Trying to get pregnant can be an exciting yet stressful time. With each passing month of unsuccessfully trying to conceive (TTC), the disappointment grows. At what point should you worry and seek medical help?
The first few months feel full of hope and possibility. But as the months tick by, tracking ovulation and timed sex give way to anxiety and frustration. Google searches increase and life becomes consumed by TTC. When do you call in the professionals?
Experts recommend consulting a doctor if you haven’t conceived after 1 year of trying. If you’re over 35, seek help after 6 months of unsuccessful attempts.
Seeking help earlier is advised if you have:
- History of fertility issues
- Irregular or absent periods
- Previous pregnancy loss
- Endometriosis or PCOS symptoms
- Cancer treatment history
- Age-related ovarian decline concerns
- Male fertility problems
Note these don’t preclude conception, but may require additional assistance.
The Struggle to Seek Help
Despite guidelines, seeking fertility help is difficult emotionally and psychologically.
Going to a doctor conflicts with the expectation that getting pregnant should be easy. We resent needing assistance with what’s “natural”.
Asking for help also requires vulnerability. Admitting we need fertility treatment means relinquishing control over TTC.
The fear that testing may uncover problems leads many to avoid help. But identifying issues early can improve chances rather than waiting.
Doctors dismissing concerns as overreaction further dissuades couples. But being your own advocate is vital to getting the right care.
The decision to seek treatment is complex. Examining the pros and cons provides clarity.
Potential Benefits of Seeking Fertility Care
Provides Answers and Direction
Testing gives insight into why you’re not pregnant. Your doctor can then offer appropriate solutions.
Empowers You to Take Action
Fertility treatment gives you steps to take instead of feeling helpless. Knowledge gives you control.
Saves Time if There Are Issues
Identifying problems like blocked tubes or low sperm count early allows faster treatment instead of months of fruitless tries.
Fertility assessment can also confirm things look fine, giving peace of mind.
Drawbacks of Seeking Fertility Help
A dismissive or inadequate doctor can increase anxiety instead of helping. Finding an empathetic specialist is key.
No Answers Can Be Discouraging
If testing finds no cause, unexplained infertility can leave you feeling lost. But treatment options still exist.
Earlier Isn’t Always Better
Rushing to treat issues may seem wasteful if conception happens naturally later. But delaying can cause more stress.
Finding the Right Fertility Specialist
A doctor who rushes, dismisses concerns, or lacks answers may do more harm than good. Look for one who:
- Explains thoroughly and answers questions
- Takes your concerns seriously
- Outlines next steps clearly
Don’t settle for inadequate care. Seek a second opinion and find the right fit.
Coping With Emotions When Seeking Fertility Help
Seeking fertility treatment means facing a complex mix of emotions. From disappointment and grief to hope and empowerment, it’s normal to experience:
Admitting you need help conceiving involves grieving the loss of how you imagined pregnancy would happen naturally and easily. Allow yourself to fully process this sadness.
Frustration at your body for not cooperating as it should is normal. Anger at others conceiving quickly is also expected. Don’t suppress it.
Envy or Resentment
It’s natural to feel envious seeing pregnancy announcements from family or friends. Be honest if others’ joy triggers resentment.
Guilt and Self-Blame
Women especially tend to blame themselves and feel guilt over infertility. But it takes two to conceive – don’t bear the burden alone.
When TTC fails repeatedly, it’s easy to feel broken or defective. But there are solutions – you are not inadequate.
As months pass without success, depression can result. Monitor mood changes and seek support if needed.
Grieving the idea of conceiving without assistance is normal. Acknowledge this loss before moving forward.
Only those experiencing it can fully understand the struggle. Isolation when others don’t “get it” is very real. Share openly.
Along with the array of difficult emotions, hope will emerge too. Treatment means new possibilities.
Seeking solutions can create a welcome sense of control when TTC feels hopeless. Testing empowers.
Fertility treatment comes loaded with complex emotions. From desolation to optimism, upheaval to mastery, it’s a rollercoaster. Acknowledging and working through this emotional turbulence will enable you to pursue treatment healthily. Don’t suppress difficult feelings, but focus on the possibility ahead.
When to Take the First Step
There’s no universally perfect time to seek fertility help. The guidelines are a starting point, but you must decide what feels right for you. Don’t obsess over “what ifs”. Make the best choice with the information you have today. If treatment aids conception sooner, great. But don’t regret trying “too soon” or waiting too long – hindsight is 20/20. Trust your instincts.
Starting some basic testing isn’t jumping straight to IVF. Work with your doctor to determine the most appropriate steps. TTC struggles don’t mean you’re completely without options.
The key is acting sooner than later if you feel time is slipping by. Don’t endure the stress alone – seek assistance. There’s no shame in asking for help. Take back control with the power of knowledge and support.