When Trying Isn’t Working: Five Steps to Take When Infertility May Be An Issue
by Genoveva N. Prisacaru, M.D., FACOG
For couples who have decided it’s time to have a baby, seeing month after month go by without results can be an increasingly frustrating, heartbreaking experience.
Even before an infertility diagnosis (six-12 months of trying without results*), many begin to worry that something’s wrong, and whether there’s anything they can do about it. And the pressure the “biological clock” can add is real; especially for women over 30, fertility declines with every passing month.
It can be a stressful time, full of uncertainty. Here are five practical steps that can help, even before an infertility diagnosis:
1. Get healthy. Good health matters. Obesity and smoking are major contributors to infertility. Conversely, good nutrition and exercise not only increase your chances of conception, they support a healthy pregnancy as well.
2. Get smart. Brush up on your reproduction basics. Timing is critical. Women are most fertile during and just before ovulation. Learn how to pinpoint those days. And guys, fertility issues are as likely on your end as hers. It may be time for boxers. Study up.
3. Get close. Infertility can put a huge strain on a relationship. Sex can become a chore where it once was fun. Remember, now more than ever, it takes two. Keep the lines of communication open and keep your focus on what makes your relationship great.
4. Get going. In addition to steps 1, 2 and 3, try an at-home conception aid. The Stork® OTC is a good choice. It’s FDA-cleared for home use without a prescription and utilizes cervical cap insemination, which studies show has a success rate of 10-20%, similar to IUI.
5. Get advice. It’s never too early to consult a healthcare provider to discuss any of the steps above, whether it’s time to start diagnostic testing, or other details specific to your situation.
The journey to conception is an important one. The good news is that couples today have many resources they can draw upon to enhance their fertility and turn their dream of parenthood into reality.
*Infertility is diagnosed after 12 months of unprotected intercourse without pregnancy in women under 35, and after six months for women 35 and older.
Genoveva N. Prisacaru, M.D., FACOG, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Her practice, Seven Hills Women’s Health, serves South Austin, TX, and the surrounding area and is one of only two Ob/Gyn offices in Texas awarded with SCOPE certification (Safety Certification for Outpatient Practice Excellence) by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. www.sevenhillswomen.com.