All those years spent trying to get pregnant and now all of a sudden nothing. So what happens next?
First it is important to understand what a fertility issues is. A couple that fails to conceive after two or three months is NOT usually considered to have fertility issues, so before running off to a specialist understand that a few things are usually required before your doctor will submit a referral to a fertility specialist.
For otherwise healthy couples under 35 a referral is usually not given until 12 months of actively trying to conceive or after three or more miscarriages in a specific amount of time.
For those with previous issues or over the age of 35 many can be referred closer to the 6 month mark.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bring it up to a health care professional sooner if you suspect an issue. This is merely for your own expectation management.
1. Talk to your partner. Treatments come with a significant number of stresses, financial, emotional, physical, and moral. There are questions you may need quick answers for that you never previously considered or just assumed you were in agreement on. Before moving forward with treatments it is important to cover some of the what ifs. A starter list of these topics is available under the New to Infertility tab, questions to ask yourself.
2. Create a list of questions for your medical team.
3. Evaluate your financial situation
4. Review your health insurance. Most insurance companies do not cover fertility treatments or only cover a small portion so to avoid being hit with an unexpected bill learn what is and is not covered.
5. Speak to your health care provider about your situation. Many couples first stop on obtaining a diagnosis of infertility is the OB/GYN. This may seem like a logical first step, and often they can begin the process, but also understand they actual don’t usually specialize in infertility. For that a referral to a specialist is usually required.
6. Find your support team. Depending on the cause of your fertility issue you may be in for a long and emotional ride so assemble your support team. This team can be from close friends or family members or a group of strangers on a website but it will become important to have a way to vent.
7. Inform yourself! Information is key and you are your best advocate. You will need to arm yourself with enough information to know what medical team you are comfortable with and when it is time to move on.
Learn to manage your expectations and your timetables. Once embarking on treatments even the best plans can go out the window so be patient, maintain a sense of humor and embrace the chaos of it all.