More than 7.3 million Americans are infertile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you and your partner have had difficulties getting pregnant for a specific length of time, and/or you meet other criteria, your doctor may recommend that you be evaluated for infertility. Here, we give you general guidelines for who should be evaluated, and we tell you what to expect at your initial infertility consultation. We'll also offer detailed information on how infertility testing differs for men and women.
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More than 7.3 million Americans are infertile. In many cases, an ob-gyn or family physician will recommend that a couple seek an infertility evaluation if:
- They've been having regular, unprotected intercourse for one year (or six months if the female partner is over 35) and they're still not pregnant.
- The woman has had irregular or painful periods, a history of abdominal or pelvic surgery or miscarriage, or exposure to DES (diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic hormone taken by women prior to 1971).
- The man has a history of low sperm count, poor motility (the sperm doesn't swim or move quickly), or abnormal morphology (the shape of his sperm cells are irregular).
If you or your partner fall into one of these categories, or if you've been recommended for further testing, here's what you can expect.