How long should a pair wait while trying to conceive before consulting a specialist doctor?

Is it one year like most of the sites recommend, less or more?

  • 7
    We booked a trip to Australia (from Europe) and decided to take a break from our conception efforts, albeit carelessly. That's when our little one was conceived. We had to cancel our trip and lost a fair bit of money. This is one strategy you could try. Jun 7, 2012 at 14:03
  • Seems to be a duplicate of this question because the answers in the linked question apply. Jun 8, 2012 at 11:09
  • Make sure he's wearing loose fitting boxers. "Y-front" underwear is pretty good birth-control... babyexpert.com/getting-pregnant/fertility/…
    – cmcculloh
    Jun 18, 2012 at 3:14

4 Answers 4


We only waited 9 months and the Dr. was fine with that. We did have complications between numbers 1 and 2 and for number two we finally did IVF, after trying all kinds of other things. I know that for a first child, without any complications, a year is recommended. I would even wait a bit longer. The process once you see a specialist is really gruelling both physically and emotionally. If you can possibly lower the stress level of wanting to conceive (I know this is really hard) often times that will help. How many times have I heard about couples who adopt and then get pregnant!

Good luck! My suggestion, all that being said, is go with your gut. Worst that happens when you see a specialist is that they tell you to wait. Another thing to keep in mind is that you will be working with the specialist, unfortunately, quite some time so if you don't like him or her change doctors before you get started with the meds and shots and blood work!

  • The two couples I know who had tried unsuccessfully to conceive for over a year both managed once they had made the decision to go IVF, but before IVF started. The stress levels seemed to have a lot to do with it!
    – Rory Alsop
    Jun 8, 2012 at 8:20

I have heard/been told that you should try for a year if you and your partner are under age 30 and healthy and it's your first child.

If you or your partner are over 30 then the recommendation is six months because you are at a greater chance of having fertility issues.

Having said that, I'm pretty sure different ob/gyns are going to say different things. No matter which way you cut it, your first visit to discuss fertility issues is going to probably be to your regular gyno who will probably run some tests before determining if it's an issue he/she can handle or if you should see a fertility specialist.

But, like mentioned by others, personal stress seems to be the biggest contributing factor. My best friend and her husband tried for over a year, had some fertility treatments done, and nothing was working. She called me in March and said they were just going to take a break and enjoy their time together, and a month later she called to tell me she was pregnant. They now have two little girls (two pregnancies--not twins).

  • This is exactly what was said to my sister and her husband who were having "trouble." Seriously, month 11 was the month things finally "took" and she now has a happy one year old driving her absolutely batty with all kinds of movement, noise and activity :-) so I second this answer. Nov 26, 2012 at 0:47
  • I've also got friends with similar stories regarding having tried anything and then when they stopped trying so hard a baby came 10-15 months later. Nov 26, 2012 at 0:48

This is an indirect answer, but one thing to try before going to the fertility doctor (and something they might recommend) is trying a fertility monitor. My wife and I tried for almost a year before using the Clearblue Easy monitor, and got pregnant by the second month. They aren't cheap, but neither is raising a child.

Our device has been lent out to a number of friends and has currently helped bring 9 children into this world.

Try that, and if that doesn't work after 3 months or so, try the doctor.

  • 1
    I second this! We have this strange idea that all women ovulate on the 14th day of their cycle, but the reality is wildly different! Once I started charting my cycle, I discovered that I ovulated on the 10th day of my cycle--day 14 would have been too late! And charting doesn't have to involve an expensive monitor. Simple Basal Body Temperature monitoring can be just as effective. It takes some time to get the hang of it, but it can work too and BB Thermometers can be bought for about $5.00.
    – Meg Coates
    Nov 26, 2012 at 13:55

While the usual medical advice is to wait 6-12 months (this varies a lot depending on the country, doctor, etc), I do not think you should wait at all to perform basic tests on the male member of the couple.

The reason for this is simple: a sperm analysis is simple, easy and inexpensive, and it can save you a lot of frustration and stress.


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