Trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant can be the most frustrating and heart-breaking experience you have ever gone through. Don’t jump the gun on getting infertility treatment, though, because treatment comes with some risks. The good news is that, as of 2010, infertility treatments are better than ever, with improved results and options, according to “Good Housekeeping” magazine.
When to Go
The rule of thumb is to seek infertility treatment if you fail to conceive after one year of having unprotected sex. If you are over 35, you can seek treatment after 6 months, says Dr. Edmund Sabanegh Jr., director of the Center for Male Infertility at the Cleveland Clinic on the “CBS News” website.
If you have high anxiety regarding not conceiving, you can go to an infertility specialist sooner than waiting the year (or six months, if you are older than 35). Sabanegh says that he first reassures couples who come in after only a few months that humans are efficient reproducers, not rapid reproducers. It takes some people more time than others. With that said, Sabanegh performs a physical exam to help rule out any major infertility causes.
If you or your husband has a factor that suggests a fertility problem, such as exposure to certain chemicals or a history of cancer, you probably would want a full fertility evaluation earlier than a year. Irregular menstrual cycles, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases or repeated miscarriages can also indicate a fertility problem, according to MayoClinic.com.
Typically, men should get an infertility test first. Routine semen analysis is easier than the invasive procedure that women undergo. However, only about 20 percent of infertility cases involve only the man. About 30 to 40 percent involve both partners, and 40 to 50 percent of infertility is because of the woman.
What You Can Control
When you are trying to conceive, consider the risk factors you can control before going in for fertility treatment. Stop smoking, because tobacco may reduce your chances of getting pregnant. Stop drinking alcohol. No level of alcohol is safe during conception and pregnancy, according to MayoClinic.com. Achieve your ideal weight. If you are overweight or underweight, you could have problems conceiving. Achieve the right balance of exercise, too. If you exercise more than seven hours a week, you could have problems ovulating. On the other hand, if you don’t exercise at all, that could contribute to obesity.