What to do when you first think you are infertile


#1 See a Specialist

If you are younger than 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year, or 35 or older and have been trying for 6 months, get thee to a reproductive endocrinologist. ‘Nuff said!  Yes, infertility treatment can be expensive and invasive, but deciding to go to an infertility clinic to determine what is wrong and how to fix it is deciding to get informed.  This is not the same as deciding to take action.  And for heaven’s sake, getting a second opinion from a specialist is not disloyal to your gynecologist.  You’ve heard me say it before and you’ll hear me say it again–Information is Power (hereinafter known as the “Creating a Family Mantra”).  So, go get yourself some information.

#2 Do Everything You Can to Increase Your Chances of Success at Treatment

Although you are seeing a specialist, there are still things you can do to up your odds of success.

#3 Get Educated on All Your Options

OK, all together now—Information is Power!  So many people think they know their options, or think they know which options that can or should consider, but so often they think and know all this without any hard accurate information.  They base their decision on what they’ve heard from their hair dresser or second cousin twice removed.  Make this year the year you get educated.  Check out these pages to find radio shows/podcasts, videos, articles, blogs, and anything else we can find to help you get informed.

#4 Make a Plan

I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to have a plan.  I hope you have success with the first treatment you try in 2011, so no additional decisions are needed.  That can certainly happen, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.  But even if that does happen, I still believe it helps to start the infertility treatment year with a plan.  Listen to this 1 hr audio interview with experts: The Big Decisions in Infertility: How Far to Go, How Many to Transfer, and When to Stop.

The big decision points that people may face are:

  • How many cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) you should try if you aren’t successful.
  • How many embryos to transfer?
  • Should you use donor egg (and less often the decision to try donor sperm)?
  • When should you stop treatment?
  • Should you consider adoption? (And of course answering this question leads to a whole host of other questions and maybe even a new plan.)