Getting Pregnant

Is it time for us to seek professional fertility help?

When it comes to conception, there are parts of the puzzle that can be controlled and some that simply cannot be changed.


You can't turn back the clock. So if you're trying to get pregnant and are in your 30's, you probably already know that your chances are less than most women in their 20's. While the science of assisted reproductive technology (ART) - referring to any technique that combines sperm and egg outside of the woman's body -- has come far in helping older women successfully conceive, the biological truth remains that as women get older their odds of pregnancy decrease significantly after their early 30's.

So time is essential to the success of ART. The longer a woman waits to start treatment, her chances for success are decreased.

Fertility experts* recommend that you see a specialist if you are:

  • under 30 years old and haven't conceived within a year's time or
  • mid-30's or older and still not pregnant after only six months.
*Source: American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2000

Men, too, have a downturn in fertility levels as they age, but it's at a much more subtle rate than for women. Age impacts the quality of men's sperm - especially motility, or how well the sperm cells move -- more than quantity, and such changes don't become significant until they are in their mid-50's. (Source: Levitas E, 2007)


Age is not the only thing that might send you seeking professional fertility assistance. Some people with certain health situations, both past and present, will benefit from talking to a specialist sooner rather than later.

If any of the below apply to you or your partner, talk to you physician now about potential impacts on your ability to get pregnant.


  • irregular, infrequent (more than 35 days between periods), or absent menstrual periods
  • exposure to sexually transmitted diseases
  • prior abdominal or pelvic surgery
  • uterine fibroids
  • endometriosis
  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • eating disorders
  • sexual dysfunction


  • exposure to sexually transmitted diseases
  • testicular injury from trauma or serious illness
  • diabetes
  • prostate gland surgery
  • sexual dysfunction