Why do some Couples Delay seeking Professional Fertility Intervention?
Published: March 2021
A study was undertaken in 2019 to assess the average amount of time that individuals and couples took to seek fertility diagnosis and treatment, gathering both patient and partner perspectives on the treatment journey, drivers for, and barriers to, seeking infertility treatment.
The study highlighted that individuals and couples who are struggling to conceive frequently wait years prior to seeking advice and subsequently, when requesting treatment for infertility which further reduced their chances of their treatment being successful.
It was found that couples who were trying to conceive, waited an average of 3 years TTC prior seeking an initial fertility diagnosis. After which a further two years were spent trying to conceive naturally before seeking specialist fertility support.
Because of delays in seeking diagnosis and then treatment, the respondents spent an average of a further 1.6 years undergoing a treatment journey before achieving a successful conception. That’s over 6 and a half years enduring the rollercoaster of emotions and suffering disappointment when trying to start a family.
We always recommend that couples should try to conceive naturally for 6 months to 1 year before seeking specialist support from a Fertility Consultant.
However, it is equally important, that if you already know or suspect a problem because of your or your partner's medical history, that you seek professional advice as some conditions will require specialist fertility intervention to resolve.
What are the factors causing delays in seeking medical advice for Infertility?
The number one factor causing couples to delay seeking medical advice was perceived costs. The second factor was the determination to conceive naturally.
Fertility diagnosis and treatments can be expensive depending on the diagnosis received or the particular pathway required and these costs are perceived as prohibitive to couples.
However, it should also be noted that is not always the case, as many couples go on to achieve a successful pregnancy with professional fertility advice, such as simple lifestyle changes or medication support.
What are the motivational factors for seeking diagnosis and treatment?
Unanimously, respondents cited an overwhelming desire to start a family. The transparency of information from healthcare providers about treatment expectations was also cited as very important.
A further factor was whether or not their chosen treatment provider offered supportive services. It’s so important that fertility patients are offered counselling services and guidance from their consultant.
Don’t delay your diagnosis.
Here at IVF Matters, we take a truly holistic approach to fertility diagnosis and treatment. Our patients can order online at-home specialist tests with 48 hour results, take our online fertility assessment for a personalised report from our Fertility Consultant, or book a video consultancy with any member of our team at a time to suit them to help establish any issues early on in their TTC journey.
Rest assured, our multidisciplinary team are available to support you at whatever stage you are at in your fertility pathway. Find out more here.