Fertility Care Pathway - Patient Information
Information on this page is intended to help you understand natural fertility, possible causes of infertility and possible solutions. The Fertility Care Pathway is a map of the steps most people take in Saskatchewan when they may need medical help to have a child.
Watch a Facts about Fertility video from Queens University (15 minutes).
If You Suspect a Fertility Problem
At any time, 10 to 15 per cent of couples trying to have a child find that they have trouble getting pregnant. This is defined as infertility when the couple has failed to achieve a successful pregnancy after 12 or more months of appropriate, timed, unprotected sex.
Earlier evaluation and treatment is recommended when a single woman or same-sex couple wishes to start a family, or when there is a concern about fertility such as:
- A woman over 35 years old has had six months of unprotected, well-timed sex without getting pregnant; or
- A woman or man (or both) have known or suspected problems with their reproductive systems, like infrequent periods, history of pelvic infection or endometriosis, or known low sperm concentration; or
- A woman is able to get pregnant, but the pregnancy ends in miscarriage. Multiple miscarriages (two or more) may be a sign of fertility problems.
Step 1: Initial visit - family doctor or nurse practitioner
If you do not meet the definition of infertility (above), your primary care provider may suggest that you keep trying a little longer. You might find it helpful to learn more about reproduction, and be aware of your own reproductive cycle.
If you meet the definition (above), you must decide if you want to proceed with a fertility evaluation.
Step 2: Fertility evaluation - specialist
Your family doctor or nurse practitioner (NP) may start by asking about your medical history and ordering some tests. This information helps them to know whether you should see a gynecologist or urologist, or go directly to a fertility specialist. In any case, if you choose to proceed with fertility evaluation, your doctor should refer you to a specialist without delay.