How Long Should You Wait to See a Doctor if You’re Struggling to Get Pregnant?

So often I see patients in the office that have been trying to conceive or are planning on getting pregnant.  This is a great question and it all depends on the age of the patient.  If we look at a young woman under the age of 30, they have a 20 % chance of conceiving with each cycle.  Once a lady hits 30, the number drops to 15%.  About 85 percent of women will conceive within the first year.

As women age the natural rate goes down.  We like to use the age of 35 as an important cut off for how long a woman should wait before they should consider seeking medical help.  For women under the age of 35, an appropriate time to wait is 12 months.  For women over the age of 35 we like to wait no longer than 6 months.  As women get older time is of the essence!

Understanding Ovulation

While trying to conceive, women should try to determine when they are ovulating.  Most women will ovulate 14 days prior to the start of their menstrual cycle.  Generally, women who have a 28 day cycle will ovulate on day 14 (day one is the first day of the menstrual period).  If women have a longer cycle, then ovulation will occur later in the month.

Most women will see a change in cervical mucus with an egg white appearance.  Some women will notice a slight pain called Mittelschmerz. If women are taking their temperature each morning before getting out of bed they will see a rise in basal body temperature when they have ovulated.

So When and How Often Should You Have Sex?

Multiple times each day will not give you the best chance.  Sperm can live up to 5 days in the proper environment.  The egg typically can last for only 24 hours.  So, it is best to have sex every other day for five days prior to ovulation. If lubrication is needed then one of the sperm friendly lubricants called Pre Seed can be used.

If you are just starting to conceive don’t get all worked up about it.  Don’t make it into a job.  Studies have shown stress can have a detrimental effect on the ability to conceive.

Stay Positive and Seek Help When Needed

What is more important is to keep a positive attitude and if things don’t work out seek help from your gynecologist or obstetrician. Don’t wait too long – remember 12 months for women under the age of 30 and 6 months for women over the age of 35 is a great measure for seeking help.  If you’re at all concerned, get in to see your doctor!!

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