Despite what pop culture would have couples believe, it’s not always easy to get pregnant. In fact, for many couples, conception can be a frustrating, confusing, and emotional process. But how long should you wait before seeking help with fertility issues?
“Every couple’s situation is unique but, generally, women who are under 35 and who have been trying to get pregnant for one year and have not been successful should talk to their OB/GYN about seeking fertility treatment,” says Melanie Schatz, MD, OB/GYN at the Main Line Health Center in Collegeville.
Although most women should seek treatment after 12 months without success, the timeline is shortened to six months for some groups, including women who are over the age of 35 or those who have unique health issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids, or a history of irregular periods.
“Women who are trying to get pregnant later in life or have unique health risks should seek help sooner rather than later. There are a variety of options available to women, and pregnancy is still possible, but it’s important to talk to your physician if, after six months, you still haven’t had success,” says Dr. Schatz.
Preparing for pregnancy
Although there are many factors that can affect conception, one of the best ways to ensure that you and your body are healthy enough for pregnancy and detect fertility issues is a pre-conception visit with your OB/GYN.
In addition to ensuring you’re practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors, like following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking, your OB/GYN will also talk to you about common considerations for optimal fertility.
“During a pre-conception visit, your OB/GYN can help answer any questions you have about when the best time of the month to try and conceive is, ovulation testing, how often you should be trying to conceive, and whether or not you have a personal or family history of any health issues that could affect the likelihood that you may become pregnant,” explains Dr. Schatz.
Schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN before you think you’re ready to begin trying to conceive, and be prepared with a list of questions you might have.
Remember, even if pregnancy doesn’t happen right away, treatment options are available. Main Line Health’s reproductive endocrinologists are available to help address your concerns and discuss your infertility treatment options. Visit our website to learn more about our maternity and fertility services.