You should visit your doctor sooner if:
Fertility testing and investigation can be a lengthy process, and female fertility decreases with age, so it is best to make an appointment early on.
Your doctor will be able to advise about what to do next, and carry out an initial assessment to investigate things that may be causing your fertility problems.
It is always best for both partners to visit their doctor, because fertility problems can affect a man or a woman, and sometimes both partners.
The process of trying to conceive can be an emotional one, so it is important to support each other as much as possible. Stress is just one of the things that can affect fertility.
When you visit your doctor, they will want to discuss your full medical, sexual and social history. This will help them identify what may be causing fertility problems.
Fertility in women declines with age, and your doctor can discuss this with you.
If you are a woman, your doctor will want to discuss any previous births and any related complications with your pregnancy. They will also ask about any miscarriages you may have had.
If you are a man, you will be asked whether you have had any children from previous relationships.
Your doctor will ask how long you have been trying to conceive. A study has found that couples having regular unprotected sex:
If you are young and healthy, and you have not been trying for a baby for very long, you may be advised to keep trying for a little longer.
You will be asked how often you have sex, and whether you have any difficulties during sex. You may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about discussing your sex life with your doctor. However, it is very important to be open and honest. If the fertility problem is to do with sex, it might be overcome easily.
You will be asked about the type of contraception you previously used, and when you stopped using it. It can sometimes take a while for certain types of contraception to stop working, and this may be affecting your fertility.
Your doctor will want to discuss any medical conditions you have, or have had in the past, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are a woman, your doctor may ask how regular your periods are and whether you experience any bleeding between periods or after sex.
The side effects of some medications can affect your fertility. Your doctor will look at any medication you are taking, and might discuss alternative treatments with you. You should mention any non-prescription medication you are taking, including herbal medicines.
Several lifestyle factors can affect your fertility. Your doctor will want to know:
They may recommend changes to your lifestyle to increase your chances of conceiving. Read More About: Preventing Infertility.
After taking a medical, sexual and social history, your GP may carry out a physical examination, or refer you for tests.
During a physical examination, your doctor may:
After your medical history and physical examination have been considered, you may be referred to a specialist infertility team at an NHS hospital or fertility clinic for further tests and procedures. These are outlined below.
For women, a number of tests can be used to try and establish the cause of infertility.
A sample of your blood can be tested for a hormone called progesterone, to check whether you are ovulating. The timing of the test is based on how regular your periods are.
If you have irregular periods, you will be offered a test to measure hormones called gonadotrophins, which stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs.
Your ovaries may be tested before you are offered fertility drugs. This may be either a blood test to measure certain hormones or an ultrasound scan to examine the follicles in your ovaries.
Chlamydia is an STI that can affect fertility. A swab (similar to a cotton bud, but smaller, soft and rounded) is used to collect some cells from your cervix to test for chlamydia. If you have chlamydia, you will be prescribed antibiotics to treat it.
A hysterosalpingogram is a type of X-ray taken of your womb (uterus) and fallopian tubes after a special dye has been injected. This will outline the cavity of your womb and detect any blockage of the fallopian tubes.
A hysterosalpingo-contrast-ultrasonography is a type of ultrasound scan. A small amount of fluid will be injected into your womb through a tube that is put into your cervix (the womb opening). Ultrasound is used to confirm whether this fluid spills through the tubes.
A laparoscopy involves making a small cut in your lower tummy (abdomen). A thin, tubular telescope called a laparoscope will be used to look more closely at your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Dye may be injected into your fallopian tubes through your cervix to highlight any blockages in them.
A laparoscopy is usually only used if there is a strong chance that you have a problem – for example, if you have had an episode of PID in the past.
During a physical examination, your doctor may check:
Further testing may include:
If you do have chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat it.
Read More ON:
Causes of Infertility
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
Diagnosing Ectopic Pregnancy
Treating Ectopic Pregnancy
Symptoms of Miscarriage
Causes of Miscarriage
What Happens if you Have a Miscarriage
Symptoms of Menopause
Sex After Menopause
Female Sexual Problems
Hormone Replacements Therapy
Source: NHS UK