7 Reasons You May Want to See a Fertility Doctor
Planning for pregnancy can be challenging. If you are ready for a baby but seem to be having trouble getting pregnant, it might be time to explore your options.
Many people forget that infertility affects both men and women equally. In all couples, there's a 50/50 chance that a man or woman will have fertility problems. Here are seven reasons you may want to see a fertility specialist.
1. You Have Had Sex Without Birth Control for 12+ Months & No Conception
The average rule of thumb is that it takes a couple five to six months to conceive. If you are under 35 and have been having unprotected sex (sex without any form of birth control) for 12 months, you may want to see a fertility specialist.
2. You Are 35+
As women get older the quality and number of our eggs drop. (The pros and cons of aging!)
- If you are 35 or older and have been trying for six months to get pregnant without birth control, you may want to see a fertility specialist.
- If you are 40 or older, you are technically in the high risk-pregnancy category, and you might want to start by seeing a fertility specialist. Your risk of miscarriage is greater at this time.
3. You Have Had Three or More Miscarriages
Miscarriage is when you lose the pregnancy within 20 weeks of getting pregnant. Most often, miscarriage happens because the egg or sperm had the wrong number of chromosomes so the fertilized egg can’t develop normally. Miscarriage can also be caused by early development problems: the egg doesn’t implant properly in the uterus or has structural defects.
If you have had two or more miscarriages, you should consider working with a specialist to monitor your health while you are trying to conceive. If there is a larger condition causing these miscarriages, you want to be aware of it.
4. Your Partner Has Trouble Achieving or Maintaining an Erection
It’s easy to make an appointment with a male fertility specialist. Called urologists or andrologists, these specialists are experts in the male reproductive system. They can guide you to finding a solution for these conditions.
5. You Have No Period, Irregular Periods, or Heavy Bleeding
Any of these symptoms could be caused by a fertility issue:
- No period: It’s possible that you are not ovulating
- Irregular periods: You brain could be sending the wrong hormone signals, or this could be caused by an ovulation disorder
- Bleeding between periods: Bleeding between your periods or after sex could be caused by a uterine polyp or fibroid, or a cervical lesion.
- Very heavy periods: If you bleed for more than seven days, go through more than one pad or tampon an hour for several hours, or pass blood clots larger than the size of a quarter, your period is unusually heavy. This can be caused by a uterine fibroid or an endocrine abnormality. We highly recommend you see your doctor.
6. You or Your Partner Have a History of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Formerly known as sexually transmitted diseases, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) spread through sexual contact. They can cause inflammation and infection.
For women, they can cause scarring in the fallopian tubes, which may prevent the egg and sperm from ever meeting.
For men, they can cause reoccurring infections, which can damage sperm mobility, function, and sperm count.
7. You Have a Chronic Medical Condition
As you already know if you have a chronic or long-lasting medical condition, you pretty much are on first name terms with your care provider/specialist. It’s no different with fertility. If you have any of these conditions or diseases, we recommend you see a fertility specialist:
- Genetic disorders
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid condition
You may also want to see a specialist if you have had cancer (chemotherapy treatment) or if your mother had early menopause.
While this process can seem overwhelming, there are many caring providers who will help you navigate it. By seeing a specialist if you identify with any of the above reasons, you can get answers to your questions about fertility.