long should it take to get pregnant?
How do I find a good Obstetrician/Gynecologist
Should I visit my Ob/Gyn on my own?
What information will I need to give my OB/Gyn?
I've been going to the same Ob/Gyn for a long time
and I'm still not getting pregnant. What should I do?
What drugs can I take to improve my chances of
What factors can affect my ability to get pregnant?
Could I or my partner be infertile?
What options are open to me if I am diagnosed with
an infertility problem?
should it take to get pregnant?
There is no "right answer
to this question. If, after a year of trying, a couple has
not conceived, a basic infertility evaluation may be started.
In situations where the female partner is over 30 or has a
medical history or irregular periods, pelvic infections, surgery,
pregnancy losses or DES (diethylstilbestrol) exposure, an
infertility examination should start earlier. "Too long"
for most couples can also be when one or both of you reach
a point of frustration that makes the joy of trying to conceive
become a chore or emotionally testing. For most women, conception
is possible up to your early or mid-forties. You may also
have read true stories about older women conceiving. There
is really no age limit for men. The real answer to this question
is in your hands, supported by your Ob/Gyn.
How do I
find a good Ob/Gyn?
There are several different
ways but you're likely to be most comfortable with a referral
from a friend or a family member. A visit to the gynecologist
is a very personal thing and you want to be comfortable with
your doctor. Are you comfortable with a doctor of either gender
or would you really prefer a female? What times of day will
you need to visit? Are you the type of person who is comfortable
being very open about sexual and reproductive matters or would
you rather the doctor were more discrete? Are your religious
beliefs a major factor in determining your reproductive health?
If you are new to an area and don't know anyone well enough
to ask, look up Medical Practitioners/Gynecologists in the
yellow pages or ask your regular physician. Feel free to join
our organization where many members will be able to help you.
Most important, if you're having trouble conceiving, find
an Ob/Gyn and start there.
visit my Ob/Gyn on my own?
At RESOLVE, we recognize that
both couples and single people seek the joys of parenthood.
If you can, we recommend you involve your partner in all of
your efforts to become a parent. Especially if you are new
to an area or just beginning your journey with an Ob/Gyn,
a partner's comforting presence at your appointment can be
a great help - most Ob/Gyn's welcome both partners to office
visits. If your partner can't make it, a friend or family
member you are close to can be supportive too. Of course,
you may prefer to be alone.
will I need to give my OB/Gyn?
Apart from the normal personal
information you'd give your doctor, you'll need to be ready
with the following:
" Normal menstrual cycle and recent history,
" How long you've been trying to get pregnant,
" Reproductive history,
" Your own and your immediate family's medical history
(special attention will be paid to previous surgery, infections,
chronic illness and hospitalization),
" Lifestyle information about smoking, alcohol intake,
medications, exposure to environmental or occupational toxins,
" Things you and your partner have tried to resolve your
difficulty in conceiving,
" Details of previous infertility tests from other care
going to the same Ob/Gyn. for a long time and I'm still not
getting pregnant. What should I do?
If you have been visiting regularly
and have been following your Ob/Gyn's advice and instructions
and you and your partner feel you're not making progress,
first you may want to discuss your opinions and feelings with
your Ob/Gyn. It's important that your doctor understands your
expectations and needs and aligns them with his or her treatment:
it's important to know that your expectations are realistic.
If your doctor does not recommend additional treatment, he
or she will explain their reasons. If you feel these explanations
are not satisfactory, you are within your rights to change
doctors or to approach an infertility clinic that specializes
in improving your chances of getting pregnant. Your doctor
may have you try some preliminary tests like ovulation monitoring,
blood work etc. On the other hand, your doctor may give you
the "don't worry, you're young and healthy" or "just
relax" message. Either of these messages is less than
ideal. The attitude and expertise of an infertility specialist
can make the difference between years of infertility and early
You may wish to consider joining one of our support groups
where other members can share their experiences and help you
to deal with decisions like this.
What drugs can I take to improve my chances
of getting pregnant?
There are many drugs that can
help you conceive. Your physician or Ob/Gyn will be able to
determine which drugs are right for your situation and which
ones work together to improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
RESOLVE does not recommend specific drugs or drug treatments
nor do we provide original information about drugs or drug
therapies. There are some concerns about some drug treatments
increasing your chances of multiple births. You should discuss
this with your physician if you have concerns. You may want
to take a look at an article in the July 2000 issue of the
New England Journal of Medicine that addresses this issue.
RESOLVE of Greater Los Angeles provides an excellent summary
and some conclusions from the article. You can reach a summary
of the article from the the Greater
LA site but to read the whole study, you need to order it
or subscribe to the NEJM.
For further information order
the following Fact Sheets from RESOLVE National:
Infertility as a chronic illness and post traumatic stress
Sex, Marriage and Infertility
Coping with the stress of Infertility
Selecting an Infertility Physician
Hyperprolactinemia (Bromocriptine, Parlodel): Prolactin
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid, Serophene)
DES: Its Impact on Infertility
GnRH Agonists (e.g. Lupron, Synarel): Role in
Superovulatory Drugs: hMG, hCG, and FSH
The impact of environmental factors, body weight and exercise
The role of infections in infertility and pregnancy loss
The Basic Infertility Evaluation
can affect my ability to get pregnant?
Stress, diet, lifestyle, environment,
relationship issues and spirituality can all affect your ability
to get pregnant, either positively or negatively. There are
also many fact sheets that can be purchased for a minimal
fee that provide you with guidance on questions to ask yourself
about all of these issues.
or my partner be infertile?
One in six couples in America
trying to create biological families suffer some form of infertility
problem. These problems can relate to either partner - they
are just as likely to relate to the man as to the woman. Of
couples in the US diagnosed with some type of infertility
problem, 50% have male infertility issues. If you have been
trying for 12 months (or 6 months if you're over 30) to get
pregnant, you should ask your Ob/Gyn for information about
testing. Tests are available for both partners and, in most
cases, testing is advisable for both.