When you are ready for a family, will you be able to get pregnantIf you haven’t completed your family yet, this question should be on your radar.

When we’re young, we are counseled on how to avoid pregnancy. Many of us spend years on birth control pills, using condoms, or both trying to avoid conception until we are good and ready.  Some of us are busy with school or other pursuits that put off motherhood. In my own case, I spent years in school, first at undergrad, then medical school, then residency. Then there is that fact that we need to find a partner.

For some, those years spent putting off having a child can lead to struggles conceiving later. Approximately 85% of people have no trouble getting pregnant after a short period of time.  In fact, approximately 50% percent will be pregnant after 3 months, and 75% of couples will be pregnant after 6 months.

But what if you are in that remaining 15%? One in eight couples struggles with infertility.

Are you in that 15%? Are you that 1 in 8? I am.

I am not trying to scare anyone, but I see women everyday who regret not having a family earlier. Others regret not freezing eggs in their younger days, and regret thinking they had more time. How much time you have is really out of your hands, and nobody can truly predict or guarantee that.

The ingredients for a baby: You need three ingredients to have a baby – an egg, sperm, and a uterus.  Now, these three things do not need to come from you or your partner, but it’s a lot easier when it does.

Getting a check-up: A “fertility check-up” is something that I highly recommend even if you are not ready to get pregnant, not ready to start, not ready to have another, just not ready.  It is important to evaluate these three things — uterus, sperm and eggs — and to understand your fertility potential.

At my practice, Fertility Centers of Illinois, we offer a Fertility Awareness Check-Up.  This offers couples and individuals a semen analysis (are there sperm?), an ultrasound (is there a healthy uterus?), and some basic blood work including a follicle stimulating hormone level and estradiol (are there eggs?). These tests, blood work, an ultrasound, and a semen analysis are offered for $90, and that fee can be applied towards treatment if patients need to pursue anything.

This very basic work-up begins to answer those three questions.  If you are ready now, a fertility check-up can help identify any problems that need to be addressed now. If you aren’t ready, maybe you want to freeze some eggs, so that when you are ready, it won’t be too late.

If you want more information, please see Fertility Awareness Check-Up or stop by this upcoming women’s wellness event.