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When is it time to see a fertility specialist?


Visits to fertility specialists have been covered humorously by TV sitcoms, but in reality, such an event is far from funny. Being prepared for the experience will help make it less daunting.
Visits to fertility specialists have been covered humorously by TV sitcoms, but in reality, such an event is far from funny. Being prepared for the experience will help make it less daunting.
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You might be an ambitious person who has achieved every dream you ever sought. But when it comes to pregnancy, it seems that this precious goal is one that's just out of your reach. And despite much persistence and patience, you're disappointed each month. If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, it may be time for you and your partner to see a fertility specialist -- even if you're both otherwise healthy [source Mayo Clinic].

There can be a number of reasons behind infertility -- such as advancing age in either or both partners, low sperm motility or polycystic ovary disease -- but most don't mean that you can't conceive, just that conception may be more challenging. Fertility problems are no more common in women than men, so it's important that you and your partner see a specialist together.

Men can improve their fertility by quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake and avoiding saunas, hot tubs and hot baths [source: WebMD]. Women can do so by ensuring they aren't overweight or underweight. If you're a woman whose body mass index (BMI) is above normal, it can take you twice as long to get pregnant as someone of normal weight [source: WebMD]. It is also worth noting that some methods of birth control, such as those using progesterone injections, can delay fertility for six months to a year [source: American Baby].

If you've taken all necessary precautions and still can't conceive, make an appointment as soon as possible. On the next page, we tell you what you can expect during your visit.


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