So, when should you look for fertility education, and if necessary, help?
Now. Seriously. There’s no reason not to start asking the right questions of the right people, now to determine the best path forward.
If you haven’t looped in your primary care physician or your OB/GYN on your trying to conceive (TTC) journey, now is the time. Knowing that you’re trying to become pregnant is likely to change how they monitor your health and the recommendations they make. They’ll also be able to better serve as a bridge between you and specialized care if you need or want it.
What if I’m told to wait to take further steps?
Your insurance or doctor might require a referral before you meet with a reproductive endocrinologist. It’s common for a healthcare provider to recommend sticking with cycle tracking and lifestyle changes if a patient has met the criteria for infertility, which is based on how long you’ve been trying to conceive, your sex, and age.
A doctor will diagnose infertility if a woman has been trying to conceive for over a year and they’re younger than 35, or if they’ve been trying for six months and are older than 35. If you fall outside these guidelines, they may refer to you to a specialist called a reproductive endocrinologist (REI).
If your healthcare provider says that you should wait based on the above guidelines, that’s advice worth listening to. If you meet the clinical definitions above, and you’re being told to wait, you may want to ask why you’re being told to wait and ask specifically about seeing an REI in your area.
What’s important is to actually have that conversation with them! It’s possible they’re waiting for these conditions to be met before making additional recommendations. If you feel that you’re having difficulty conceiving, they might be willing to make a referral now or give you the greenlight to seek additional assistance on your own.
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