Worried about fertility? What should you do?

Many people experiencing fertility issues don’t know where to turn. We have some advise for those seeking help.

Most people don’t think about their fertility until, well, they do. And, the truth is for most people, there is no easy way to check your fertility, until you try to have a child.

Here are first steps for those who may be experiencing fertility issues.

First, what is normal? This depends on your age. For most, the diagnosis is given for couples attempting to conceive for at least 1 year without success. For older women, the time may be as short as 6 months.

Since most couples (about 80%) will succeed after a year of regular (two to three times a week) unprotected sex, you may have to wait until you’ve been trying this long before you’re referred for tests.

Your first step is to visit your family doctor. If you meet the above criteria, your doctor can refer you for many tests, many of which are paid for by our provincial health care insurance.

However, there will be more they can do for you if you meet these criteria: Are a woman aged 36 or over, have any reason to be concerned about your fertility which might include previous sexually transmitted infections or cancer treatment.

Our advice is to visit your family doctor sooner rather than later.

Your doctor may ask you many questions including how much sex you have, previous contraception methods and how long you’ve been off them, whether you have any difficulties during sex, how regular your periods are, any other medical history or medication you’re on, lifestyle factors like your weight, stress levels, drug and alcohol consumption, and whether you smoke.

Your doctor may also order physical examinations including pelvic, penile, or testicular examination. From there, if no diagnosis can be made, you will be referred for further tests.

You may also book a consultation with a fertility clinic. They can order tests, and provide a treatment plan.

We suggest scheduling an appointment with your natural health care provider; a traditional Chinese practitioner or naturopathic doctor can provide a different, insightful viewpoint. The treatments they provide work with medical doctor’s treatments, all to your benefit.

Last, ensure you have a good support system to assist you. This may include your spouse, friends, family, or (online) support groups.

Our acupuncture and TCM treatments help treat an array of fertility and non-fertility related matters.

Male FertilityJonah Arnold