What are fertility problems?
You may have fertility problems if you haven’t been able to get pregnant after trying for at least one year. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will never get pregnant. Often, couples conceive without help in their second year of trying. Medical treatments do help many couples that cannot conceive on their own.
Age is an important factor if you are trying to decide whether to get testing and treatment for fertility problems. A woman is most fertile in her late 20s. After age 35, fertility decreases and the risk of miscarriage goes up.
- If you are younger than 35, you may want to give yourself more time to get pregnant.
- If you are 35 or older, you may want to get help soon.
Should you be tested for fertility problems?
Before you have fertility tests, try fertility awareness. A woman can learn when she is likely to ovulate and be fertile by charting her basal body temperature and using home tests. Some couples find that they simply have been missing their most fertile days when trying to conceive.
If these methods don’t help, the first step is for both partners to see their family physician to have some simple tests done. You may need to see a fertility specialist for more complete testing.
How are fertility problems treated?
A wide range of treatments is available depending on what is causing the problem.
- Medication that helps ovulation
- A procedure that puts sperm directly inside the woman (insemination)
- Surgery that corrects problems caused by endometriosis or blocked fallopian tubes
- A procedure that may increase the man’s sperm count
If these options aren’t possible or don’t work for you, you may want to think about in vitro fertilization (IVF). During IVF, eggs and sperm are mixed in a lab so the sperm can fertilize the eggs. Then the doctor puts one or more fertilized eggs into the woman’s uterus.
Treatment for fertility problems can be stressful, costly, and hard on your body. Before you start testing, make some decisions about how far you are willing to go with treatment. You may change your mind later, but it’s a good idea to start with a plan.
At Mowery Women’s Clinic, we offer a broad range of services to help you with infertility and our goal is a happy outcome for you and your partner. Contact us today for more information and to schedule an appointment.
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