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Infertility: Setting Limits on Testing - Topic Overview

Looking for a cause of infertility can be a brief process or can become a financially, emotionally, and physically demanding succession of tests and procedures. Before you start infertility testing, take some time together to talk about how far each of you is willing to go.

Think about:

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Doctors arbitrarily diagnose infertility when a couple hasn't conceived a child after 12 months of unprotected and regular sex. Impaired fertility may be a better description, though. Many women who keep trying will get pregnant in the second year or later. Whatever its name, infertility is a call to take advantage of available fertility testing and treatments that can improve your chances of pregnancy. Fertility testing is something couples should do together, since the male is the sole cause of...

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  • How you feel about having invasive testing if initial sperm and blood tests find no infertility cause.
  • What types of treatment you each might be willing to have.
  • How much money you have to spend on testing; treatment; and pregnancy, labor, and delivery care.
  • Whether you have alternate plans for parenting, such as adoption, and the time and financial resources needed to carry out your plans.

Ideally, your doctor will help you stop and assess your plan and options at each step of the way. If you feel that you are being pushed to make decisions without enough information or support from your doctor, consider finding another one.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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