to go ahead with the treatment, it might begin with the relatively simple treatment or it may be complicated and involved. It could be overwhelming. Talk to your doctor if you are feeling difficulty in coming up with the treatments.
8. Reevaluate treatment plans when unsuccessful:
Treatments might not be successful in the first attempt itself and infertility treatment is more like a trial-and-error kind of process. So, your doctor might suggest trying another method if one method fails. A good doctor knows when it is best to stay in the same treatment a little longer.
9. When successful, plan a healthy pregnancy:
If treatment is successful, your fertility clinic will closely monitor you for first few weeks of pregnancy and you might need to continue some hormonal treatments or injections.