For some women out there, getting pregnant is as simple as forgetting to take the pill, while others wait for the proverbial stork to come around for a long time. If you are trying to get pregnant but somehow it’s not happening, there are options to help make it happen.
One of the first things you should do is to see a fertility specialist, who is also known as a reproductive endocrinologist. Doctors recommend that you see a specialist if you don’t get pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. (If you are over 35, you should see a specialist after 6 months of no conception.) Your gynecologist can also perform some tests to see where the problem may be.
After a consultation and testing, your doctor can suggest a possible solution for you. It may be that you need to time your intercourse with ovulation—when your mature egg is released from the ovary and is ready to meet the sperm. This is the time when you are the most fertile in your monthly cycle.
For others, a more proactive approach might be needed. Some women lose their ovarian function much like older women approaching menopause, even when they are still young in their 30s. About 10% of all women have this problem of early ovarian aging. If you are one of these women, your reproductive endocrinologist may try to boost your ovarian function by having you take a DHEA supplement for a couple of months and have you embark on a fertility treatment like IUI or IVF.
DHEA is a natural hormone produced in the body. In the past 10 years or so, DHEA has been researched for its female fertility benefits, and has been shown to improve the quality and number of eggs that ovaries develop. The more eggs you develop and the healthier these eggs are, the better your chance of pregnancy. Some reproductive endocrinologists now use DHEA routinely within an overall treatment plan for women with early ovarian aging.
These are just a few options to help you get pregnant and build your family. If getting pregnant seems difficult or simply taking too long, start improving your chances by having a conversation with a fertility specialist!