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Infertility is defined as not getting pregnant after a year of regular sexual intercourse without birth control. But some women should see their doctor earlier. Since maternal age can increase the chance of infertility, a women age 35 or older should seek treatment after failing to conceive for six months. For women older than age 40, it is not unreasonable to seek treatment after even fewer months of trying to conceive. This is because as the chances of natural conception decrease, so do the chances that most treatments will work.

Some women should see a fertility specialist right away. This includes women with irregular or painful periods or no periods at all, women with endometriosis, those who have had pelvic inflammatory disease, and women who have had more than one miscarriage.

Last reviewed on 03/31/2007

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