Infertility is a common problem in the United States. Even couples who have timed their intercourse around optimal ovulation times and have seen their doctors in the past six month can still have trouble getting pregnant.
As many as one in eight women and their partners experience fertility issues, according to the HuffingtonPost.com.
Early intervention can be key to fighting infertility. How do you decide if it's time to see a fertility specialist?
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine defines infertility as " the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse."
In women aged 35 and older, this is shortened to six months. This is because fertility can decline quickly, and more conservative treatments may not be possible, the Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia explains. If these situations apply to you, see a fertility specialist.
According to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, you should see a fertility specialist if one or more of the following applies to you:
- You have experienced more than one miscarriage.
- Your periods are irregular or painful.
- Your ovulation is random or unpredictable.
- You or your partner have a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
See a specialist if you need surgery or treatment for endometriosis, or for blockage or scarring of your fallopian tubes.
If a woman has a known cause of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, she should immediately see a specialist. Other well-known risk factors of infertility are:
- A history of genital infections or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Having taken diethylstilbestrol (a synthetic form of estrogen) during pregnancy
- Undescended testicles
Turn quickly to a fertility specialist when there is moderate-to-severe male factor infertility. That can be occur if a man's semen analysis shows a low sperm count, poor motility, or poor sperm structure.
Women who ovulate irregularly — or not at all — and haven't responded to between three and six months of drug treatment should also see a fertility specialist.