Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
Should I see a fertility specialist?
Perhaps you've been under a lot of stress lately. Or, maybe your partner is always traveling during the right time. If you hear yourself making excuses month after month for seemingly unexplained infertility, then it might be time to sit down with a fertility specialist to uncover the root cause of the problem.
What many men and women don't realize is that early diagnosis is key. Many times, if a problem is diagnosed, it can take months to treat and suddenly there you are, almost a year later, starting to try all over again.
The solution? don't wait. Here, we've narrowed down 4 signs that it's time to pick up the phone or hop online - to make an appointment for a fertility consultation asap. But as a general rule, if you are even asking yourself this question, the answer is yes.
1. You've been trying and trying, and trying
Trying to conceive with no luck can be incredibly frustrating, but the fact is that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. Experts agree that women over the age of 35 should wait no more than 6 months of trying before seeing a specialist. That wait extends to just one year for the under 35 crowd. It's also a good idea for your partner to join you and not just to hold your hand: studies show that male partners contribute to over 40 percent of infertility cases.
2. You have a pre-existing condition
There are a number of health conditions that can have a huge impact on a woman's fertility and while some of these may have been diagnosed as early on as childhood, others are silent and can go completely undetected. From uterus abnormalities and hormonal imbalances to endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (pcos), the sooner these issues are brought to light and treated, the better your chances for a happy, healthy baby.
3. You've had more than one miscarriage
Many women have multiple miscarriages and go on to have perfectly normal pregnancies. However, this can also indicate that chromosomal abnormalities, hormonal issues or even structural issues in the cervix or uterine lining are at play. Fortunately, most of these conditions are treatable, but only after a proper examination can the diagnosis be made.
4. You've had irregular or absent periods
There is certainly no shortage of potential reasons for why you may be experiencing menstrual irregularity. Diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and increased exercise are all common causes. Many are surprised to learn that over-exercising and weight loss can actually cause you to have no period (amenorrhea) whatsoever. The ever present relationship between stress and infertility can wreak havoc on regular periods, too.
By taking notes on any and all symptoms you may be experiencing and discussing them with a fertility specialist, you'll be able to diagnose your own personal reason even sooner.