Trying For Baby For More Than Six Months
- Are you struggling to get pregnant, there are few things you can do to improve your fertility.
- If you are more than 35 years of age fertility treatment is a safe option to conceive.
- Healthy lifestyle and preconception supplements can improve your fertility.
Before you actually try to get pregnant, the process seems to straight forward, have sex, and get pregnant. Unfortunately for some couples, getting pregnant is not so simple. You may be doing what most of the other people who are planning for the baby may be doing, but the steps might not be helping. In such cases, you need support and appropriate guidance to achieve the dream of having a baby, worry not we are here to help you get healthy fertility. Learn with us how you can improve your fertility with simple steps, understand when to ask for help, and more.
If you are below 35 years of age and have been trying for more than six months to conceive, you can still try for a few more months before seeking help from a fertility expert. As per medical experts, women below 35 years of age can try for natural pregnancy for one year before going for fertility treatment. Whereas, if you are more than 35 years of age, you should seek help from a fertility expert as soon as possible. Nevertheless, there are certain things that you can do, which can improve your chances of natural pregnancy considerably.
You might be aware that there are various lifestyle and other factors which can affect your chances of pregnancy. Age is one of the most important factors that influence your chances of pregnancy. As women get older, the probability of natural pregnancy declines. You can read here how age affects your chances of pregnancy. Apart from the age factor, other lifestyle factors like dietary habits, body weight, and frequency and timing of sex also affect your chances of pregnancy.
But the good news is most of these factors can be easily managed and tweaked with the proper guidance of medical experts in your favour. To know your fertility score and get a personalized recommendation on how to improve your fertility - Take our "Fertility Assessment" test here. Additionally, you can also boost your fertile health with fertility boosting supplements like our "Balance For Women" fertility booster. With a unique combination of five fertility boosting ingredients: Myo-inositol, CoEnzyme Q10, NAC, Folate, and Ashwagandha - "Balance for Women" provides your body what it needs most to achieve pregnancy and support a healthy early pregnancy.
Apart from the lifestyle changes and adding fertility-boosting supplements to improve your egg "health" and sperm health of your male partner ( try our "Vitality supplement" for men), it is always a good idea to see a fertility expert. Let's try to understand how seeking help from a fertility expert will help you achieve pregnancy.
In this article
First Appointment with Fertility Expert
During your first consultation, the fertility expert will try to understand your issues with the help of detailed medical and personal history. The doctor will also recommend a few tests for you and your partner to access your fertile health, understand the cause of pregnancy delay, and devise the best treatment plan suitable to you. Let's now try to understand what all tests you and your partner will be undergoing for baseline fertility assessment.
During your initial appointment, the fertility expert will try to understand if you are having any hormonal issues, which might be causing menstrual delay or absence of menstruations. Menstruation is a bodily activity of reproductive age women, which happens regularly to release eggs from the ovary (ovulation) every month. If the woman's egg gets fertilized with the sperm and attaches itself to the uterus lining to grow, pregnancy is confirmed. If the egg is not able to meet the sperm, your periods will start. You can read more about menstrual irregularities here.
Hormones like progesterone and estrogen play a vital role in maintaining your menstrual health and regulating ovulation. However, certain medical conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome and thyroid malfunction can off through your hormonal balance and cause menstrual irregularities causing the delay in your pregnancy.
Apart from hormonal imbalance, the doctor will also check for other medical issues like endometriosis (a condition where usual uterine lining - endometrium grows out of the uterus) and blocked fallopian tubes that can negatively impact your chances of pregnancy. The doctor will also check the medical and reproductive health of your partner. The fertility expert will also recommend some tests to both of you based on your initial assessment. Let's now learn the various tests your doctor might recommend you during your fertility visit.
Female Fertility Test
As discussed earlier, the fertility expert will recommend some tests along with a transvaginal ultrasound scan before suggesting any fertility treatment. The ultrasound scans help the doctor to evaluate the uterine lining and uterus abnormalities. Other tests that your doctor may recommend are-
1) Anti Mullerian Hormone Test - Measuring anti-mullerian hormone level in your blood provides an estimate of your ovarian reserve. If you are undergoing IVF, your doctor will also suggest an AMH test during the IVF cycle to check how well you are responding to ovarian stimulation drugs for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
2) FSH and LH test - The doctor will recommend a combination of FSH and LH test to learn if your ovaries are working accurately and you are ovulating.
3) Antral Follicle Count - Before suggesting any specific treatment, your doctor will check your antral follicle count (AFC) on day 2,3 or 4 of your menstrual cycle. These follicles are the structure that contains the eggs. With the help of a total AFC count, the doctor can predict your response for the IVF cycle. Your doctor may recommend an AMH test, FSH test, and antral follicle count test together as it gives a better understanding of your ovarian reserve.
4) Tests to check thyroid functions - Your doctor will also recommend a free thyroxine test and thyroid-stimulating hormone test to check the functioning of your thyroid gland. The thyroid gland releases hormones that help in regulating menstrual health. Too much or too little of these hormones can cause menstrual irregularities.
5) Hysterosalpingography - It is an X-ray procedure with the use of contrast dye to check the health of your fallopian tube. The test will show if you have any blocked fallopian tubes.
Male Fertility Test
The fertility doctor will recommend a semen analysis test for the men. During the semen analysis test, the doctor will look at the sperm count (sperm per ml of semen), sperm motility, and morphology (how efficient is sperm movement and the shape/size of sperm) along with PH levels, presence of immature sperms and blood cells (if any). If the semen analysis test results are abnormal, your fertility doctor will likely suggest hormonal tests to understand the testosterone level.
In short, the doctor will try to identify if there are any problems with male fertility, which may be causing your delay in pregnancy.
The Next Step
If all your tests come out negative, and fertility expert thinks that your reproductive health is good. He may recommend some lifestyle changes, fertility-boosting supplements, and fertility drugs to help you ovulate. The doctor will also help you understand about your fertile days and ovulation cycle to help you conceive naturally. Whereas if your test results are showing any medical issues with you or your partner, that might be preventing you from getting pregnant. Your doctor may recommend some artificial reproductive technologies like IVF and IUI to help you conceive. In the case of IUI treatment, the male sperms are manually injected in the female uterus near to the fallopian tube, so that the sperms have to travel less, this increases the chances of successful fertilization considerably.
Even though IUI increases your chances of conception, it is still less than the chances of conception with IVF. In cases like blocked fallopian tubes, extremely low sperm motility, etc. the fertility expert will recommend IVF treatment. During IVF treatment, the egg and sperms are retrieved and fertilized in a laboratory. After fertilization on day three or day five, the embryo will be implanted in your womb to grow to full term.
If you are still confused about how to start your journey towards a healthy pregnancy talk to our care team @ 636-636-3030 and we will guide you at every step.
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List of ReferencesHide
Vollenhoven B, Hunt S. “Ovarian ageing and the impact on female fertility”. F1000Res. 2018 Nov 22;7:F1000 Faculty Rev-1835. PMID: 30542611.
Critchley HOD, Maybin JA, et al. “Physiology of the Endometrium and Regulation of Menstruation”. Physiol Rev. 2020 Jul 1;100(3):1149-1179. PMID: 32031903.
Joham AE, Palomba S, Hart R.”Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Obesity, and Pregnancy”. Semin Reprod Med. 2016 Mar;34(2):93-101.PMID: 26854709.
Broer SL, Broekmans FJ et al.”Anti-Müllerian hormone: ovarian reserve testing and its potential clinical implications”.Hum Reprod Update. 2014 Sep-Oct;20(5):688-701.PMID: 24821925.
Last updated on: : 06 Nov 2020