Fertility Q & A
What is infertility?
Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after having sex without using birth control for at least one year. Because a woman’s ability to get pregnant declines rapidly every year after age 30, women over 35 are treated for infertility after only six months of trying.
Impaired fecundity is a similar condition that involves problems successfully carrying a pregnancy to term.
What causes infertility?
Infertility isn’t exclusively a women’s health problem. About one-third of the time, infertility is caused by an issue with the man. Another third of the time, it’s due to a problem with the woman. The remaining third of infertility cases either involve a problem with both partners, or the cause remains uncertain.
In order to get pregnant (conceive), your ovary must release an egg for a man’s sperm to fertilize. Then, the fertilized egg must attach itself to the inner wall of your uterus (implantation). Problems with any one of these stages cause infertility.
When should I see a doctor for infertility?
If you’re under 35, you should try to conceive for at least one year before you seek fertility treatment. Women over age 35 only have to try for six months.
However, it’s always smart to schedule an appointment at Coeur OBGYN if you’re trying to get pregnant. Your provider advises you on how to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy and how to increase your chances of conceiving.
How do you diagnose and treat infertility?
Your provider at Coeur OBGYN performs an infertility checkup on you and your partner. This involves a physical exam and review of both partners’ medical and sexual histories. In some cases, this is enough to identify the problem. More often, they need to take tests.
Men’s fertility testing involves examining semen. They check the number, movement, and shape of his sperm.
Women’s fertility testing checks for ovulation. This may involve using a home ovulation test kit or a blood test at Coeur OBGYN. They may also take a pelvic ultrasound to check your ovaries.
Your provider discusses the best treatment options for you and your partner. This may include:
- Medications to promote ovulation
- Assisted reproductive technology
- Surgery to treat a condition that causes infertility
To find out how you can improve your chances of getting pregnant, call Coeur OBGYN or book an appointment online today.