Looking back from this perspective, not waiting to see a doctor was one of the best things that happened to me when I was first trying to get pregnant seven years ago. I had such an urge to talk to someone who would understand me that I lied to my doctor that I was trying to get pregnant for about a year already (in reality, it was less then two months).
That lie turned out to be a really good idea. My ovaries were almost empty and I was recommended to consider an IVF procedure immediatelly.
The general rule is that if you are 34 years old or younger, you should try for one year before visiting a fertility doctor.
The problem is, if you are 35 or older, then egg quality becomes an issue, meaning you should seek evaluation after six months of trying. In the meanwhile, you should adjust your life habits as to maximize your fertility and improve quality of the eggs you still have.
Sometimes, there are women who should go directly to a fertility specialist before even trying to get pregnant on their own. If any of the below items apply to you, you too should make an appointment with a doctor before you start trying to conceive, to avoid wasting time at the phase in life when even a single ovulation can make a big difference.
1. You have very irregular cycle. If your cycle is not regular, you are possibly not ovulating. Do you know how to catch ovulation?
2. You have had surgery on your tubes, ovaries, or uterus. It is possible that the tubes are blocked, or that your ovarian reserve is decreased due to the treatment, or (in the worst case) that embryo implantation could be made difficult.
3. You have had more than one miscarriage. Maybe it was a coincidence and means nothing, but maybe there is an underlying issue with egg and embryo quality which you will need to resolve before you can have a successful pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.
4. Do you have fibroids? Maybe you belong to the women who were said not to worry about fibroids, because every fifth woman has them and they are not a problem when trying to conceive? Not true. If you are over 35, every ovulation and every good egg count and you should check where the fibroids are, to make sure they are not blocking the uterine cavity where the embryo will attach.
5. If your partner has difficulties with erection or ejaculation (or has had testicular surgery). In the first case, you are more likely to have too little sex and miss the ovulation day (sometimes egg remains fertile only for several hours, did you know that?). In the second case, the quality of semen may be compromised due to the surgery. The same applies if your partner is taking testosterone-based supplements, or drugs which affect testosterone production – all this can lower sperm quality. The quality of sperm is in decline in industrial societies which is especially problematic if you are over 35 when you first try to get pregnant.
When you locate a good fertility clinic, it’s important to find a doctor that you are comfortable with. And to leave him and go to another place if your gut feeling tells you so.
This can help you to conceive faster:
Prenatal vitamins and folic acid (best is to start 3-6 months before you try to get pregnant):
To find out when you ovulate:
(I love simple LH-strips but some women prefer digital measuring):
Lubricant (swimmer-friendly and not sticky) and early-response pregnancy test: