April 25, 2016

National Infertility Awareness Week

National Infertility Awareness Week

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, we would like to address some of the most common questions we receive at Fertility Centers of New England:

1. How long should a couple try on their own before meeting with a fertility specialist?

For women under 35 years of age, it is reasonable for a couple to try on their own with regular unprotected intercourse for 12 months. If they have not successfully conceived in that time, we would recommend that they schedule a consultation to begin some fertility testing. For women over 35 years of age, they should schedule a consultation after 6 months of trying to conceive. If a woman has irregular periods or there is any reason to suspect an underlying fertility issue, we recommend that the couple seek care sooner.

2. What is the best way to time intercourse?

We generally recommend that a couple have intercourse, on average, every other day during their fertile window. The fertile window is typically defined as the 6 days leading up to ovulation. Ovulation can be detected using over-the-counter ovulation predictor kits.

3. At what age should a woman be concerned about her fertility?

All women experience a decline in their fertility and ovarian function over time.  It is not fair, but as women, our pool of eggs actually peaks when we are fetuses and begins to decline before we are even born! The speed at which the pool of eggs shrinks is different for every woman. Prior to age 35, most women are still quite fertile. After the age of 35, fertility rates decline and miscarriage rates increase. After the age of 40, this decline in fertility occurs at a much more rapid pace. After the age of 43, a woman has a <5% chance of conceiving a healthy pregnancy with her own eggs. Many women do have healthy, successful pregnancies in their mid- to late- 40s with the help of donated eggs, however.

4. If I am not currently in a relationship, is there anything I can do to preserve my fertility?

Absolutely! Women who are not ready to conceive but would like to preserve their fertility for the future now have the option of freezing their eggs. We are very proud of our egg freezing success at Fertility Centers of New England. We have been freezing eggs since 2008 with excellent subsequent pregnancy rates. At $5000 per cycle, we offer the most cost-competitive program in New England. For more information about fertility preservation or fertility in general, please contact us today!

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Beth Plante, M.D.

Beth Plante, M.D. Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility