Thinking about your future family? These 6 Signs may indicate it’s time to see a fertility specialist.
- You have a history of inconsistent periods. Irregular periods typically mean irregular ovulation or no ovulation, making conception an uphill battle. If you have tried consistently for six months to a year with no luck – and you have a history of irregular periods – it’s worth getting an appointment with a fertility specialist in case PCOS, endometriosis or other issues are interfering with your fertility. No matter your age, if ovulation is random or never occurring, seeking the help of a specialist can help get everything back on track. Medications such as Clomid and treatment options such as Intrauterine Insemination can induce ovulation and help couples conceive faster.
- You are 35 years or older. Before age 30, allow yourself one year of trying to conceive before you begin looking at your fertility options. From age 30 to 35, wait at least 6 months, but don’t wait much longer than that. Age is a major factor when it comes to conceiving naturally – no matter how healthy you are. Most women reach their fertility peak in their 20’s. Fertility declines slightly in their 30’s and by age 35 to 40, there is a steep drop off. If you are having trouble getting pregnant despite already having a child or children without the assistance of fertility treatment or medication, you may have secondary infertility.
- You have battled with PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is another leading cause of infertility. It affects many women and often presents with few or no symptoms. However, PCOS often involves insulin-resistance and/or hormone imbalance – both of which can lead to infertility.
- You’ve had more than two miscarriages. It’s true that miscarriages are common. They happen in about 10-25 percent of all recognized pregnancies, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and that doesn’t count all the fertilized eggs that are miscarried before a woman ever tests positive for pregnancy. If you have two or more, a fertility specialist will likely conduct a few extra tests to rule out potential infertility issues that may be causing the miscarriages.
- A sperm workup came up “abnormal.” If your partner a had a routine sperm workup and it came back abnormal, a fertility specialist can determine exactly what is going on and the best course of action. Dr. Edwin Robins at Center for Reproductive Health has worked with thousands of Inland Northwest families to determine the severity of infertility and offer simple to advanced solutions to help you conceive.
- Your partner is over the age of 40. Age impacts how well men produce sperm with healthy morphology, motility and a high sperm count. Nearly 40 percent of infertility cases are due to male factors. If your partner is older than 40 years, and you haven’t gotten pregnant, have his semen analyzed to rule out any issues.
If any of these signs sound familiar, it is time to consider the next step and see a fertility specialist. New patient consultations are available for free at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health. At this one-on-one appointment, you can share your specific experience and get expert, individualized advice on the best ways to continue walking forward.
To schedule a new patient consultation or to ask questions, call (509) 462-7070.
Among women of reproductive age, more than 40 percent are insufficient in vitamin D. Recent research claims that Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to infertility. According to the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, women with sufficient vitamin D intake are more likely to become pregnant and/or produce high quality embryos if undergoing in vitro fertilization.
This is not a big surprise to us here at Center for Reproductive Health, as we tell many of our patients to make sure they are getting sufficient vitamin D and many other nutrients. We obtain vitamin D when we consume milk products or fortified orange juice, but even daily consumption does not add up to much. The best sources of vitamin D are the sun, beef liver and wild-caught salmon. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have access to these nutritious foods, but typically need additional vitamin D to make up for the cloudy winter months.
Whether you’re in the midst of IVF treatment or trying to conceive, you should consider taking a supplement. You can get your vitamin D levels tested and then Dr. Robins or your primary care provider can suggest a regimen for you. Take action soon – Vitamin D is slow to be absorbed and sometimes it can take 6-12 months to normalize levels.
Men are at risk as well. Semen analyses in men with low vitamin D have shown lower motility (movement) of sperm. This can lead to struggling to conceive without assistance. In men with low vitamin D and normal semen analyses, pregnancy rates are lower than in men with normal vitamin D levels.
Ultimately, our goal is to help you get pregnant and have a healthy baby. While vitamin D is clearly important, you don’t want to lose sense of the big picture. Be aware of what you eat and how you live, so you can be as healthy as possible, not just for your baby, but for yourself and your growing future family. Center for Reproductive Health in Spokane, Washington has helped thousands of local families reach their goals of building a family. Free consultations are available for new patients. To make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.