1 in 8 couples starting families face infertility; when to seek help from a specialist

ST. GEORGE — This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, a week to be mindful that 1 in 8 couples face infertility when starting or growing their families.

When a couple has difficulty conceiving it can be very tough to deal with and talk about. Couples commonly feel frustrated and isolated as they continue struggling to get pregnant, while their typical support group, friends and family are growing their own families around them.   

Many are unsure when it comes to the question of when should we seek help from a fertility specialist

Conception is a deeply personal issue and many would prefer to continue trying on their own. Speaking with a specialist can often mean having to acknowledge that there may be a problem — something many hope and pray is not the case. However, speaking with a specialist can offer you the answers you need to clarify the next steps to take to conceive.

Here are some general guidelines to determining when you should consider seeing a fertility specialist:

Time Trying

The  World Health Organization classifies infertility as a disease of the reproductive system defined by 12 or more months of unprotected intercourse not resulting in pregnancy.  

If you have been trying for a year or more, seek help from a  fertility specialist as there might be an underlying issue with you or your partner, preventing you from conceiving.

Age

When it comes to the biological clock, men don’t experience the same rapid decline in fertility that women do.

As women age their ability to get pregnant minimizes. Women are born with all of their eggs, so over time the egg quality wanes and fewer eggs will fertilize to become healthy pregnancies.   Fertility rates drop as women reach 35 years old, and by age 40 there is a significantly lower chance for women to get pregnant on their own.

Because of this, if you are over 35,  seeking help from a reproductive endocrinologist after six months of trying is recommended. There are a number of ways fertility treatments can improve the chances of conceiving for women older than 35.

Miscarriage

Having a miscarriage is not uncommon but having multiple miscarriages generally indicates that there is something causing them.

If you have experienced multiple miscarriages, it can be very taxing on your emotional well-being. It is definitely wise to seek advice from a fertility specialist.

There are a handful of causes that a specialist can help you identify or rule out. They can also provide options to lessen the likelihood of additional miscarriages happening.

Irregular Ovulation

If you are having irregular periods, it can be hard to determine when your body is ovulating.

If your body is ovulating irregularly, getting pregnant can be exceedingly difficult. A specialist can help you regulate your periods using fertility medications to balance hormones. A specialist will also view using ultrasound to monitor and visually verify that the medications are working and determine or control when ovulation will take place.

Basic Fertility Tests

There are three things needed for conception to take place: a healthy egg, healthy sperm and a place for the newly formed embryo to grow.

If you have had trouble conceiving, one or more of those three basic things have been compromised. Having a fertility workup should include testing of all three of those areas. Basic fertility tests can help identify problems in the reproductive system and treatments can be structured to overcome those problems.

Knowing when to see a specialist can be a complex question; getting help is the most important part to overcoming infertility, so either talk to your current physician about your concerns or make an appointment to see a fertility specialist.

Resources

Utah Fertility Center | Telephone 801-785-5100 | website

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2 Comments

  • ladybugavenger April 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Have you ever thought that if you aren’t able to have children that It is part of God’s plan? Then one goes and plays God by forcing a pregnancy, surrogate or test tube.

  • .... April 27, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Talk about a stupid comment ! Have you ever thought about keeping your mouth shut !

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