Your marriage is secure. Your career is flourishing. Life couldn’t be more picture-perfect. So you’ve decided that now would be the perfect time to grow your family and have been trying to get pregnant…and trying…and trying again. But while it seems everyone else around you is preggers and having adorable babies, you just can’t. Friends may give you the standard responses: “It’s not always easy to get pregnant.” “Don’t give up hope.” “It will happen, so just be patient.” Yet something inside of you is murmuring, “It shouldn’t be this hard.” If you have been struggling with these emotions, maybe it’s time to see a fertility specialist.

How do you know when it’s time to see a fertility specialist?

Many people hold off on seeing a fertility specialist when having trouble conceiving, but why?

“Many couples are very fearful, anxious, and not ready to accept that they may have a problem conceiving,” says Dr. Rachel A. McConnell, assistant professor for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center.

She adds, “Many times, one partner may not agree that they should seek help with a specialist. Some patients even feel they cannot afford infertility testing and treatments.”

At CWRC, the fertility guidelines on when to see a fertility specialist are quite clear. “When a woman is less than 35 years of age and she has been trying to conceive for one-year without success, she should see a specialist,” says Dr. McConnell. “If a woman is older than 35, she should see a specialist after six months of trying. If a patient has health issues, regardless of age, they should come in immediately to see a specialist.”

Some other examples of when to see a fertility specialist include if you have irregular menstrual cycles or if your male partner is known to have a low sperm count.

“Many couples are very fearful, anxious, and not ready to accept that they may have a problem conceiving,” says Dr. Rachel A. McConnell.

If the above conditions apply to you or your male partner, don’t wait to see a physician. Come in and see a fertility specialist right away, especially for an evaluation under the following circumstances:

  • You are under age 35 and have been trying without success to conceive for a full 12-month period.
  • You are over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months.

Are you trying to conceive and are experiencing the conditions above? Then don’t wait any longer than these guidelines suggest. The sooner you are evaluated, the better because for females, the odds of getting pregnant decrease with age. The natural pregnancy rate per attempt in a woman’s early 30s is 20-25 percent. But by 40, it’s only 5 percent.

What will happen during your first visit?

During your first visit at CWRC, a fertility specialist will take your full history, perform a physical exam, and discuss tests to determine what your issue may be. Examinations can include simple blood and hormone tests, an assessment of the uterus and tubes, and a semen analysis for your male partner.

And there may be other, non-medical reasons for your failure to conceive. Lifestyle choices – such as caffeine or alcohol use, stress, exercise, and diet – can reduce your chances at conception. Your physician may recommend lifestyle changes to decrease the effects of these behaviors on conception and to increase fertility. Both you and your male partner should be evaluated.

“CWRC can help each patient by educating them to understand different causes of infertility,” says Dr. McConnell. “To help a patient conceive, CWRC will provide cutting edge treatment options, and compassionate care is provided by a team of infertility specialists and nurses. CWRC’s goal is to provide a supportive environment and the best treatments to help couples grow their families.”

Whatever is causing your fertility difficulties, remain hopeful. With proper care and treatment, the odds of having a healthy baby are still in your favor. To learn more about fertility services at the CWRC, visit our Fertility Services page.