How long should I wait before seeing a fertility specialist?
Real Mom Problem
“I went to the OB after three months of trying to conceive, because I knew something wasn't right. Now, five months later, I continue to feel like something is wrong, but the doctors want me to just keep trying without seeing a specialist! Why won't they listen to me?”
- 1. Most fertility specialists won't see a woman until she has been trying to conceive for more than a year
- 2. A specialist may see you earlier if you're over 35, or if you have a history of miscarriages or other health issues
- 3. Seeing a fertility specialist doesn't necessarily mean that fertility drugs or surgery are in your future
- 4. Check the Centers for Disease Control website to review stats on fertility clinics in your area
Real Mom Solutions
Is it taking you longer than you'd hoped to conceive? Are you wondering if it's time to see a specialist? Let the ladies of CafeMom help you decide the right time to take your fertility efforts to the next level.
Most Specialists Say Wait a Year
A year of unprotected sex with no pregnancy is usually all you need for an infertility diagnosis.
Last month I went in for my regular pap smear. The gynecologist I was seeing said to me, "you have been trying for a year; it is time to see a specialist."
Fertility doctors would call "long-term trying to conceive" anything over a year. Usually doctors don't help until that point.
I think a year-and-a-half should be considered long-term for trying to conceive. Doctors say that it can take the average couple a year and two to three months to get pregnant. So, to me, anything over the year-and-a-half mark is long-term.
Age & Health Might Get You Seen Sooner
I went to a fertility specialist after eight months of trying (I was about to turn 39). They told me that's enough time to be trying. The first month they just did blood work to make sure my hormones were correct and they checked that I was producing an egg. Just because you see a fertility specialist doesn't mean you have to take drugs or anything. Depending on what is going on there may be other options.
I went in after nine months because I'd had three (now four) chemical/early miscarriages so they didn't make me wait the typical year. The first doctor I went to said to give it a year, but I hadn't mentioned the chemicals. The second time, I mentioned them and I was put in for testing that very moment.
Plead Your Case or Try Other Options
Are you charting your temperatures and cervical mucus? It can be easier to prove that something is wrong if you are doing that.
I know most OB/GYNs won't recommend a specialist until you've been trying for a year. I think they are trying to weed out the women who are anxious but nothing is wrong with them, and they just need to relax and let nature take its course. But it is very frustrating when you know that things aren't going to happen until you get to the bottom of the problem. It's worth thinking about just going to an infertility OB/GYN. That's what I did. I just switched doctors about a year ago and I'm very happy with the ones I'm going to.
Specialists Are Worth the Wait
I was going to my OB/GYN for a year and a half and never got pregnant. I finally went to a fertility doctor. I have no coverage but it is well worth the money. They know so much more than the OB/GYN. They can determine what exactly is going on with you and work with it. I found out that my OB/GYN was treating me for the wrong kind of fertility problems. My fertility doctor says that happens a lot because it's not the OB/GYN's specialty, and they just don't know everything. Not bashing the OB/GYN, but just saying they are not specialized in infertility. I would definitely see a specialist. I am not pregnant yet but I have faith in my doctor it will happen. It helps when I go to the doctor and see his success wall with over 500 babies that he helped make! It just gives you so much hope!
If you are even thinking about moving from your OB/GYN to a fertility specialist, it is time. Fertility specialists have much more time and training on fertility issues to help you get pregnant.
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for about six years, but didn't start getting help from a fertility specialist until just recently. So far, it has been a lot more affordable than we thought it would be.