Published on: Knowmore.tv
Trying for a baby is supposed to be an exhilarating time for many couples, but that excitement can quickly turn to anguish when it seems like an impossible feat. Between 10-15 percent of couples deal with infertility, and the emotional toll it takes can be exacerbated by not knowing what’s affecting your ability to conceive.
The sooner you discover what’s hindering your chances of conceiving, the better your odds are of getting answers and achieving a successful pregnancy. So if you’re worried that you or your partner may have fertility issues, the best thing to do is see a fertility specialist to help avoid stress and frustration. According to Dr. Alice Domar, Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body health, and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF, you should enlist the help of a specialist if you fall into any of these five categories.
Advanced maternal/paternal age. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’sconception guidelines, if you’ve been trying to conceive without the use of birth control for 12 months or more, it’s time to seek the help of a fertility doctor. If you’re over 35, you should only waitsix months before getting help. Women at this age may ovulate less frequently and the quality of their eggs may decline. Women who are 40 and over who have been trying to conceive for three consecutive months should also check with a fertility specialist. Men over the age of 35 experience similar fertility issues in relation to the quality, volume, and motility of their sperm. Get yourself checked out if you fall within these ranges and are unable to conceive.
You and/or your partner have a pre-existing medical condition. If either of you have a medical condition or history that could indicate a fertility problem, it’s wise to see a fertility specialist.Warning signs: For women, this includes irregular or absent menstrual cycles, very painful periods, or a history of a pelvic infection, a ruptured appendix, or known endometriosis. For men, this can include a history of undescended testicles, mumps as an adult, or a history of trauma to the groin. There are also medications which can contribute to infertility, including steroids.
There’s a history of infertility. If either member of the couple experienced infertility in a previous relationship, you should see a specialist sooner rather than later. The change of partner might not be the answer to the fertility problem. Additionally, if either of you suffered failed attempts at pregnancy (after trying for a significant amount of time), you should consult a fertility specialist to avoid the frustration of further issues. If you’re feeling anxious about getting pregnant, you should also keep in mind that stress can trigger temporary fertility issues. You should tackle these emotions head on through the help of a therapist and/or fertility specialist.
You’re not keeping track of your cycle. Although your gynecologist can help you pinpoint when you’re ovulating based on your history, you should keep a close eye on your menstrual cycle. Even if you’ve only been officially “trying” for less than a year, you need to think carefully about when you stopped using birth control. For example, if you stopped using birth control 18 months ago, but have only been actively trying for six months, this is still an indication that a visit to a fertility specialist is in order.
Your lifestyle. Drinking too much caffeine, excessive exercising, poor nutrition, and stress levels could all be factors in decreasing your fertility. Focus on maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle: Curb your coffee habit, limit your alcohol intake, don’t smoke, and pay attention to the food that’s going into your body. Proper nutrition—including a daily prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid—and maintaining a healthy weight can increase the frequency of ovulation and likelihood of pregnancy. And while being physically active is important, intense aerobic activity can make it harder for women to conceive because it inhibits ovulation and reduces your production of the hormone progesterone. Some research suggests that stress can lower the odds of conception. If either one of you is becoming anxious as the months go by without success, there’s no harm in seeking advice from your primary care physician and/or a fertility specialist sooner than the guidelines suggested above.
While waiting to conceive can be a tough road, there is plenty of reason for hope. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 50,000 babies were born as of 2011 with the help of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). In addition, there are a number of organizations to turn to for support during this roller-coaster ride toward impending parenthood. Reach out and be comforted by the fact that you are not alone.
Step Moms, Ladies planning on Adopting, going through or thinking of IVF or trying natural methods of getting pregnant.