If you are under the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for one year, or over 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months, it may be time to see a fertility doctor. Remember that age is the biggest determining factor of success when it comes to fertility. If you have specific fertility concerns like recurrent pregnancy loss or irregular periods, you should call a fertility doctor without delay.
Otherwise known as a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), the fertility doctor will run a complete panel of tests to determine whether or not you have an infertility diagnosis. Your first meeting with the fertility doctor will likely consist of the following:
- Discussion of your medical and sexual history, including number of live births and miscarriages.
- Blood tests for the female partner to examine hormone levels and ovarian reserve.
- Both partners will also be tested for communicable diseases.
- Ultrasound for female partner to determine her Antral Follicle Count (AFC).
- Semen analysis for male partner.
The results of these tests will help your doctor come up with a diagnosis and fertility treatment protocol that’s right for you. Diagnoses like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, Diminished Ovarian Reserve, and High FSH may be diagnosed upon reviewing the results of your blood test. Male Factor Infertility will be diagnosed with the help of the semen analysis. Other tests like laparoscopy or hysteroscopy can diagnose Endometriosis, Fibroids, or Polyps, and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test will diagnose tubal blockages that may be causing infertility.
If your test results come back with a normal fertility report, you may need to track ovulation and continue to try at home or seek a second opinion. Couples who continue to struggle conceiving despite normal results are often diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility, which can be addressed with various fertility treatments if needed.
For advice and information during your family building journey, check out these forums on FertileThoughts.com: