We’ve all heard of couples who got pregnant on their first try, but for many of us, it takes time and patience to create a baby. However, patience isn’t always the key to success; at a certain point you might want to seek professional help. This is a short step-by-step of what to expect when you choose to seek treatment for infertility.
When to seek help for infertility
The first question that many people have when they are struggling to conceive is when do I need to seek professional help? The timing in which to move forward with a fertility evaluation varies by female age and medical history of either partner. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), you might want to pursue a fertility evaluation with a reproductive endocrinologist if you:
- Have been trying to naturally conceive for twelve months or more and are under 35 years old (female)
- Have been trying to naturally conceive for six months or more and are 35 years or older (female)
- Are a female over the age of 40 (immediate evaluation)
- Have medical conditions like irregular menstrual cycles, recurrent pregnancy loss, genetic conditions, or endometriosis that would warrant immediate evaluation despite age
In other words, everyone’s fertility journey is a unique story and there is no cookie cutter plan for success.
What to expect
People typically would seek out an infertility specialist that accepts their insurance carrier, but many plans often do not have infertility benefits. At the initial consultation with an infertility specialist, the patient/couple will discuss their medical history and have a physical exam.
The initial physical exam includes a pelvic ultrasound and pelvic exam to assess the uterus and ovaries. The workup often includes hormonal blood work to assess ovarian reserve. The patient will also require an evaluation of the fallopian tubes to confirm that there is no blockage that would prevent the eggs produced by the ovaries from traveling through the tubes for fertilization. It is also recommended for male partners to have a semen analysis to check sperm count and volume.
After all evaluation results have been reviewed by the infertility specialist, they will recommend a treatment plan.
Infertility treatment options
Unfortunately, after all those tests, many people will be told their infertility is considered unexplained, meaning their workup is completely normal. This diagnosis of unexplained infertility is sometimes hard to deal with because patients are looking for concrete answers and they are not there. Other patients have no issue getting pregnant, they just cannot maintain a pregnancy. Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is defined as two or more pregnancy losses.
There could be a multitude of treatment recommendations for unexplained fertility or RPL. Some may opt for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or may move forward with in vitro fertilization (IVF) with or without preimplantation genetic testing-aneuploidy (PGT-A) and/or an endometrial receptivity analysis (ERA test).
When infertility treatments fail
People that are still unsuccessful after numerous treatment cycles may need to navigate other options within the reproductive realm while others may give up on their dreams of building a family. Some couples may be urged to move forward with utilizing donor eggs as a solution in their journey. Others do not want to lose hope with their own eggs and may think outside of the box and research the use of reproductive immunology in their journey.
The Pregmune IRMA report can help patients/couples and their physicians identify immunologic causes for reproductive failure. These immunologic causes are often overlooked. The IRMA report can provide answers and help end the financial burden and emotional distress that the fertility journey may have on people struggling with infertility.
We’re committed to helping people grow their families and helping doctors provide answers and support to their patients. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you think that means we can help you.
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About Pregmune: We’re an innovative reproductive health technology company, built on a solid foundation of data gained from decades of experience and thousands of successful pregnancies. Our team of fertility specialists and scientists are using artificial intelligence to decipher the complexity of the immune system and help patients grow the families of their dreams.
Our first product, IRMA, provides patients and their doctors with a personalized report and evidence-based treatment plan that addresses immunological sources of unexplained infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, and recurrent implantation failure.