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Should You See a Fertility Doctor in 2013?
Infertility affects 7.3 million people, or 1 in 8 couples in the United States. Approximately one-third of infertility is caused by female factors, one-third by male factors, and the remaining one-third of infertility is unexplained or a combination of male and female causes.
The average, healthy, 30-year-old woman has a 20 percent chance of conceiving naturally per month. This number drops to just 5 percent by the time she reaches the age of 40. A woman’s egg quality and quantity declines sharply over the age of 35, and the risk of miscarriage increases as she approaches 40 years of age.
If you are under the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year or more, you should consider an infertility evaluation. However, if you are 35 years or older, you should begin the infertility evaluation after about six months of unprotected intercourse rather than a year, so as not to delay potentially needed treatment. If you have a history of painful or irregular periods, miscarriage, STDs or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, you should seek care after about 3 to 6 months of trying to conceive unsuccessfully. If your partner has a known testicular injury, blockage, or has had a vasectomy, you should consult a fertility doctor without delay.
Common female factor infertility conditions include:
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Ovulation Disorder
- High FSH/Low Ovarian Reserve or Premature Ovarian Failure
- Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
- Tubal Infertility
- Secondary Infertility
Common male factor infertility conditions include:
- Testicular blockage
- Abnormal sperm quantity or quality (morphology, motility, count, etc.)
This all might sound rather daunting. But the good news is, most forms of infertility are treatable and the majority of women who seek treatment do have a baby. But time is of the essence. If you have been trying to conceive for six months to a year, or if you or your partner has a condition or risk factor that may be compromising your infertility, make an appointment with a fertility doctor. It’s the fastest route to pregnancy.