When to seek help for infertility

Posted On November 8, 2020

No one wants to think that it might be difficult to become pregnant. However, many couples have trouble when trying to conceive. In fact, infertility affects around 15% of couples who are having regular, unprotected sex.

Age, lifestyle and medical history are all important pieces of the fertility puzzle. If you are trying to get pregnant but are having trouble, it might be time to talk to a specialist and seek help.

When should you seek help?

Women should seek help if they:

Are under the age of 35, experience regular menstrual cycles and have been trying to conceive for 12 months
Are 35–40 years old, experience regular menstrual cycles and have been trying to conceive for 6 months
Are over 40 years old
Are unpartnered or in a same-sex relationship
Experience irregular or absent periods (less than 10 menstrual cycles a year)
Have or have had fibroids
Have experienced an ectopic pregnancy in the past
Suffer from endometriosis
Have pelvic inflammatory disease
Have a history of chemotherapy

Infertility is not just something women deal with. Male partners may need to be evaluated too.

Men should seek help if they:

Have a history of testicular trauma
Have had testicular or hernia surgery
Have a history of chemotherapy or radiation
Currently use or have used testosterone

Age and medical history are the two most commonly known factors that can play a role in getting pregnant, but lifestyle choices can also play a role. There are risk factors you can work on before seeing your doctor. These lifestyle choices have been proven to impact the ability to conceive.

Excessive alcohol use
More than five drinks a week for women
More than seven drinks a week for men
Tobacco use
Being underweight or overweight
Marijuana use

Where should you go for help?

Your OB/GYN is a great place to start. Your doctor may do some basic testing or may refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist – a doctor with specialized training focused on helping people become pregnant – for further evaluation. If you do not have a primary care OB/GYN, find one today at PrismaHealth.org/Women.

Prisma Health Fertility Center of the Carolinas offers convenient online fertility consultations. We believe each patient is unique, with a unique treatment opportunity. We’d like to help you find the right opportunity to start, or grow, your family.

Fertility preservation during cancer treatment

Women and men with cancer face many unknowns regarding their future and their health. Fortunately, modern therapeutic options have improved the survival rate for nearly all forms of cancer. This success often comes at the expense of reproductive function, but there is hope. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer of any kind and want to preserve your fertility after treatment, it’s important to have these conversations early. With our combination of research, technology and fertility expertise, we are here to assist and educate cancer patients regarding future reproductive options.

Schedule a private virtual consultation today by calling 864-455-HOPE (4673). To learn more about fertility treatment options, visit PrismaHealth.org/FertilityCenter.