So, I can’t speak for everyone but I can tell you my story. From what I have gathered, every doctor is different – just like every couple TTC.
I went to my obgyn in early March for my annual exam. While I was there, I explained to her that we were ending cycle #9 of TTC with one chemical pregnancy. She agreed to start testing, not because I waited a year to “naturally” try…but because I was charting my cycles, timing intercourse with ovulation, using opk, and still no result of pregnancy. She said she typically likes to wait to close to a year (due to insurance coverage, mostly) but since I was so informed about my body and worried about short cycles, it was better to begin the process. My understanding, from what my Dr said, is that the “year” guideline is just a generality used for couples who aren’t necessarily trying, but not preventing. Many women don’t chart, or think they have sex at the right time and end up being so misinformed. (She gave the example of two women: first was seen after a year and it turns out her husband travels for work and they only hit fertile week maybe 1/3 of the time in that year. Another woman came to see her because she wasn’t getting pregnant, and when she asked how often they had sex, it was maybe 3x/month).
Anyway, she said there was absolutely no harm to begin with a SA for my husband and hsg, progesterone, and blood work for myself. We have found absolutely no issues and I have even had her test things more in depth (like my thyroid, prolactin, etc). Since I have short cycles…sure – I don’t meet the “one year” criteria. But it is still concerning to have a 22-24 day cycle and so many tries with failed attempts. My doctor has referred us to the RE, who I will see in a few weeks at the start of #12, and 10 months of trying. She did so basically because she said with no known issues, we are in then unexplained category of infertility and there isn’t anything more she can help with (as she could if I had a blocked tube, or wasn’t ovulating).
If we had a known male issue (impotence, ejaculation, etc) she would have sent us to an RE immediately. Like I said, every situation is different and all depends on how many kids you want or how old you and dh are.
I agree that it’s scary to hear that word so soon…but it is what it is. If you have no known found issues, and have perfect timing and ovulate naturally, you are unexplained. There is no direct path to take and my understanding is that fertility treatments at this stage are sort of trial and error.
ETA: the “year” or “6 months” also assumes the generality that you are of normal, 28 day cycles. By this standard, someone like myself will have 16 cycles before I hit a year, and others may only have 7.
I’m sorry to hear about af arriving. I had a slight temp drop today and expected to see her this morning, but so far just the normal spotting. My lp is 12-13 days so at the very latest, tomorrow. And yay for cycle buddies. Even if you are a day ahead of me, I ovulate so early we will likely be in the tww together again!