If you're wondering how to have a baby, especially if you've been trying for awhile, this multi-part, beyond-the-basics article is for you. However, if you're just starting out on trying to get pregnant, you should read this article: How to Get Pregnant - TTC for Beginners
Don't Hesitate to Get Help When You Need It
Doctors recommend seeking help for fertility if...
- you're 35 years old or younger and you've been unable to get pregnant after unprotected intercourse for at least one year.
- you're over 35 years of age, and you have not been able to get pregnant after six months (because the chances for successful treatment rapidly decline after 35, so prompt diagnosis and treatment is important).
- or, if you've been able to get pregnant, but have had two or more consecutive miscarriages.
If you have any symptoms of infertility earlier on, though, you don't need to wait before speaking to your doctor.
Despite these recommendations, many couples do not seek a fertility evaluation. One informal survey, conducted by Conceive Magazine and Fertility LifeLines, found that 38% of couples tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant for more than a year and still had not sought help.
I understand why you may hesitate seeking help. To ask for help is to admit that something may be wrong, and it's likely to intensify your anxiety that you and your partner are fertility-challenged. Also, if you're unsure whether or not you will want fertility treatments, you may think getting help isn't worth the trouble.
While I understand this, I also know that waiting too long can backfire. There are some causes of infertility that worsen with age. Also, some causes of infertility can be resolved without fertility drugs, so even if you're sure you don't want Clomid or IVF, your doctor may be able to treat your problem in another way.
And besides all this, infertility can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious health problem, which needs to be resolved whether or not you decide in the end to seek fertility treatments.
For all these reasons, it's better to get tested now than to keep trying on your own.
More about infertility symptoms and getting help:
- Quiz: Am I Infertile?
- I Can't Get Pregnant. Now What?
- Infertility Symptoms and Risk Factors
- Getting Pregnant after 35
Be sure to click next to learn what you need to know about finding a fertility doctor.