Have you been dreaming of expanding your family, but it seems like the stork hasn’t received your address yet? Well, don’t worry, you are not alone. Many couples around the world face challenges on the journey to parenthood. Knowing when to consult a medical professional for your fertility issues is crucial. So, when should you consult a fertility specialist? Let’s find out the answer to the question!
You need to ask yourself the following questions to decide the right time to consult a fertility specialist
- When is it normal for conception to take some time?
- When should I start to look for other options?
- What are the signs and symptoms of underlying infertility issues?
It is normal for an average couple to take time to conceive. Only 30% of couples succeed in conceiving during the first month of trying. 60% will get pregnant within three months, 80% within six months, 85% within a year, and 95% within four years. Various factors can alter the percentage, typically a woman’s age. It becomes a concern if you are younger than 35 and finding it difficult to consult after a year of trying. If you have trouble conceiving there is a chance of higher to moderate levels of infertility issues.
Your body may already show signs of infertility at some point. Understanding the typical signs and symptoms of infertility will help to determine whether you need a fertility specialist.
The major symptom of infertility is the inability to get pregnant, apart from this obvious sign, a doctor may consider a few other symptoms to accurately diagnose your fertility issue. They include,
- An irregular menstrual cycle, especially long periods that take more than 35 days, short periods can also signal underlying infertility issues.
- Ovulation abnormalities
- Abnormal periods with heavy bleeding
- Painful period, back pain, pelvic pain, and period cramps.
- You have never had a period
- Hormonal issues such as acne and changes in libido
- Excessive hair growth
- Loss and thinning of hair
- Weight gain
- Three more miscarriages
Many of these signs may not be a reason for infertility, however, consulting a medical professional is the best option if you have any symptoms.
Various factors can make a significant impact on your fertility. Besides age and lifestyle factors, the following factors can also harm your fertility.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS) – PCOS is a common condition that can affect women of childbearing age. It is a reproductive disorder. Ovulation disorder is a common symptom of PCOS, and it can lead to infertility issues. The symptoms of PCOS can be alleviated through medications. PCOS can affect your fertility but it is not impossible to get pregnant with PCOS. Many women have normal delivery even if they have polycystic ovaries. If you notice your PCOS symptoms get worse, it will be time to consult a medical professional.
- Endometriosis – Your uterus has a lining of tissue inside it when a similar kind of tissue grows outside of the uterus, it can lead to a painful condition called endometriosis. The tissue can grow in the surrounding reproductive organs as well. It can harm your fallopian tube, embryos, gametes, and endometrium. This can potentially lead to infertility.
- Age of the female – By the age of 35 a woman’s ability to conceive will diminish. Women have a peak reproductive capacity during their teen years to late twenties. It will be highly challenging for a woman of 45 to get pregnant. If you are someone under 35 and find it difficult to conceive after a year of unprotected sex. It is time to see your fertility specialist.
- Thyroid-related issues – The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is situated at the base of your neck. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone. If thyroid production increases, it will result in hyperthyroidism, and if it declines it can lead to hypothyroidism. Both conditions can impair fertility.
- Cancer treatment – Cancer treatment like chemotherapy hurts the ovary. The alkylating agents in chemotherapy prevent the ovaries from producing eggs. It will lead to a condition called Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI).
Alcohol consumption, excessive body weight, stress, anxiety, smoking, and other external factors are other general factors that can have an impact on fertility. Men also face infertility issues like low sperm production, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation abnormalities, and other medical and environmental factors that will hurt their fertility.
If you face any infertility issues, a fertility specialist will help you diagnose the underlying reason behind your infertility. A fertility specialist is a medical professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating fertility issues. If you have been actively trying to get pregnant for over a year, it will be a good idea to see a skilled fertility expert. Before consulting, you need to expect a series of medical tests and evaluations. The procedures are common when you visit a fertility clinic. The test results will help the expert to assess your condition. The doctor will also review your gynecological history, previous pregnancy, and miscarriages. You should know the following things before visiting a fertility clinic
Your fertility specialist may ask whether or not you have ovulation. You have to keep a record of your body temperature for a few months.
You and your partner need to go through various blood tests, physical examinations, and medical imaging tests.
A semen sample will be collected to evaluate sperm count, motility, and any kind of sperm-related abnormality
Once you complete all the tests, your doctor will evaluate everything and provide you with the diagnosis. After the diagnosis phase, your treatment will begin.
Consulting a fertility expert will be a vital step in your journey to parenthood. If you have been trying to conceive for more than a year or if you have risk factors for infertility, such as PCOD, endometriosis, thyroid disease, age-related fertility issues, and a history of cancer, then it will be a good time to consult a fertility specialist. Other lifestyle and underlying problems will also contribute to your fertility-related problems. Only a fertility specialist will be able to diagnose and recommend appropriate treatment for your condition.