The Institute for Women's Health
When Should You See a Fertility Specialist?

If you have been trying to conceive for months, you’re not alone. It takes 5-7 months to conceive on average. If you recently got off birth control, that can also influence the waiting time for pregnancy. If time continues to pass and you haven’t conceived, you may want to consider seeing a fertility specialist.

The woman might not be the one with fertility problems. It is possible that the man might have an issue, which is why both partners should visit a specialist for evaluations. A fertility doctor will usually ask for detailed medical history and may perform bloodwork, ovarian reserve testing, ultrasound, hysterosalpingogram (HSG) for the female, and a semen analysis for the male.

There are a number of factors that may influence infertility. Before you visit a specialist, consider these factors:

You are young and healthy

If you are under 35 years old, in good health, and haven’t conceived after 12 months of unprotected sex, it might be time to see a fertility specialist. Believe it or not, it is normal for young couples to wait long periods before conceiving.

You are over 35 years old

When women are around 35, they are labeled “advanced maternal age.” 35 isn’t old, but it can feel like it if you are trying to have a baby. Once you turn 35, your chances of conceiving begin to drop. If you are older than 35, it is recommended that you wait to see a specialist until 6 months of unprotected sex without conception.

You are over 40 years old

Once a woman turns 40, the eggs decrease in quality and quantity – making the chances of conceiving even smaller. At this time, about 50% of a woman’s embryos contain an abnormal number of chromosomes. It is better to see a fertility doctor sooner than later, since fertility treatments may be an option.

You have a thyroid condition

Your thyroid is tied into your hormones. If your thyroid fluctuates, your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy could be at risk, too. If you believe you may have a thyroid condition, visit a doctor as soon as you can.

You have a known reproductive issue

If you have a reproductive issue, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, you should meet with a fertility specialist before you begin attempting pregnancy. For example, many women don’t ovulate with PCOS and will need medications to help. Waiting for help may not be the best answer in this case. Consult with a fertility specialist to find the right plan for you.

You have had multiple miscarriages

Miscarriages are hard for every couple. When the pregnancy test turns positive, it is normal to expect to a healthy baby. Sometimes, miscarriages occur because of anatomic problems with the uterus. A fertility specialist will be able to run tests to find out where the problem lies. If you are experiencing multiple miscarriages, see a fertility doctor right away.

You are experiencing unusual symptoms

Some weird symptoms might be irregular cycles, no period at all, or intense cramps. Sometimes, this could be an indication of an undiagnosed fertility issue. A specialist can help diagnose and treat your problems.

Visit the Institute for Women’s Health

If you are having trouble getting pregnant or are planning on conceiving, the fertility specialists at the Institute for Women’s Health will be able to perform an infertility evaluation. There are seven convenient locations around San Antonio. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (210) 349-6626.

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