To qualify for an evaluation for infertility, you must have tried to get pregnant for at least a year, or six months, if you’re over the age of 35. Then you can schedule an appointment to discuss your difficulties and start treatment.
However, if you’ve been having a difficult time carrying a baby to term, or if you have other gynecological health conditions such as heavy or irregular periods, pelvic inflammatory disease, or endometriosis, you may be able to start the discussion early.
There are a number of possible causes for why you’re having a difficult time having a baby. Problems with ovulation, usually present in women with irregular periods, is the most common cause. The irregular ovulation is often caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which is caused when your body produces too much testosterone, preventing the release of an egg.
Primary ovarian insufficiency, or POI, is a condition in which your ovaries stop working properly, and is also a common cause of infertility. POI usually occurs in women under age 40.
Other less common causes of infertility include:
There are other factors that can interfere with your ability to conceive, including age, body weight, diet, stress, and excessive use of alcohol. Athletic women may also have a harder time becoming pregnant.
If you’ve been trying for a year and you’re not pregnant, it may be time to talk to Dr. Weyhrich about infertility. To start, he’ll do a checkup, which includes a physical exam, along with a health and sexual history of both you and your partner.
If Dr. Weyhrich isn’t able to identify the problem from the infertility checkup, he may ask you to keep an ovulation diary for a few months, which includes tracking your morning body temperature, describing your monthly cervical mucus, and using an over-the-counter ovulation kit. He may also do blood tests or do an ultrasound to check ovulation.
If irregular ovulation is identified as the reason you’re having a hard time conceiving, Dr. Weyhrich may prescribe medication to initiate regular ovulation and improve your chances of getting pregnant.
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