Be informed, and seek treatment sooner rather than later
If you’re one of the 9 million women and 2 million men affected by infertility, you know that diagnosis and treatment can be a long, difficult process. Keeping yourself informed can make all the difference and bring you one step closer to a positive outcome.
In The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Infertility, Tommaso Falcone, Chairman of the OB/GYN & Women’s Health Institute at Cleveland Clinic and one of the world’s foremost authorities on infertility issues, provides new hope for overcoming these problems.
Here’s what he writes about beginning the treatment process:
The initial consultation with an infertility specialist is your first step. Generally speaking you should schedule a consultation for infertility if there has been no conception after one year of unprotected intercourse.
Evaluations should occur before one year if there are obvious problems, such as:
- An abnormal menstrual cycle with menstruation occurring infrequently or too frequently
- A history of sexually transmitted disease
- If the woman has had surgery on the reproductive tract or undergone a treatment that may affect the reproductive tract
- Advanced reproductive age
A few words about age: If you are a woman in your mid-30s who wants to try having children, you should not wait even a year before seeking a fertility evaluation.
In general terms, at about age 37 or 38, a woman’s opportunity to conceive and to have a full-term successful pregnancy begins to diminish quickly and dramatically. What we might have been able to treat at a younger age with drug therapy or a basic surgical procedure now might require a much more exotic and expensive approach. And the odds of achieving your goal are reduced the older you become, regardless of the process.
Excerpted from The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Infertility by Tommaso Falcone, MD, by permission of Kaplan Publishing. Available wherever books are sold.
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