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How long do you feel is "long enough" to try to conceive before seeking treatment?

By August 8, 2010 - 7:56pm

Many women are struggling with the thought that they may/may not have fertility problems, and I would be interested in hearing from other women who have been diagnosed with fertility problems---do you feel you waited too long before seeking treatment for you or your partner? How long did you try to conceive?

By Blogger June 6, 2011 - 2:50pm

I appreciate all the information shared. I can contribute some information to confirm what others have said. According to guidelines established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, women 35 and under can attempt to conceive for 12 months prior to seeking medical care related to the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Women over the age of 35 should only attempt unprotected sex for six months before they consult with a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

Often insurance companies and state laws will follow guidelines. HOWEVER, it is important to remember this is a guideline. Personal health must be taken into consideration. An obvious example is a woman who has her fallopian tubes removed will not need to wait six or 12 months. You can always appeal to your medical provider or insureras to why you are concerned and consult on whether an infertility work up is appropriate earlier than the recommended guideline.

I have created a resource, Fertility Within Reach, to help women with infertility advocate for themselves. You may find it helpful. www.fertilityhealthadvocatesne.org

Best wishes to all,

June 6, 2011 - 2:50pm
By May 28, 2011 - 3:02pm

At 21 I got into an OB after 3 months, but it was for a different reason. He started treating me because the issue I went in for was affecting my fertility. It still took 18 months for us to finally conceive, but it finally did happen.

May 28, 2011 - 3:02pm
By May 20, 2011 - 12:55pm

Hi Amy,

Thank you so much for your feedback. It's something to really think about and I appreciate the suggestions, especially having come from someone who has been through it. I think the part that is though to understand about all of this is that I know people whose docs have started their process earlier than the year mark. I wasn;t sure if this was a result of the patient being a teeny more pushy or if there were certain docs that felt it reasonable to start earlier than that. Regardless I really appreciate your feedback and think you made a great point about finding a doc you trust when starting this discussion. I just recently had to switch insurance from a PPO to Kaiser so I am a little nervous about that. Unfortunately my old plan just didnt have the type of coverage I would ideally like and I found myself worrying about the costs associated with even a healthy pregnancy let alone one where issues arose. I haven't had much experience in the past with them but I do feel much better not having the financial worry hanging over my head.

Anyhow, thank you again. VERY best of luck to you in your process, I wish only good things to come your way!

Kim, thank you for the hint on the book, I think I will have to pick that up. It's funny you say that as I have two girls I know who tried for ages and finally got pregnant. They swear what did the trick was laying down for a bit after and not rushing to the restroom. I am trying all the little things I can as well. Best of luck to you!

May 20, 2011 - 12:55pm
By May 18, 2011 - 1:46pm

I just finished the book, "making babies, a proven 3-month program to maximum fertility" by Sami S. David and Jill Blakeway. You can find it on Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Babies-3-Month-Program-Fertility/dp/0316024503.

I am not pregnant yet; however, this program is exactly what I have been looking for - something to help me best determine if I have done everything I can NATURALLY before I jump head first into infertility treatments. I was shocked to find out how small things like the lubricant you use might keep you from getting pregnant. Missionary position is the best for getting pregnant. Don't move around for 10 - 20 minutes (but you don't need to stand on your head), etc., etc. I'm hopeful it is one of these little things that does the trick!

Good luck!

May 18, 2011 - 1:46pm
By May 17, 2011 - 9:40am

Hi folks - thought i would give a quick update (and hopefully provide some help to Marley's mom). Since my last post we went to see an obsgyny and i had to re-do all the tests that i did with my GP because she had done them wrong. In addition, the obsgyny ordered more tests for me and started testing my husband. So after another 4 months of testing we finally got an answer! It turns out that my husband has low sperm count and low sperm motility and our only option is IVF. Luckily we live in a province that covers IVF 100% (though there is a 4-6 month waitlist).

So with all that said, here is my advice. Whether you have to wait a year or if they will consider your case a little early - choose your doctor well. We ended up wasting almost 6 months with a clueless GP. If i had my time back i would have requested an immediate referral to an OBGYN. Alternatively - if you choose to go to your GP early to get some background tests done - be sure you know your stuff in case your GP doesn't. For example - hormone testing has to be done in sync with your cycle - my GP did not know that. Perhaps I seem a little negative here re my GP - but it has been very frustrating.

Anyways, that is my two cents. Good luck to everyone.


May 17, 2011 - 9:40am
By May 16, 2011 - 2:14pm

Hi Susan,

I am in good health otherwise and try to take as good of care of myself as possible. I eat really healthy even to the point of cutting out things like gluten and dairy, take vitamins, am not overweight, etc.

I told my husband we need to try for a minimum of 8 months before I can start to rationalize going to a doctor for any testing. I guess what I have found interesting is the statistic between couples trying for 8 months and those trying for a year. The odd thing is that you notice the numbers dont increase all that much which makes me start to wonder about the importance of the extra 2 to 4 months if I was to go in at 8-10 months of ttc.

I was watching the video on your site of the woman (I believe her name was Keri) and that she went in after 6 months. I couldnt quite tell what the outcome was other than it seemed that they found some issues. I think the biggest fear is simply waiting to long only to have ofund out there were major underdlying issues. I wish this process was just a lot easier from an emotional standpoint!

May 16, 2011 - 2:14pm
By May 16, 2011 - 11:20am


I am curious to see how you feel about women like myself who are 32 and have been trying for 6 months. The additional 6 months of trying gets me fairly close to age 33. If it doesnt occur within that time frame I am older and just starting testing. My husband has been tested and everything was fine for him. I have regular 28 day cycles and believe I also ovulate regularly (at least the OPK tests come back positive every month). I worry it would be an issue with the quality of my eggs or even blockages. It seems to me that if everything was really in as good of order as I suspect it to be that I should be pregnany by now. Also, on a side note I have been pregnant before at age 17, it resulted in a miscarriage. What are your thoughts on taking control of things sooner and forcing the doctors to be more proactive than reactive?

May 16, 2011 - 11:20am
By January 7, 2011 - 1:35pm

I am new to this site (and forum) and was interested when i saw this topic. As most responses seem to be "referrals" i though i would share my current situation. I got married 2.5 years ago when i was 27. About 8 months in (i was 28) we decided that we wanted kids before the big 3-0 so i stopped the pill and we took the "let nature take its course" route, i.e. we weren't timing anything or measuring anything or planning sex. First month sans birth control I have a totally normal period. Second month, no period. We think - holy crap we're pregnant! Take a test - negative. Another week passes, no period. Another test, negative. Finally almost 2 months pass and several pregnancy tests and a trip to the doctor and i finally get my period. Before this my period was like clockwork, i could tell you almost to the hour that i would start. For the next 6 months my period has a mind of its own but I figured it was normal after being on birth control for 10 years. There was no pregnancy, though lots of tests considering my late periods. By Spring 2010 we were getting worried because we were approaching the 1 year "limit" so we started being a little more active and having sex during the time i should be ovulating and so on. When summer came with no pregnancy and continuing irregular periods we went to a doctor. So for the past 4 months i have gotten several sets of blood-work, an internal exam and an ultrasound. Everything in my blood work has come back normal, with the exception of a slightly high prolactin level. I am still waiting for the results of my internal exam (god love the canadian "free" health care system) and my ultrasound showed all normal except a very small cyst on one ovary. So although there are a few possibilities - high prolactin, PSOS, nothing is shouting at us as an obvious cause of my infertilty (becuase the things that are off are off by sooo little). My next step is to see a specialist, at this point i have only been seeing my family doctor. So I just turned 30 and hoping the specialist wil say "yup, high prolactin. Here are some meds to lower that. Problem solved". Though, as we all know, that is not always the case.

So from someone who is 1.5 years into the process and still without answers (what is causing the problem, is there even a problem, is it me, is it my husband, what can we do, can we ever get pregnant??) I would suggest that even if an obgyn won't see you for a year, talk to your family doctor and see if you can get some blood work, a pap and an ultrasound to check for the obvious problems. Plus you can then go to an obgyn with a suite of test results to help them to their job. Also, looking back I would have started using ovulation tests and other predictors earlier on - to try to ensure your "hitting it when its hot" and increasing your chances. Also, I have started keeping a diary of all things fertility related, so that when i do get to see the specialist I can go armed with the information they need to help me.

I am not sure if this will help anyone here, but it honestly feels good to me just to write it all down!

Good luck and happy new year!

Amy :)

January 7, 2011 - 1:35pm
By August 24, 2010 - 7:52pm

I have heard that it takes most couples from 6-12 months to conceive, and that most OB/GYN will not talk about infertility with the couple until they have tried for 12 months.

However, I have heard in other instances, the couple has tried for only 6 months, and they are seeking fertility treatment (the woman is using Clomid, for example). I assume it depends on previous medical conditions, as well as age.

I'm curious about other's stories as well!

August 24, 2010 - 7:52pm
By August 10, 2010 - 10:15am

The rule of thumb from gynecologists is 1 year, right? I have not had trouble getting pregnant but have many friends who have had to go through fertility treatments (we currently are "seeing what happens" as our 40th birthdays loom next year). Our friends have been successful with their different procedures, even though it took longer for some. Some do AI, some do IVF. One friend is looking at egg donation as a possibility in her situation.
My sister in law, for instance, had trouble getting pregnant for a few years, and tried AI (twice, I think). In their case, they ended up getting pregnant on their own, then she was in a major boating accident when her first child was 6 mo. old. She survived, and within three months after getting out of the hospital, she found out she was pregnant again. She now has 3 kids, all natural. You just never know what's in store for you. I too am interested by different experiences.

August 10, 2010 - 10:15am

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