Dear Annie: Fertility woes cited

Dear Annie: My husband and I have had some difficulty getting pregnant. I am 32 and feel the clock ticking as each day without my having a fertility doctor passes.

This entire process is completely embarrassing. I am ashamed I even have to go through this. I feel as though I am less of a woman.

We recently moved to a new city, and I don’t even have an obstetrician. I want my husband to get his sperm tested but don’t even know where to send him. I have to get my fallopian tubes tested but don’t even know whom to call.

I do not feel comfortable asking my friends for referrals. Is there a secret list of all the good fertility doctors? What are my options? — Baby Wanter

Dear Baby Wanter: I’m sorry you’re going through this. I know it’s incredibly stressful, but you have absolutely no reason to feel ashamed. If you and your husband are unable to achieve pregnancy through traditional means, it does not signal any sort of “failure” — biologically, morally or otherwise. And you are by no means alone. In the United States, 1 in 8 couples have trouble conceiving.

As for next steps, I know that to-do lists tend to be a mile long after big moves, but near the top of the list should be getting set up with a physician. You and your husband can ask neighbors, co-workers and new friends for suggestions. Once you’ve found a physician you like, he or she can refer you to an obstetrician/gynecologist. As a bare minimum requirement, any doctor you see should be certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. You can check whether a doctor is certified at http://www.certificationmatters.org.

I’d also recommend reading Heather Huhman’s article titled “The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Fertility Clinic… and Knowing When to Get a Second Opinion,” which is available online. Huhman is an outspoken infertility advocate and host of the weekly podcast “Beat Infertility,” which you might enjoy listening to while unpacking boxes. I wish you and your husband all the best.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.