When should an assisted reproduction specialist be consulted?


If you wish to become pregnant and do not succeed


You should visit an assisted reproduction specialist after a period of 12 months of continuous unprotected sexual relations without achieving successful pregnancy.


There are situations of risk that make prior consultation advisable. If the following circumstances apply to you, you should consult a specialist after 6 months of regular sexual relations:

  • If the woman is over 35 years old
  • If her period is very irregular
  • If she has a record of pelvic inflammatory disease and/or endometriosis, myomata, painful sexual relations, recurrent miscarriages, sexually transmitted infections, ovarian surgery, a family history of premature menopause, etc.
  • If the man has varicocele (varicose veins of the testicle)

If you wish to become pregnant but have no male partner

There are women who choose to be single mothers and others with a female partner who wish to have children. Treatments such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with donor sperm are very valid options that help fulfil the desire of these women to become mothers.

If you wish to become pregnant in the future

There are women who do not want to give up the chance of maternity, but wish to leave it for the future, as they consider that now, for non-medical reasons, is not the right time. In such cases, motherhood can be postponed and fertility preserved through the vitrification of eggs.

Why is sterility increasing?

The increase in demand for assisted reproduction treatments registered in recent years has been influenced by the following:

  • Widespread dissemination of and access to knowledge on fertility and assisted reproduction and better quality and more specialised services, which have led to growing confidence in specialised centres.
  • Because of today’s pace and style of life, motherhood is put off for later. This directly affects fertility as a woman’s age is the most restrictive factor.
  • A fall in semen quality has been observed, both insofar as quantity and sperm motility are concerned. Some of the factors with a negative impact on semen production include environmental pollution, and certain substances and additives in some foods.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits also have a negative impact on fertility: the most significant examples are a stressful or sedentary life, not a very balanced diet, constant states of anxiety or the consumption of tobacco and alcohol.

Factors to be considered

In women: the most significant factor in the decrease in fertility is age.
In men: the most significant fertility parameters are semen quality and sexual dysfunction.