When you make the decision to try and conceive, it seems like babies are popping up everywhere you look. While you cautiously count down the days until you can take your first pregnancy test (the dreaded two week wait), all over social media people are celebrating the news of their pregnancy or posting recent photos of their maternity photoshoot. Weeks, months, or years may pass and may bring you to the conclusion that you possibly may be in need of reproductive assistance. Is there a right time to seek treatment?

The definition of infertility is the failure to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. If you are under the age of 35, you may want to try and conceive naturally for at least one year prior to seeking treatment. However as women age the quality of their eggs may decline, leading to chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriage. For this reason, it is recommended that if you are over age 35 and have been trying to conceive for 6 months or longer, you should seek evaluation. Lastly, If you are 40 years or older you seek treatment without delay.

The guidelines listed above don’t take your medical history into consideration. If your history includes any of the following, you may want to see a specialist sooner.

• A history of irregular menstrual cycles
• Previous gynecological surgeries
• Known abnormalities of the reproductive organs
• History of endocrine issues like hypothyroidism or elevated prolactin.
• Abnormal sperm counts
• If you have experienced 2 or more miscarriages

The first place a couple who desires conception may start is with their OB/GYN provider. The OB/GYN may order basic testing and may even start a variety of oral medications to help stimulate ovulation. If you desire a more detailed approach, or if you have a history of any of the above medical issues, you may want to seek the guidance of a fertility specialist also known as reproductive endocrinologist (RE), which is a doctor who specializes in helping uncover and over come issues related to infertility.