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When Should You See a Fertility Specialist?

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

If you have been trying to conceive for months without success, you may be wondering if it is time to seek professional help from a fertility specialist. Infertility is a complex issue; however, the good news is that there are many treatment options available today.



For several women, the road to pregnancy can be problematic. When things don’t work out, you’re often advised by family and friends to just relax, stop worrying, and be patient. So, it can be difficult to know when you actually need to take that step and admit that you and your partner need help.

If you have been working with your family doctor in trying to get pregnant but haven’t had success in 6 to 12 months, it’s advisable to consult a fertility specialist.

Who is a Fertility Specialist?

A fertility specialist focuses on diagnosing and treating complications related to male and female infertility. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year (or six months if you are over 35) and natural conception is not working, a fertility specialist can diagnose and treat your problems.

The following are conditions in which a woman or couple should see a fertility specialist as soon as possible.

Your age and for how long you have been trying

The most basic thing to check if you need to see a specialist is based on your age and the duration of time you’ve been actively trying to conceive. ‘Trying to conceive’ is basically defined as having regular intercourse without birth control. You should consult a specialist if:

• You are under 35 with regular cycles and haven’t become pregnant after 1 year of trying.

• You are 35 to 39 with regular cycles and haven’t become pregnant after 6 months of trying.

• You are 40 or over with regular cycles and haven’t become pregnant after 3 months of trying.

If you have period-related problems

You should get yourself checked if your periods are absent, irregular or generally problematic. If you aren’t getting your period at all, it’s highly likely that you are not ovulating either. Irregular periods can occur due to issues with your ovaries such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Painful, long, or irregular periods can also be a symptom of endometriosis, a condition where tissue from the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can affect fertility in several ways, such as creating a blockage in the fallopian tubes.

If you have a thyroid condition

Your thyroid is closely associated with healthy hormone function. So any thyroid issues could impact your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. Low thyroid hormone levels could lead to irregular menstrual cycles and impact ovulation. Irregular thyroid function has been linked to infertility, miscarriage, and abnormalities of foetal brain development.

If you have a known thyroid issue, you need to monitor your thyroid hormone levels to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and reducing the risk of miscarriage.

If you have a history of pelvic surgery

If you have had surgery in the pelvis or abdomen, it can lead fertility complications. Surgeries such as an appendectomy can cause scar tissue to grow around your reproductive organs, damaging them or creating blockages.

If you have a history of sexually transmitted infection - An untreated sexually transmitted infection can have a serious impact on your fertility, even if you had no symptoms at the time. Sexually-transmitted infections like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can be harmful to fallopian tubes.

If you have a history of miscarriages 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is important to remember that miscarriages do not always reflect infertility.

Miscarriages can be due to genetic issues, changing hormone levels, physical problems, cervical issues, infection or other causes that can be addressed with proper medical care.

Experiencing two or more miscarriages can be a sign that there’s something amiss that is making it hard for your body to sustain a pregnancy, and it’s a valid reason to consult a specialist.

We know that the stress and anguish experienced by women and their partners going through infertility diagnosis and treatments can be devastating. Fortunately, remember that for most couples, help does exist, and successful conception can be attained with the right guidance.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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