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Why People Won't Seek Help for Infertility

a blog by Jane Frederick, M.D., HRC Fertility, July 17, 2014

Given that the majority of all infertility diagnosis’ can be treated with today’s medical technologies and advancements, it is surprising that many couples still suffer in silence when they fail to get pregnant after months and even years of trying. My research shows there are various reasons why couples choose not to seek help for their infertility and it is my goal to address these reasons and why they are easily overcome.

Reason #1 - Not aware they could see a specialist at this time in their process

Most couples aren’t aware that they should see a specialist when they have been trying repeatedly to get pregnant. Each month, they pin their hopes on trying another time or attempting a different method to get pregnant. When every month brings heartache, it is time to see a specialist. The general recommendation for couples under the age of 40 is if you have been trying for over a year, you should seek help from an infertility specialist for a general infertility work-up. If you are over 40, it is really important to seek help within six months of failed attempts especially if the female is over 40. As we age, females egg supply and quality diminishes, making timeliness essential.

Reason #2 - Fear of multiple births
We have found that many couples are terrified of having twins or triplets. Unfortunately the media has sensationalized stories like the “Octomom” or “John and Kate plus Eight” – making many young couples fearful they will end up with multiple children. It is important to realize that when multiples occur at this number, it is often a mistake on the fertility clinic’s behalf. Any reputable and distinguished fertility clinic is careful to guide couples so they don’t end up with a multiple birth. Twins are more common with fertility treatments as they increase the changes of a pregnancy overall for a couple. But, the majority of babies born through infertility procedures are healthy singletons.

Reason #3 - MD or OB/GYN did not suggest seeking an infertility specialist soon enough
Unfortunately, many MDs or OB/GYN’s don’t encourage couples to seek help from an infertility specialist early enough. Often they encourage a couple to keep trying and to “just relax.” If there is a clear and definitive medical issue, no amount of relaxing will help a couple get pregnant. In addition, an infertility specialist is trained to find the exact issues that are preventing a pregnancy and are the experts that should be treating infertile couples. Often I hear from couples and they say “Why did we wait so long to see you.” Don’t make that same mistake and make sure you are your own health advocate.

Reason #4 - Lack of knowledge about treatment – believe In Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) is the only option

Often couples believe that In Vitro-Fertilization is the only fertility option and they will need to do IVF. This is not the case. After seeing a specialist for the first time, many couples realize immediately what their issue is and there are various other treatments that couples can do before they need to move onto IVF. Sometimes it is simply taking a medication to get a female ovulating. IVF is an amazing medical technology that has allowed thousands of couples to build the family of their dreams, but it is not the only option available.

There are various other reasons beyond these four that I will be including in a series of articles for couples who are hoping to conceive. It is extremely important for couples to never lose hope; everyone who wants to build a family eventually is able to do so when they have the courage to take the steps to move forward and take control of their future.

Comments (1)

I guess I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum, because I had a fertility evaluation before I was even married! And, I'm really glad I'm did because it saved so much time when I was ready to move forward with IVF. Gearing up for round 2 now - at HRC Encino!

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