An article from RMA Philadelphia
What is infertility?
Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after six months of trying for women aged 35 or older and after one year of trying for women under the age of 35. Women who have been pregnant previously and have been trying for six months also fall into this category.
When is it time to see a doctor?
If the above definition of infertility describes your situation, it may be time to see a reproductive endocrinologist. Women with a history of irregular periods, endometriosis, pelvic surgery or infection, as well as previous radiation or chemotherapy should not wait 6-12 months prior to seeking care from a fertility specialist. In addition, men with a history of testicular cancer, radiation or chemotherapy, as well as other medical conditions, should seek evaluation.
What happens at that first patient visit?
You’ll meet with your reproductive endocrinologist, who will ask about your medical and family history, as well as how long you’ve been trying to conceive.
The doctor will perform a pelvic exam and vaginal ultrasound to evaluate your uterus and ovaries, and tell you about additional testing, such as blood work, a semen analysis and a procedure to assess your fallopian tubes.
If you decide to pursue evaluation, you can have your testing completed within four weeks of your first visit, at which point you will meet with your doctor again to design a plan for you.
That plan could include using medication to boost ovulation coupled with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or require a more high-tech approach like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Are my chances of getting pregnant good?
It depends on your age, your specific situation and the clinic you choose, but women can feel confident going to a successful fertility clinic, especially because major advances in technology and science have improved success rates and lessened risk.
I’m seeing older celebrities getting pregnant – why should I worry?
While doctors are getting better at helping infertile women get pregnant, the time on the biological clock has not changed: at 35 years of age, a woman’s fertility begins to significantly decline, and it gets harder to get pregnant. The risk of miscarriage also increases. So while celebrities are having babies at an older age, it’s unclear whether those babies came from eggs or embryos that they froze when they were younger, or from donor eggs. While it is possible for women in their 40s to conceive naturally or through IVF using their own eggs, is it is uncommon.
I’m ready to talk to a specialist now. What’s next?
Congratulations on taking a proactive step to begin your family. The doctors at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia are here to help. Begin your fertility journey by making an appointment today: 855.762.4672 or visit www.rmaspecialists.com.