When should you see a fertility specialist?

Sumina Reddy

By Dr. Sumina Reddy

If you have trouble conceiving, you are not alone. About one in 5 couples face challenges in getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Infertility is not an inconvenience but a medical condition that requires prompt evaluation and treatment. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of having unprotected sex. There are several possible causes of infertility that can affect both men and women.

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An infertility specialist can help determine an identifiable cause of infertility and provide the appropriate treatment once an evaluation has been completed. In many cases, when the cause of infertility is treated with medications or surgery, the couple may conceive naturally. In other cases, advanced treatments like Invitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be needed. Treatment choice depends upon test results, the length of time a couple has been trying to conceive, the couple’s overall health, and the preferences of the partners.

Here are some indications you might want to consider seeking a fertility specialist:

1. IF YOU HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR OVER A YEAR

7 out of every 10 couples manage to conceive naturally within one year of trying for pregnancy. There is some underlying issue in 2 out of the remaining 3 couples. Suppose you have been trying to conceive for more than a year, in that case, it is recommended that you undergo a complete fertility evaluation. A fertility specialist can help determine why you have difficulty and offer possible treatment options to help you.

2. IF YOU ARE OVER 35

Aging affects the egg number and quality irreversibly. The decline in the egg quality makes conceiving difficult. Advanced mother age not only increases the risk of miscarriages, but also increases the risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome. Suppose you are above 35 years of age and don’t conceive within six months of trying, you should consult a fertility specialist to discuss your options.

3. IF YOU HAVE A KNOWN REPRODUCTIVE TRACT ISSUE

If you have the following medical conditions that affect fertility, then you must visit a fertility consultant:

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is the most common cause of irregular cycles and infertility in women. It is a hormonal disorder in which the eggs fail to ovulate regularly. In addition, there can be other health problems like weight gain, acne, unwanted hair. Usually, PCOS is treated with medicines or injectables that induce ovulation or egg release.

Uterine fibroids: Fibroids or myomas a non-cancerous growth in the muscle of the uterus. They can occur in various locations and can be of different sizes. Fibroids may lead to difficulty conceiving, miscarriages, excess bleeding, pain abdomen, and other symptoms. Treatment options vary from simple observation, medicines, or surgery.

Endometriosis: Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows elsewhere in the body like ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic spaces. The treatment is individualized for each woman depending on severity and symptoms.

Pelvic Infections: Women with repeated pelvic infections are at the risk of developing fallopian tubal blocks and adhesions that distort the normal anatomy, leading to sub-fertility. In such circumstances, regular doctor check-ups and antibiotic treatment may be required.

Primary ovarian insufficiency: When the ovaries stop functioning under 40 years, it is called Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. Given the low chances of natural pregnancy in such women, oocyte donation with invitro-fertilization (IVF) can be an effective treatment.

Male factors: Male factors contributing to sub-fertility may be as high as 30-40% in couples facing challenges in getting pregnant. These factors can be poor sperm quality (teratozoospermia), poor sperm motility (Asthenospermia), low or no sperm count (Oligo- or Azoospermia), erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction. Therefore, it becomes essential to evaluate both the partners and individualize the treatment.

4. IF YOU HAVE HAD MULTIPLE MISCARRIAGES

Miscarriages can be due to genetic, hormonal imbalance, cervical weakness, anatomical problems like uterine septum, or a fibroid. 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most of the time, it is an unexplained cause. But if you have experienced two or more subsequent miscarriages, it warrants a detailed evaluation.

5. IF YOU HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER OR YOU WISH TO PRESERVE FERTILITY FOR FUTURE

Recent advances in science and technology have improved cancer survivors’ life expectancy and quality of life. Cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation can impact fertility in both men and women. If you are diagnosed with cancer, it is essential to discuss fertility preservation options with your doctor before starting the treatment.

A growing number of women want to postpone childbearing for a later age, either for social, financial, or personal reasons. But the biological clock is continuously ticking. It is, therefore, necessary to make use of technology and consider oocyte/egg freezing which helps in conceiving at a later age.

Fertility issues can be complex and need timely evaluation.  individualized and personalized treatment. For advanced treatments that are transparent and affordable, contact MIRA FERTILITY.

DR. SUMINA REDDY

MS, DNB (OBG-GYN), FMAS, FRM, Advanced Diploma in Reproductive Medicine (UK & Germany)

Chief Fertility Specialist & Laparoscopic Surgeon

Mira Fertility Center, Hyderabad

www.mirafertility.com | www.drsuminareddy.com 

+91-9949991115 | info.mirafertility@gmail.com

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