Getting Started with Infertility Treatment
You have been trying to get pregnant for a while. You have moved past the “it’s fun” stage to the “timed sex” stage to the “worrying” stage. You have now entered the “googling infertility” stage.
The first thing you should know is that it is normal to not get pregnant immediately or even within the first few months of trying. Infertility experts say that you should not worry until you have been trying to get pregnant with timed intercourse for 12 months (for women under 35) or 6 months (for women 35 and over).
Your first step is to learn as much as you can about your body and your ovulation cycle. You have lots of options from taking your temperature each morning (basal body temperature), to monitoring your cervical mucus, to using over the counter ovulation predictor kits. Timing your sex to coincide with your fertile period each month is crucial to getting pregnant.
If you are still not pregnant after timing intercourse for 12 months (if the woman is under 35) or 6 months (if the woman is 35 or over), or about 3 months (if the woman is over 40), you should go see your gynecologist. Gynecologists can help assess your fertility and can even begin the most common forms of early treatment, such as oral fertility medications (e.g. Clomid or Femara). You should not, however, stay too long with your gynecologist.
Time is not on your side with infertility. The biological clock is real and the older you are the harder it is to get and stay pregnant. Spending too much time trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant with your gynecologist makes you just that much older when you see a specialist. After several months on one of the oral medications, you should consider seeing a doctor that specializes in infertility – a reproductive endocrinologist.
Creating a Family has many resources on tips and tricks for getting started with infertility treatment. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:
- Self-Care During Infertility Treatment (article)
- The Most Common Tests You Can Expect at Your 1st Fertility Appointment (article)
- Resources for Women of Color Facing Infertility (article)
- IVF from the Male Partner’s Perspective (1 hr. podcast w/ expert)
- Racial Disparities in Reproductive Medicine (1 hr. podcast w/ expert)
- Infertility Medications 101 (1 hr. podcast w/ expert)
Resources: Creating a Family Radio Show, Mayo Clinic
Image credit: Virvatulia