Guidelines have been established to identify when you should consult with a fertility specialist. These are important because if there is an underlying cause of your infertility, such as a endometriosis, PCOS, a blocked fallopian tube, or poor ovarian reserve in a woman or problems with the sperm in a man, it cannot be addressed unless it is identified by a fertility expert after diagnostic testing. And, if it is not identified and addressed, no matter how long you keep trying to get pregnant, the likelihood of success will not change because the cause is still present.
In addition, the longer you wait to see an infertility specialist, especially if you are 35 years or older, the greater the likelihood that the cause of your infertility can negatively impact your ability to conceive and deliver a healthy baby because age impacts the quality and quantity of a woman's eggs and a man's sperm.
- If you are under 35, after 1 year of unprotected intercourse see a fertility specialist
- If you are 35-39, after 6 months of unprotected intercourse see a fertility specialist
- If you are 40 or older, after 3 months of unprotected intercourse see a fertility specialist
- If you have a reason to suspect an underlying problem, such as irregular periods or a family history of fertility problems, you should seek care sooner.
Causes of Infertility
About 40 percent of the time, infertility is due to female factors; another 40 percent of cases are due to male factors; the remaining 20 percent is a result of a combination of factors from both partners or is “unexplained”—meaning no cause can be found.
Human reproduction is remarkably complicated. Several systems of the body must be in sync for the process to culminate in conception and pregnancy. It takes only one seemingly minor situation to disrupt the intricate series of events.
This information is provided for general education purposes and is not intended to take the place of a discussion with your physician. If you have questions about any aspect of your health, you are advised to speak with your physician.