by Corey Whelan
Some women anticipate pregnancy will not come easily. A history of irregular periods, endometriosis, or the ticking of the biological clock give early indication that seeking out the support of a fertility specialist makes sense sooner rather than later.
Most women however, are surprised when conception does not happen quickly. Months may tick by and finally, the support of a medical professional is sought. This first stop on the infertility train is typically the woman’s long-standing, general gynecologist. While this may make sense as a first step, there are clues indicating the support of an infertility specialist, such as a reproductive endocrinologist, may be a better fit.
Clue #1 – You love your gynecologist, but feel frustrated with your current medical care
You’ve been under the care of a general gynecologist for some time now and feel frustrated with the lack of progress and your consistent negative pregnancy tests. Possibly, a full battery of infertility tests have not been performed, such as blood tests, hysterosalpingoram, and sonogram. If you feel frustrated with your current medical protocol, it may be time to seek out the support of an infertility specialist.
Clue #2 – The ticking of the biological clock becomes a boom
For most women, fertility potential begins to decline significantly in the mid-thirties. While this doesn’t mean your eggs are dusty and dried-out by age 35, if you are over 34 and have not gotten pregnant within 4-6 months, it makes sense to see an infertility specialist in order to get the testing done that will give you concrete knowledge about your egg quality and quantity.
Clue #3 – You’re popping Clomid like M&M’s
Clomid is an infertility medication taken orally. Many women find themselves staying on clomid for too long. Partly, this may be caused by anxiety about moving onto more powerful, injected medications for infertility, known as gonadotropins.
Clomid is often very effective for women, particularly when coupled with low-tech reproductive treatments like intra-uterine inseminations. However, if clomid is going to work for you, it will most likely do the trick within 3-4 months, max. After that, it makes sense to move onto next steps with an infertility specialist who can work with you on other medication protocols.
Clue #4 - Your guy hasn’t been tested
According to The American Fertility Association, male factor infertility accounts for 40% of all infertility, and also plays a role in 30% of cases where both the man and the woman are experiencing combined infertility problems. If your current physician has not recommended your guy have a semen analysis or, if you know male factor infertility is part of the problem, seek out an infertility specialist immediately.
Clue #5 – You suspect tubal scarring
Tubal factor infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including advanced endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease. If you have issues with tubal scarring or suspect you might, low-tech treatments may not work for you and you should seek out an infertility specialist pronto.
Clue #6 - Your gut instinct
That little voice in your head sometimes knows you better than you know yourself. If for any reason at all, you feel you would benefit from seeing a fertility specialist, do it. Infertility specialists, such as reproductive endocrinologists, have financial managers on staff who can help you work out any concerns you may have about paying for your treatment and also therapists who can guide you through the emotional process. The bottom line is, there are multiple professionals who are committed to helping you achieve the family of your dreams. While your path to pregnancy may not be as easy as you had hoped it would be, getting yourself into the right hands sooner rather than later can help catapult your journey from treatment to parenthood more quickly than you had thought possible.