If you’ve been trying to have a baby for a few months or longer, you can start to wonder if something is wrong. Sure, typically babies don’t come on the first month of trying, unless you are my mom or my good friend Lisa. But, if you have been trying for a while with no positive pregnancy tests, you can start to get panicked pretty quickly.
One out of 8 couples have fertility challenges. The quicker you can get into treatment, you can get on the road to building your family. So, how do you know when it’s time to see a fertility specialist, or Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE)? Here are a few things to think about so that you can feel confident talking to your OB/GYN for a referral to a specialist.
How old are you?
I know that it’s not polite to ask a lady her age, but with age comes more urgency on the fertility front. If you are under the age of 35, you can take a few extra breaths. Urgency starts to build once you hit 35.
How long have you been trying?
Aside from my friend Lisa, I don’t know a lot of people who have actually gotten pregnant the first month they ditched birth control. And as a person with infertility issues myself, anyone who does get pregnant within the first month is super annoying to me. A “normal”, healthy couple only has a 25% chance of getting pregnant each month, with most healthy couples getting pregnant within 6 months to one year. If you are under the age of 35 and haven’t gotten pregnant within a year of trying, it is time to get extra testing and care with your OB/GYN or RE. If you are 35 or older and haven’t gotten pregnant within 6 months, call your doctor to get the fertility test ball rolling.
Are you getting busy at the right time?
You and your partner can be trying to get pregnant for months or years, but if you aren’t timing your intercourse during your fertile days, you might be having fun, but you aren’t going to get pregnant. For a normal cycle, ovulation typically happens on day 14. This means that you should get in the bedroom day 12-15.
How’s your cycle?
For me, it was always difficult to figure out when I was ovulating because I don’t think I’ve had a regular menstrual cycle since high school. If you have an unusual cycle, you might have to enlist the help of ovulation predictor sticks or the basal body thermometer to help you know when you are ovulating.
How is your insurance?
Before you start calling fertility clinics, take some time to investigate your medical insurance coverage. While fertility coverage is required in a few states, you might find that you have minimal, or no, medical coverage for fertility procedures or medications. It is best to know ahead of time so that you aren’t surprised by the cost that you will need to pay out of pocket. Plus, once you know your medical coverage, you can start spending your money differently and start a savings account for any fertility help that you might need in the future.
Infertility is a hard road, but if you end up in a RE office for just one appointment or thirty, you can rest assured that you are not walking alone. Your advocacy for your own care and family starts with your request for a RE referral.
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