For a couple trying to conceive a baby, the question of when to see a fertility doctor is bound to come up if efforts have been unsuccessful. There are several criteria which must be met before a couple will be given a referral to a fertility specialist and these can include the following:
- Significant male factor with a sperm concentration of less than 10 million per ml, or if motility of less than 40%.
- Female is aged 38 years of age or older.
- Blocked fallopian tubes at any age or if one or both tubes are blocked.
- Other fallopian tube problems at any age, such as one or more ectopic pregnancy.
- A history of endometriosis at any given age.
- A problem with ovulation such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which after being treated with medication for 3-6 months does not yield conception.
- Abnormal ovarian reserve tests, such as an elevated day three FSH level, at any age.
When a couple has been trying to get pregnant for more than six months and nothing has happened, it can be disheartening and frustrating. A couple may have spent a great deal of time putting off trying to conceive in order to plan accordingly and be well prepared, only to run into a fertility issue. Most couples will not want to face the reality of infertility, but if it has been more than a year and nothing has happened, it is time to consider a fertility specialist. Women that have irregular menstrual cycles or do not ovulate, or are over the age of 35, may want to seek professional advice if there is a risk factor that could delay conception.
Women should start keeping a record of menstrual cycles and ovulation charting can also be helpful to do prior to visiting a fertility specialist. Over the course of several months, a woman can determine her most fertile days and focus on conceiving during that time frame. It is generally a good idea for a couple to consult with a primary care physician or gynecologist prior to seeking the assistance of a fertility specialist. Knowing when to see a fertility doctor is recommended if both male and female fertility are in question and a primary care physician has determined it to be in the best interest of the situation.