These days, infertility is no longer rare. In fact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that “about 12% of women 15–44 years of age in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.” If you have been trying to conceive – meaning having unprotected relations just before and/or during the woman’s ovulation – for at least 12 months (6 months if you are 35 or older), it is recommended to seek fertility assistance. At the same time, if couples are having trouble conceiving and/or holding a healthy pregnancy, they might not know what to expect when seeking medical assistance. Here’s an overview of what you might encounter from an initial infertility screening program.
Note: If you’ve had at least two consecutive pregnancy losses, it’s also a good idea to seek help. In this article, however, we address the inability to conceive, otherwise known as infertility, as opposed to pregnancy loss, which is not infertility per se.
What to Expect from Infertility Testing
About Genetic Testing
While you are being tested for fertility-related causes, you might also consider genetic testing, especially if both partners have a history of genetic disorders. For example, Ashkenazi Jewish people have a higher chance of being Tay-Sachs carriers, people of African or Mediterranean descent are at higher risk of sickle cell anemia.
Genetic carrier testing is done via a simple blood test. Generally speaking the woman is tested first, and if she is a carrier for any of genetic markers, the man is then checked for those same markers. If it turns out both partners are carriers, you can then go through genetic counseling to determine your options regarding offspring.
Life Is In the Details
We understand every couples’ desire to have children, and we recognize that all of the technicalities can be overwhelming. We work with you to try to ensure that all of the appointments, tests, and waiting periods are understood by you, so feel free to communicate any questions you might have along the way. We are here to help you with the process of hopefully having a healthy pregnancy soon.