When to Consult a Fertility Doctor

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Dr. Deepinder Kaur (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
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When to Consult a Fertility Doctor

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If you have been trying to get pregnant for a while now but have not had much luck, you may wonder if it is time to see a specialist. The doctors who deal with fertility issues are known as ‘reproductive endocrinologists’. A reproductive endocrinologist is a gynaecologist/obstetrics. Unlike before, there are now some medical interventions that can help you to have your own baby even if it can sometimes feel impossible.

When Should You See a Fertility Doctor?

Here are some guidelines that you must keep in mind when you decide to see a doctor for fertility issues:

1. If You are Below 35 Years of Age and Healthy

Couples of this age who are healthy are may take about a year to conceive. This is especially true if you have been on some kind of birth control before trying. If you have tried for a full twelve months without using any type of birth control and you are still having trouble getting a positive on your pregnancy tests, it is time to see your specialist.

2. If You are Above 35 Years of Age

There is a peak age for everything, and it is no different with reproductive age. For men, once they hit 40, it can become more challenging to have children. For women, 35 is the peak age to conceive, so if you have reached that hill or are over it, your egg supply may begin to drop. While it is still possible to have children, getting pregnant may not be as easy as it is before this age. If you have been trying for six months now, free of birth control but have had not conceived yet, consult your doctor.

A couple at doctor's place

3. If You Are Above 40 Years of Age

Once you hit 40, not only does the number of eggs your body produce start dropping, but the quality starts to drop as well. This means that there is a greater chance of having miscarriages or trouble getting pregnant. If you fall into this category, it will be best to consult a doctor right away.

4. If Your Body Mass Index is Not Healthy

Weight is very important when it comes to getting pregnant. If your BMI is either above 30 or below 18, you may have a bit of trouble conceiving. Reaching a healthy BMI is very important before you try getting pregnant to avoid any complications. Your doctor will be able to tell you if it is possible to get pregnant if your BMI level is low or more than the desired.

5. If You’ve Thyroid Problems

Your thyroid is directly connected to your hormones, so if it is behaving in a problematic way, there is a chance that you may have some problems with conceiving as well. If you have a thyroid problem, consult a doctor to make sure that you will not suffer from any side effects with regards to conception. As per a studythyroid problems are connected to fertility issues.

A woman with thyroid problem

6. If You Have Reproductive Issues

Sometimes you are already aware that you have a problem with your reproductive system as they occur in the form of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and endometriosis. In such cases, you should visit your doctor immediately if you are trying to conceive.

7. If You Notice Strange Symptoms

If you have unusual pain or don’t get your periods regularly, visit a doctor immediately as you may have a problem with your reproductive system that you aren’t aware of.

8. If You’ve Had Multiple Miscarriages

You will know when it is time to see a fertility specialist if you have had some positive pregnancy tests but end up with miscarriages. Anatomic uterine problems like scar tissue or having a septate uterus, a condition involving a thin membrane that either partially or fully divides the uterus, can cause problems with pregnancy and may result in miscarriages.

9. If You Have a Complicated Medical History

If you are suffering from a major health issue or have had medical issues in the past, you should meet with a fertility doctor to ensure that there are no side effects to your reproductive system. Some of these medical problems are diabetes, kidney or heart conditions, hypertension and cancer survivors. Even if you have regained normal periods, both men and women who have survived cancer should get their fertility checked as the chemotherapy can lessen egg supply and sperm count.

10. Family History

There may be a history of early menopause in your family where your mother or aunts may have reached menopause at an early age. If this is the case, you should have a check with the fertility doctor to make sure that you are aware of how much time you have to conceive.

Questions You Should Ask Your Fertility Specialist

If you have made up your mind that you need to see a fertility specialist, you should go prepared and carry along all your medical reports so that your doctor will be aware of your medical history. Your doctor will have a better idea of what the problem is. Here are some questions you should ask your doctor during your first visit.

  • What is causing problems in conception?
  • What additional tests will we be required?
  • Will the tests be covered by insurance?
  • Which treatment is the most successful and what are the rates of its success?
  • How long will the treatment last for?
  • Are there any side effects that come with this treatment and what are they?
  • If this treatment does not show any results, what treatment should we try next?
  • What else can I do to improve the chances of the treatment being a success?

You must keep trying to conceive and not give hope if you really want a baby. But, if you are above 35 or 40, you should have yourselves checked as early as possible as waiting may only complicate things and make it harder for you to have a baby.

Also Read:

How Does a Woman’s Age Affect Her Fertility?
Things You Need to Know When Getting Pregnant at 40
What Does Egg Freezing Mean

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