Eighty-five percent of couples between 20 and 40 years of age will conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. If you’re under 35 years of age, you should seek the care of a reproductive endocrinologist (REI) after one year of trying to conceive. Given the significant impact of age on fertility potential, it’s recommended that you consult a physician after six months of trying if you’re over 35 years of age.
Your first visit with a fertility specialist (REI) involves completing a thorough assessment of your and your partner’s health history, a physical exam, and additional testing to help your physician determine the potential causes of your inability to conceive. An assessment of all needed factors to establish a healthy pregnancy allows your physician to make recommendations on the best treatment options for you.
While vitro fertil-ization (IVF) provides the best chances of pregnancy per cycle, there are other options. A procedure such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a less invasive and less expensive treatment that can help you achieve a pregnancy in certain situations.
Besides specific fertility-enhancing options such as IUI and IVF, your fertility specialist is also trained to maximize your health prior to conception and to assist with recurrent miscarriages or cases where one or both partners carry genetic conditions.
Ask your family doctor for a referral if you’re interested in seeking the help of a fertility specialist. The visits and most initial testing are covered by OHIP.