When you struggle to get pregnant, a fertility specialist can work with you to get you the answers you deserve. Our staff at Fort Worth Center for Pelvic Medicine can evaluate your symptoms and provide you with the treatment that’s right for your situation and your body.
There are several causes of infertility and conditions that may affect your ovulation cycle and your ability to get pregnant. Diabetes, thyroid problems, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are a few conditions that can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Most times, your physician or gynecologist can diagnose these conditions, but they may not have the tools necessary to help you get pregnant.
When to See a Fertility Specialist
Your gynecologist should be your first discussion with any fertility concerns. If you’re under the age of 35 and have not been able to get pregnant after one year of trying, it’s time to have a chat with your gynecologist. If you’re 35 or older and have been trying to get pregnant for at least six months, you should also voice your concerns.
What You’ll Discuss
You and your gynecologist will talk about your health history, previous pregnancies, if any, and potential tests to undergo before a referral to a fertility specialist becomes necessary. If you’ve had multiple miscarriages or have health problems that could affect fertility, your gynecologist may suggest that you visit a specialist.
Similarly, if tests your gynecologist orders show no conclusive results, he or she will probably send you to a specialist who can delve further into what might be interfering with your fertility.
Some conditions that may warrant a visit with a specialist to discuss your fertility concerns include:
- History of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Family history of miscarriages and/or fertility issues
- Absence of a menstrual cycle or having a very inconsistent period
- Celiac disease
- Autoimmune disease
What Will a Fertility Specialist Do?
Your specialist will first set you up with an appointment to discuss your concerns and your medical history. During this appointment, you may have a brief physical, much like you would at your gynecologist’s office, to check your vitals and talk about anything that might be affecting your fertility.
Your partner can also come to the appointment if you choose. Sometimes, fertility problems are caused by an issue with the male partner or by issues both partners suffer from, so it’s a good idea to get the full picture of your history as a couple and have both parties involved in the conversation.
Our specialist may order tests to further evaluate you, including a pelvic exam and ultrasound to see if any physical abnormalities are preventing you from getting pregnant, and blood tests to check your hormone levels. A pap smear is another standard test that detects an STD or cervical cancer, both of which can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Your specialist may also suggest testing your partner’s semen to determine if it might be contributing to your struggle to conceive.
There have been incredible advances in fertility treatments over the past few decades, so most women have several options for getting pregnant regardless of what’s causing their fertility struggles. After taking into consideration your medical history, test results, and everything you, your partner, and your specialist discussed during your appointment, the specialist will create a treatment plan that’s best for you.
Usually, you’ll begin with a fertility drug treatment. This can stimulate the ovulation process by triggering more hormone production. If you have a physical condition preventing you from getting pregnant, however, you may need to have surgery to correct the issue.
When other methods fail or are not a good option for you based on your medical history, the specialist might recommend intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The IUI process places sperm directly into your uterus near ovulation while the IVF process transfers a fertilized egg, or embryo, into your uterus.
What to Talk About With Your Fertility Specialist
It’s important to remember that your fertility specialist is an expert at what they do. Their job is to help you decide the best route to take for your body and your family. There’s never a question that’s too silly to ask when it comes to your ability to get pregnant.
Here are some topics you should consider discussing with your specialist:
• How the medical conditions that you have might affect your treatment and vice versa
• If the medications you’re on could be causing your fertility or could intervene with treatment
• What each ordered test will check for and why
• If there’s anything else that you can try before beginning hormonal or another type of treatment
• If the treatment you decided on will have any long-term effects
• Any potential problems with the embryo because of treatment
• How your body may react to treatment
Be sure to bring a notepad with all of your questions jotted down beforehand, so you don’t forget to ask important questions. You should also get contact information for your specialist during your appointment to have a quick way to contact them with questions.
Find Out More
For more information about fertility treatments and the specialists who can help, contact Fort Worth Center for Pelvic Medicine. We can connect you to a fertility specialist who can address your concerns, answer questions you might have, and develop a treatment plan that works for you, your partner, and your family.