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When Should I See an Infertility Specialist?

Studies have shown nearly 10% of women in the United States face difficulties conceiving or staying pregnant; that's over 6 million women. Many of these women continue trying for months or even years before seeking help from a medical professional.

January 3, 2022

When Should I See an Infertility Specialist?

Studies have shown nearly 10% of women in the United States face difficulties conceiving or staying pregnant; that's over 6 million women. Many of these women continue trying for months or even years before seeking help from a medical professional.

If you have been actively trying to conceive unsuccessfully for a year or longer, it is time to consult an infertility specialist.

There are many potential causes of infertility outside the typical ovulation concerns; many women suspect to be the culprit. Infertility is a complex issue with various reasons that can continue to impact conception or sustain a pregnancy if left untreated.

An infertility specialist will help identify the cause of your conception struggles and suggest treatment options for your specific concerns. Common medical conditions that can cause infertility and typical treatment options include;

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a widespread hormonal disorder that directly impacts a woman's ability to ovulate regularly. Regular ovulation is an essential component in conceiving successfully. PCOS is typically treated by medically inducing ovulation through oral or injectable medications.

Uterine Fibroids: These fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the uterus muscle. They are common in women of childbearing age, preventing pregnancy or resulting in a loss. However, many women with uterine fibroids can conceive and carry a pregnancy to term without trouble. Treatment for Uterine Fibroids varies but can include surgical removal alongside other treatment options.

Endometriosis: A condition that occurs when the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, such as in the ovaries, fallopian tube and other pelvic areas. Treatments are specific to each diagnosis, dependent on location and severity of growth. However, they can include surgery.

Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI): Women over the age of 40, who's ovaries have stopped functioning properly are often diagnosed with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. The likelihood of conceiving naturally is relatively low, with only 5% of women diagnosed with POI conceiving. This makes egg donation through in-vitro fertilization a popular and effective treatment for women experiencing Primary Ovarian Insufficiency.

However, there are other factors beyond a medical diagnosis that may be impacting your and your partner's ability to conceive. These can include such concerns as;

  • Age
  • Thyroid disease
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes
  • Lifestyle choices

While it is incredibly safe and becoming increasingly common for women over 40 to carry children to term, natural conception can prove to be a difficult hurdle to overcome due to declining egg quantity and quality. Speaking with your healthcare provider and infertility specialist, they can provide the best course of action to conceive.  

Women under the age of 35 who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to get pregnant for 6 months seek out the help of their primary care provider first as they can make suggestions before seeking the use of an infertility specialist.

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