What Should I Know When Considering a Fertility Specialist?
As there are many factors that affect fertility, the answer to the question of when to see a fertility specialist is as individual as you are. Here we explore some of the more common indications that it may be prudent to see a fertility specialist sooner, rather than later. When you are ready to see a specialist, our team of compassionate physicians, embryologists and nurses stands ready to help you.
Fertility Timelines: Signs of Infertility
While each person’s journey to becoming a parent is unique, there are some generalities that we can draw upon. We recommend that you consult with a fertility specialist or call 251-438-4200 if you are a woman under the age of 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, or a woman over 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for six months.
Infertility as a Couple
Problems with fertility can stem from the woman, the man, or both. In fact, the breakdown of female infertility versus male factor infertility is about equal between men and women, with 40% female factor, 40% male factor and 20% of couples experiencing both male and female factor infertility or “unexplained” factors.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a tremendously popular treatment option because of its relative ease. It can help overcome a variety of fertility issues, including: cervical-factor infertility, male-factor infertility, sexual dysfunction and unexplained infertility.
The most common causes of female infertility include:
- Ovulation Disorders
- Ovulation Induction
- Tubal Disease
- Cervical Factor
- Unexplained Infertility
Male factor infertility is quite common. In fact, it is the sole cause of infertility in approximately 40% of the couples we see, and a joint cause in another 20%. If a couple is having difficulty conceiving, we recommend that both partners consult with a fertility specialist. Frequent causes of men’s fertility issues include:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Low Sperm Count
- Low Sperm Motility
- Irregular Morphology (Shape)
Ways to Increase Fertility
There are some lifestyle factors that are scientifically proven to affect fertility, and there are many more that are believed to affect fertility, but don’t have the science to back it up…yet. Infertility prevention through lifestyle changes is an area that has not been studied in great depth, therefore conclusive proof in many areas simply does not exist.
Two lifestyle specific areas have, however, been conclusively proven to impact fertility: weight and exercise. Too much or too little weight, and too much or too little exercise adversely affects hormonal balances. This can be treated with medications, but a weight and exercise program is a preferred option.
While there is no conclusive evidence that the following affects fertility, we do encourage avoiding hot tubs and hot baths, limiting caffeine, avoiding alcohol and –- for men –- wearing boxer shorts. There is no scientifically proven link between stress and infertility, however it is never a bad idea to reduce stress for your overall well-being.
The Right Time For You?
If you are considering whether now is the right time to see a fertility specialist, we are happy to speak with you and help you make that determination. We encourage you to call us at 251-438-4200 or to schedule an appointment.