Asian male doctor show a clockMillions of couples have problems getting pregnant naturally. For many of them that have been trying to conceive on their own unsuccessfully, they wonder, “Is it time for me to see a fertility specialist?”

It’s a more common question than you probably think. There are more couples struggling with infertility than most people know. The Fast Stats infertility page of the CDC estimates that 6.7 million women in the United States ages 15 to 44 suffer from infertility, or the impaired ability to get or stay pregnant (10.9 percent).

As a fertility specialist, I talk to families about this issue a lot, and not just in the United States, but also all over the world. A fertility specialist is a doctor who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, for both male and female patients. We have the requisite medical school training and additional four years of residency training in obstetrics/gynecology (OBGYN) or urology.

As a science, we have some guidelines that we use to help people answer the question about whether it’s time to get some help getting pregnant. They are as follows:

  • If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year without success.
  • If you are over 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months without success.
  • If you have had two or more miscarriages, called recurrent miscarriage.

Couples that fall into any of these three categories should make an appointment to see a fertility specialist if they still want to keep trying to get pregnant. The specialist will diagnose the problem and recommend a course of assisted reproductive technology treatment to achieve conception. This treatment can range from fertility drugs to fibroid surgery to more complicated procedures like intrauterine insemination (IUI) to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

ART treatments are not just for married couples that can’t get pregnant. There are any number of different circumstances that might send an individual or a couple to us. Other circumstances that might send you to a fertility specialist include:

  • You want to preserve your fertility due to medical or personal reasons
  • You are part of a same-sex couple and want to build your family
  • You are a single parent who wants to conceive on your own
  • You want a specific gender for your child

Patients come to fertility specialists from all walks of life and for many different reasons. One thing our patients all have in common is a dream of family, starting now or in the future. We doctors here at HRC Fertility Orange County have something in common, too: a commitment to making that dream a reality.

Sources:

“When to See a Fertility Specialist.” www.attainfertility.com. Web. 21 April 2015.
http://attainfertility.com/article/when-fertility-specialist

Sellers, Jennifer. “When is it time to see a fertility specialist?” health.howstuffworks.com. Web. 21 April 2015. < http://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/fertility/time-to-see-fertility-specialist.htm>