Infertility and TTC: When to see a specialist

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:29 p.m. ET

Making a baby can take a little more time than we might expect, so when do we know when it's time to seek help from a specialist? Obstetrician/Gynecologist Mark Kan explains.

Your question
How long should you try to conceive before seeking help from a fertility specialist? Ob/Gyn Mark Kan, MD, answers
The classic definition of infertility is unprotected intercourse without conception over a 12-month period. This may apply to some patients but it does not apply to all. Because there is an age-related decline in fertility, women in their late 30s or older should seek counseling and treatment in a shorter time frame.

In addition, women with known risk factors of infertility (i.e., pelvic inflammatory disease, ovulation disorders, etc.) should seek treatment as soon as possible. A reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) specialist is an Ob/Gyn physician who has completed additional training in infertility treatment and endocrinology. REI physicians can help you make the best decisions regarding your fertility options.

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