In high school, teachers hammered home the message of how easy it was to get pregnant. Having probably spent your younger years trying to avoid this state, now you're actively pursuing the baby bump - but nothing is happening. What should you do?
It may be time to see what your doctor can do for you. Consider making an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can address your concerns about fertility, provide information on fertility, and advise you on the next steps you should take on your journey to becoming pregnant.
If you have been having regular, unprotected sex for a year (6 months if you're a woman over age 35) and you still aren't pregnant, it may mean you are infertile, since this is generally how infertility is defined. It's time to see your family doctor.
You'll also want to see your doctor sooner if you have a history of irregular or painful periods, pelvic pain, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or repeated miscarriages, or if your partner has a low sperm count or a history of testicular, prostate, or sexual problems.
Although you may feel a bit embarrassed or nervous talking about the subject, talking to your doctor is an important first step. You may find it easier to talk about your fertility if you prepare for the visit in advance. Here's the type of information you can collect and write down to get ready for your appointment:
Don't forget to bring a pen and paper to write down the answers to these questions.
The benefit of seeing your family doctor is he or she can review your health history and go over the basics of the best times to try to conceive. Some of the questions your doctor may ask you include:
Your family doctor is also there to answer any questions or concerns you might have - so ask away. Never discount a question as being trivial or embarrassing - it could hold a clue in your quest to get pregnant. It's also good to further build the trust between you and your doctor so you can feel comfortable talking about all aspects of your health, whether or not it's related to fertility. Your doctor may never become your best friend, but the conversations you have may be some of the most important in your life.
Your family doctor is an important gateway to other specialists, such as an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) or a fertility specialist, also called a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). Or maybe you've already see an OB/GYN for your routine Pap tests and you want to start the conversation with them. Either way, it's important to discuss your concerns about fertility with your doctor. Depending on your age and personal health history, your doctor may recommend a medical evaluation. This may be through a referral to either an OB/GYN or a fertility clinic.
Your family doctor may be able to review what to expect at a fertility clinic, and various treatment options that may be right for you. Seeing your family doctor or OB/GYN is that all-important first step required to start the process towards figuring out your fertility.
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