Should you Consider Fertility Assessment when you do not Intend to Get Pregnant Soon?
If you do not intend to become pregnant in the near future, do you need to assess your fertility? It is very possible that many women and men will be screened for relatively a small number of individuals that will show abnormalities. From the individual point of view, however, there are two distinct potential benefits:
Detection of abnormalities related to fertility and reproduction:
Ovary: Diminished ovarian reserve and anovulation
Fallopian Tubes: tubal block
Male factor: abnormal sperm analysis
Other factors: abnormalities of the uterus or cervix
Detection of abnormalities related to the safety of getting pregnant:
Screening for genetic abnormalities: carrier screening
Screening for other medical disorders and infectious diseases
The decision to consult with a reproductive endocrinologist to assess your fertility is individual. One would be more interested in fertility consultation in the presence of
1. Known Fertility Issue: PCOS, absence of menses, endometriosis, fibroids, PID, abdominal surgery, prior chemotherapy for cancer or lupus
2. Risk factor for low fertility: 35 years or older and intend to delay pregnancy
3. Genetic or medical risk factor: genetic screening especially in certain ethnic groups e.g Ashkenazi Jewish individuals
Informed about your fertility potential you may elect to either do nothing or respond to the abnormal results. If diagnosed with lower ovarian reserve you may elect to attempt pregnancy sooner or freeze your eggs. If a genetic abnormality is found in both partners you may consider testing of embryos to avoid transmission to the babies. If an abnormal sperm parameters were found, a referral to a urologist and / or sperm freezing could be considered.
There are no clear cut recommendation for fertility screening in men and women not intending pregnancy in the near future. Women intending to delay getting pregnant or with a known fertility issue and certain ethnic groups should consider screening for fertility and genetic problems.