It’s expected to have a few failed pregnancy attempts, but once you’ve seen the “negative” sign multiple months in a row, it’s hard not to worry. The good news is that most women optimizing their fertility at home do get pregnant within the first 12-months. We recommend reading, Boosting Female Fertility at Home, for tips on how to optimize conception without the use of fertility medications.
Worried You’re Not Getting Pregnant as Fast as You Should?
The flip side of that are the 8% of couples who don’t get pregnant as planned. About 1 in 12 couples have an infertility factor of some kind, which means they will need fertility support to get pregnant.
We recommend scheduling a pre-conception appointment with your OB/GYN before trying to get pregnant. It’s the first step in a long line of self-care steps you should take to support a healthy pregnancy and parenting journey.
Here are the signs that it’s time to seek support from a fertility specialist:
1. You’re 34-years old or younger and have been trying for 12 months
Maternal age is one of the most important factors contributing to fertility success. If you’re 34-years old or younger, your odds of getting pregnant within the first five to seven months are significantly higher than they are for women 35-years and older.
If you’ve had unprotected sex, without any forms of birth control, for 12-months or more without success, it’s time to seek additional support.
2. You’re 35- to 38-years old and you’ve tried for six months
If you’re in the 35- to 38-year-old bracket, without any known infertility factors (PCOS, endometriosis, obesity, extreme athleticism, etc.), and you’ve tried unsuccessfully for six-months, it’s best to seek help sooner rather than later. Maternal fertility rates are dropping rapidly as the result of compromised egg quantity and quality, so waiting longer than six-months consumes precious time.
3. You have a BMI that is above or below the recommended guidelines
Being overweight – as well as underweight – makes it more difficult to get pregnant, and it also increases your chances of having a high-risk pregnancy. Studies show that women with BMIs between 19 and 25 have the highest fertility rates. If your BMI (use this calculator to track yours) is above or below the recommended guidelines, have a conversation with your OB/GYN. In some cases, she may refer you to a fertility specialist.
4. You have a known infertility factor at work
Have you been diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis, low ovarian reserve, thyroid issues, or other health conditions associated with infertility or higher-risk pregnancy? Unless you have an OB/GYN who’s experienced in supporting the first phase of fertility with these conditions, consider working with a fertility specialist right away. Waiting several months could be a waste of time, especially if your partner has an undiagnosed male infertility factor.
5. Your partner has been diagnosed with low/abnormal sperm
While women seem to get the majority of the blame, or assumption of “fault,” when a couple doesn’t conceive, men and woman equally share the rate of infertility factors. If your husband has a family history of low sperm count or infertility, he’s had trouble conceiving with a previous partner, or he has been diagnosed with low/poor sperm count and morphology, you should be working with a professional. There’s a chance that his male infertility can be treated via mediation.
6. You have irregular menstrual symptoms or cycles
Periods should be regular, all the time. Any history of missed or irregular periods, or periods that are very long - or very short - is a red flag. If you seem to have more pelvic pain or intense PMS compared with your peers, this may also be a sign that something is awry. If you have a history of irregular, unusual, or atypical menstrual cycle or pelvic symptoms, speak to your OB/GYN about a referral to a fertility specialist.
Fertility medications are often the first line of fertility treatment. If that turns out to be the case for you, contact Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, or a similar specialty pharmacy, to ensure you get the best possible support throughout your fertility treatment journey.