Couple should see doctor after 2 years trying for baby

Q. My husband and I have been together since college and have been trying to have a baby for more than two years. He is 32 and I’m 27. Although we are young, when should we consider consulting a board-certified fertility specialist?

  Infertility affects 6.1 million couples, about 10 percent of the reproductive age population. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that affects males and females almost in equal proportions. Advancing female age is definitely a factor in reproduction these days as women complete their education, find that special person and then establish their careers. Since you are both relatively young (under 35), this should not be a major concern at this time.

  It is important to gain some perspective regarding how long it should take to become pregnant. A young healthy couple can expect to have a 25 percent to 30 percent pregnancy rate per ovulatory month. This translates to a 57 percent pregnancy rate after three months, 72 percent after six months, 85 percent after one year and 93 percent after two years of actively trying to achieve a pregnancy. The definition of infertility is not having achieved a pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse. Based on this information, it is reasonable for you as a couple to seek professional consultation with your doctor or a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at this time.

Q. What about the use of lubricants when making love?

  Regarding lubricants, couples need to be cautioned that K-Y Jelly, Surgilube and petroleum-based products have been reported to inhibit sperm movement and may interfere with getting pregnant. If lubrication is desired, then couples may consider using vegetable oil or glycerin that can be found in your local grocery store and pharmacy.

Q. What are the chances of getting pregnant if there are infertility issues?

  Recent improvements in medications, microsurgery, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and associated advanced reproductive techniques make pregnancy possible for more than half of the couples pursuing fertility treatment.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 4, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD