Any gynecologist can tell you that a normal fertile married couple has a 25-30% chance of getting pregnant every month. Many people are surprised by that statistic, thinking that the odds are much greater. It can take up to a year to get pregnant so you may not have to be worried if you’re trying to conceive and haven’t yet. Most women should try for at least a year before worrying about their fertility. However, there are certain circumstances that could mean you may want to get your fertility tested to be sure everything is as it should be.
Your medical history can be an indicator that you should have your fertility tested. If you have had an ectopic pregnancy or you have irregular periods, have had miscarriages or have thyroid problems, you should probably test your fertility. Most women over the age of 35 should also be tested if they have trouble getting pregnant.
You may have a condition that is fairly easy to correct, such as failure to ovulate. One or both of your fallopian tubes could be blocked. Women are sometimes infertile because they are producing defective eggs, the egg can’t implant because the uterus is misshapen or they have endometriosis. In the majority of cases where the woman is infertile, there is no known reason for it and many of these women eventually conceive.
There are factors that increase the risk of infertility such as a history of STDs that have caused scarring in the reproductive organs. Other causes include:
- Being overweight or underweight
- Drug and alcohol use
- Environmental toxins or chemicals
- Pesticides at home or at work
- Fibroids or polyps in the cervix and uterus
- Excessive exercising
- Ovarian cysts
- PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)
- Hormonal imbalance
- History of radiation therapy or chemotherapy
Most of these causes can be corrected medically, surgically or with lifestyle changes. Once you’ve eliminated all the elements that you can personally control, such as your weight, smoking, and your environment, you may want to get your fertility tested to find out what the problem might be and how to correct it.
If you’re having intercourse regularly, are under 30, have regular periods and aren’t using birth control, and can’t conceive, you should go to your gynecologist and ask about fertility testing. He or she might test your hormones first to see if they are in balance. It could be that simple and inexpensive hormone therapy could be the solution to your failure to conceive. If there is no obvious reason that you can’t get pregnant, it’s probably time to consider fertility testing for you and your partner.