Do you need IVF?
It is a common concern that most of the patients have especially when they have been trying to get pregnant for some time whether it’s time to start proceeding with a fertility test or whether it’s time to proceed with a fertility treatment.
In my opinion, whether a patient needs a fertility treatment (IVF or another treatment) depends on how long you’ve been trying for or the duration of infertility. The other aspects will be if any other risk factors in your clinical assessment that increase the risk of having either male infertility or female fertility.
Based on these two main factors, it depends whether you need a fertility treatment or not.
With regards to the duration how long you’ve been trying to get pregnant: if you are younger than 35, and you’ve been now trying for less than two years then you probably can try naturally for a bit longer. If you’re anxious and want to proceed with a fertility treatment, you can consider simple treatment such as insemination rather than proceeding straight with my IVF. However, if you have been trying for two years and more, then IVF is probably the right treatment for you.
If you are over 35, we understand the implications of the age on the fertility either naturally or following treatment. Therefore, if you’re trying for over a year than it is the time that you should seek further advice. It also depends if you are experiencing any symptoms such as:
- irregular cycles or absence of periods which leads to anovulation
- a history of past Chlamydia Infection
- a history of moderate to severe endometriosis
- you have had an extensive pelvic surgery
- a history of a burst appendix leading to a major surgery
- genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome or Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH)
Then it is likely that you might need fertility treatment even if you’ve been trying to get pregnant less than two years.
On the other hand, if you do have a family history of premature menopause or premature ovarian failure or autoimmune conditions, when this might have been suspected then, in that case, it is important that you seek advice early.
When it comes to assessing your partner is also important to see whether they could be any history related to your partner including:
- medical illnesses
- autoimmune conditions
- any history of infections
- nongonococcal urethritis
- chronic prostatitis
- use of anabolic steroids
- testosterone supplements
These are the factors that can affect male fertility and therefore early advice would be suggested.
In summary, it strongly depends on how long have been trying and what the detailed clinical assessment will suggest. If you think there is a reason to believe that you may have a risk factor for fertility, and you are anxious, you then should seek help early rather than stress yourself thinking about the issue.