To help patients trying to conceive, our new occasional blog series explains the basics of infertility and infertility treatment, such as IVF. We hope this series is informative for you as you navigate your personal fertility journey.
Starting the Journey
How do you know when it is time to seek treatment for infertility, and when it is time to try IVF? The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) defines infertility as "not becoming pregnant after one year of unprotected sex at the right time of the month."
If this is your experience, it is time to see a fertility doctor to diagnose the cause of your infertility and to consider treatment options. If you are age 35 or older, have risk factors or concerns about your fertility, then you should see a fertility doctor at any time without feeling like you have to wait 12 months.
Depending on the cause of infertility, treatment options can range from the simple to the more technically complex. To understand the causes of infertility, let’s quickly review the basics:
If you use an ovulation kit, the urine dipstick checks whether LH has been released. That’s how you know that you will be ovulating within 24 to 36 hours.
Why is this window the best time to conceive? The egg is at its best for fertilization then. After ovulation, the mature egg is carried into one of the fallopian tubes where it can be fertilized if sperm are present. If fertilized, the egg can develop into an embryo, which may implant in the uterus to start a pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilized, or the embryo does not implant, the uterine lining is shed as menstrual blood.