Having kids can be an amazing experience. It’s something you can’t quite understand until you’re blessed with the opportunity to hold your very own child in your arms.
This is something so many of us want. Sadly, many couples have difficulty conceiving children. A fertility specialist can help in a variety of ways and can help you understand different options. Depending on individual circumstances, options might include egg donation or in vitro fertilization. There are a number of factors at play when it comes to conceiving a child. When should you see a fertility specialist?
The general belief is that if a couple has been trying for a year without conception, then it’s a good idea to seek a specialist. However, that belief isn’t accurate for everyone, and it doesn’t take into account things like
· your age
· your partner’s age
· health factors
· any birth control methods you have used prior to trying
· family medical history
These are just a few of the things that play into conceiving a child, but they don't necessarily rule out the possibility.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that a couple over the age of 35 that has been trying to conceive for more than six months should see a fertility specialist. As both partners age it becomes increasingly more difficult to conceive children.
If you or your spouse already has a known preexisting condition, you shouldn’t wait to see a fertility specialist. Consult your family doctor and s/he should refer you to a specialist.
Some criteria for immediate referral to a specialist include:
· Blocked fallopian tubes at any age
· Moderate to severe endometriosis at any age
· Ovulation problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome
· Abnormal ovarian reserve tests
· Significant male factor infertility
Still, keep in mind that conceiving a child isn’t ruled out unless your fertility specialist has tried everything and given the final word. Even if you aren’t able to conceive, there are still options for having children.
In cases where conception is impossible or could lead to complications, couples may inquire about seeking a surrogate. There are generally two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate undergoes artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization using sperm from the male or from a donor. Traditional surrogates provide the eggs themselves.
Gestational surrogacy uses an egg and sperm from the intended parents or any combination of donated eggs, sperm, and embryos. The main draw to this method is that the child is not genetically related to the surrogate, whom acts only as a gestational carrier for the pregnancy.
It’s important to openly discuss all options with your fertility specialist, who will have a keen understanding of your particular circumstances and will be able to offer the best advice.