When is it time to consult a fertility doctor?

When you are ready to start a family, it is not uncommon to think that if you do not become instantly pregnant, there must be something wrong. In fact, according to a recent survey, nearly 20% of women and 13% of men age 18-29 think they may be infertile. Among the general population, only about 6% actually are.

There are, however, several issues that may merit the attention of a fertility doctor. Here are four occasions you may need to visit a New York fertility clinic.

1. You’ve been trying a really long time

Many couples think that if they haven’t conceived after a few months of trying, there must be a problem. However, for women under 35, most fertility clinics in New York City recommend that couples continue with regular, unprotected intercourse for up to a year before considering other methods of conception.

2. There is a history of miscarriage

What constitutes a “history” of miscarriage? Three or more miscarriages are cause for concern and are what doctors refer to as a “history” of miscarriage. Miscarriage can be a traumatic experience, and many women think if they have a single miscarriage that they may never be able to have a healthy pregnancy. However, the numbers tell a different story. Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy. Fewer than 5% of women have two miscarriages in a row and only 1% have three or more.

3. An analysis shows a low sperm count

As we all know, it takes two to tango—and sometimes men can benefit from a trip to a fertility doctor. If a couple is experiencing difficultly conceiving, testing a man’s sperm count is one of the first tests that will be run. A doctor specializing in men’s fertility can check for other conditions that affect fertility, such as varicose veins in the scrotum and hormone levels. Additional testing can also examine the quality of the sperm, including their movement and morphology. These tests are almost always less invasive than tests related to women’s fertility; therefore, they are often done first.

4. Your tests are normal, but you’re still not pregnant

When a couple is having difficulty conceiving, they may choose to seek an evaluation from their primary care physician. Often a general practitioner will have the knowledge to perform basic tests, such as semen analysis. If you have been trying for a long time, and your tests come back normal, it may be time to see a doctor who specializes in fertility. A fertility doctor may be able to identify a problem that was overlooked by a general practitioner or suggest treatments that could increase your chances of conception.

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