When to Seek Help

A couple holding hands speaking with a doctor

When to Seek Help

Approximately 1 in 6 families will have trouble conceiving and that number increases to more than 50% after a woman (intended egg provider) reaches the age of 39. If it is taking you longer than you expected to get pregnant, the first step is to talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a fertility specialist who will do a fertility evaluation. Often simple treatment or counselling can help solve the problem. In some cases, the solution requires more advanced technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). The good news is that advances in fertility treatment have made it possible for most people to achieve their dream of having a family.

How do you know when it is time to get medical advice?

  • You are under the age of 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for at least 12 months.
  • You are over 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than 6 months.

You should also consult a fertility specialist if:

  • Your menstrual cycle is irregular or very far apart (a regular cycle is between 26 and 34 days) as you may not be ovulating regularly.
  • You have been diagnosed with a condition known as endometriosis or have had a previous pelvic infection.
  • You have a condition known as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). This condition is one of the most common causes of infertility and is often undiagnosed until a patient has trouble conceiving. The symptoms can include fat around the belly area, irregular periods, facial hair, acne, and thinning of hair on the top of the head (male pattern baldness).
  • You have been diagnosed with a sperm problem, or have a history of infection (e.g., mumps), injury or surgery on your testicles.
  • You or your partner has a known health problem such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of cancer treated with radiation or chemotherapy.
  • You are at risk of early menopause, such as having a family history of early menopause among the women in your immediate family (such as mother, sister).
  • You just need help! You do not have access to sperm, eggs or a uterus so need help to have a child.

Learn More about this Topic

Olive clinic experts have shared helpful insights on the Olive blog. Check out the following quick reads to learn more.

Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.

Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).

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