I have a question for Rachel. How long were you married before you realized that you were infertile? At what point did you go see a doctor, and did they diagnose you as being infertile?
My husband Joey and I were married almost 2 years before we decided to start trying for a baby. I tried not to get my hopes up and reminded myself frequently it can take a year for a couple to get pregnant. So we tried and tried and tried and tried. And we did pretty good at not getting too frustrated through that first year.
We disagreed a little bit on the month we actually started "trying" (we agree now :). So because of that it took us a while to finally see a Dr. We had been trying about 17 months when I finally went to see my OB. We did some basic tests on him and I and everything came back "normal".
She recommended we go to see a reproductive endocrinologist. That took a while to get into so by the time we saw him we had already been trying 20 months.
Things happened the way they did, but I would definitely recommend people see a dr at a year. Obviously there is always a chance that you may still get pregnant on your own, but at that point, the chances are greater you will need help than that you will get pregnant on your own.
We were paying for everything out of pocket so we opted not to have any of the tests previously done repeated. Which ended up being a mistake. After we did our first IUI we found out DH had some pretty major sperm problems. Problems that were too advanced for our smaller OB's office to see during their tests.
In the end we wasted time and precious money on treatments that weren't going to get us pregnant.
We were diagnosed with male infertility almost 2 years after we started trying. We knew at that point that IVF was going to be our only options (short of a miracle of course!). So we had decided to pursue adoption. In the end adoption didn't work for us either and we ended up going back to IVF which is what brought us our son.
If you have been trying a year, or close, I would make an appt to see a RE. If you need to see an OB to get a referral than do, but I would really recommend going straight to the RE. Most people who spend any amount of time with an OB first, will agree that starting with the RE makes the most sense. They are specialized in getting people pregnant. Most OB's only have "some" training in the dept.