Five Questions to Help You Answer the Big Question: Are You Ready for Fertility Treatment?
Anyone who has tried unsuccessfully to conceive a baby understands how stressful it can be worrying about whether or not it is time to seek fertility treatment. Getting an evaluation and opinion from an experienced medical professional will ease your worries, reduce stress, and help you know whether or not you or your partner have any conditions which might affect your chances at achieving pregnancy. That being said, making the decision to schedule a consultation with a fertility doctor can be a difficult choice. The following five questions will help you know whether or not you are truly ready.
- How old are you?
Age, for women especially, plays a fairly large role in one’s ability to achieve pregnancy. Fertility rates begin to drop significantly after age 35. For example, a 35-year-old woman has about a 20% chance of achieving pregnancy each cycle, and that same 40-year-old woman has only about a 5% chance she will successfully become pregnant during ovulation. It is possible, however, for these women to improve their chances and successfully conceive with fertility treatment.
- How long have you been trying to conceive?
Depending on your age, the length of time you have been attempting (unsuccessfully) to achieve pregnancy can indicate a potential fertility issue with either partner and the need to see a fertility doctor. If you are 34 years old or younger, it might be prudent to schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist if you have been trying for 12 months or more. If you are over 34 and have been trying for six months, but have not conceived, then you could reasonably schedule a consultation with a doctor to rule out potential problems and begin thinking about various fertility treatment options, which will improve your chances of achieving pregnancy.
- Do you or does your partner have any known fertility issues?
You should see a fertility doctor – no matter how long you have been trying to become pregnant – if you have or your partner has a known fertility issue: fallopian tube issue, previous tubal sterilization, cysts, endometriosis, low sperm count, low sperm motility, or abnormal sperm shape. Any diagnosed reproductive problem can affect your chances of achieving pregnancy. Several treatment options, however, for both male and female-related infertility are available to improve your chances of conception.
- Do you or does your partner have a chronic condition?
Certain chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), thyroid conditions, diabetes, and others, and the medications used to treat these conditions can reduce an individual’s ability to achieve pregnancy. Whether affecting reproduction directly or inhibiting sperm production, these conditions can limit and even lead to infertility. A fertility doctor will help you navigate a potential pregnancy while considering your existing medical condition and help you determine which fertility treatments might help you and your partner conceive.
- Have you or your partner undergone cancer treatment?
Cancer treatments can cause infertility. If you have undergone treatment, speaking with a fertility doctor anytime (before or after attempting to achieve pregnancy) will help you determine whether or not you are able to conceive and if any fertility treatments might help you. If you plan to undergo cancer treatment, speak with your oncologist and a fertility doctor about preserving your fertility with sperm banking, egg harvesting, embryo freezing, and/or ovarian tissue preservation procedures.
If you have been trying to conceive for twelve months with no success, or if it has been less than a year, but you are worried or anxious about difficulties achieving pregnancy, then it might be time to schedule a consultation with our fertility doctor at Viera Fertility Center. Sometimes, simply knowing whether or not you or your partner has a physical problem, preventing or hindering your ability to conceive can make all the difference. Our fertility specialist, Dr. Diran Chamoun can help you and your partner by determining any reasons behind your difficulties and setting you on a course for success.