Should You See A Fertility Specialist?

by Dr. Roshini Raj

Many couples who have difficulty conceiving are looking for answers and don’t know where to turn.  After months of trying to get pregnant without success, it’s natural to start feeling a little anxious, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone.  Infertility may be more common than you think and, in fact, 1 in 8 couples will struggle to get pregnant.

While over 7 million Americans will face infertility, it’s something that many people don’t discuss openly.  A recent survey from Merck found that 61% of couples hid their infertility problems from their friends and families, and four in ten couples said the struggle to conceive has made it harder to be open and honest with others.  The survey also found that 71% of women said that infertility makes them feel flawed, and half of men said it makes them feel inadequate. In short, we know that infertility can cause stress and take a toll on your relationships, but that makes it all the more important to seek support.

But how do you know if you need to see a specialist? Luckily, there are some clear expert guidelines that can help you determine if you can try on your own for a little while longer, or if it’s time to make that appointment.  

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that if you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year without success, or if you’re 35 or over and have been trying for six months, you should have a fertility evaluation.

A specialist can be your biggest ally, can provide you with the information you’re looking for and present you with options you didn’t know you had.  The decision to make the call and set up an appointment with a specialist may be one of the hardest you’ll take along your fertility journey, but could also be one of the most important.  On you can download a doctor discussion guide to bring to your first visit which may help to feel more relaxed and prepared.

Most importantly, if you’re feeling unsure, remember– it’s just a conversation, not a commitment. Merck’s survey found that 91% of couples who went to see a fertility specialist wish that they had gone sooner.  So don’t wait.